Recent reports of Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre's financial difficulties and suggestions that it may not be able to accept some types of plastics are disturbing.
Equally disturbing are the increased charges being imposed on conscientious citizens who faithfully sort and transport recyclables to the WRRC at their own cost, and the corresponding reports of wanton dumping of waste on our beaches, countryside and in our awa.
The message is clear. If you make it difficult to recycle or too costly to dispose of responsibly, then poorer people will make poor choices.
When the manager of the WRRC was challenged about the recent redefinition of what constituted a trailer load of green waste and the cost of disposal, he retorted, "User pays!" Wrong. It is clear that the awa pays, the coastline pays, the environment pays, our town suffers.
Let's not put financial barriers to responsible citizenship lest we return to burning waste oil, putting electronics in landfill, dumping green waste on beaches and dumping plastics and paper in landfill.
St John's Hill
My pleasure at reading Heather Marion Smith's letter (March 4) on my analysis of when councils should hedge their interest costs was slightly marred by the realisation that the false assumption I was said to have exposed was that councils should borrow at all.
Alas, moving council borrowings to central reserves would not get rid of the need to hedge interest rates. It would merely move them to the Reserve Bank, which has to fix its outgoings to match its income like everyone else. Perhaps some internal efficiencies could be achieved but no more than that.
Unfortunately, some public body has to borrow to finance those capital projects which cannot be met out of income.
Suppose a new hydro project is needed, which will benefit the community over 50 years.
Either the money is borrowed and amortised over that period or there is no new dam.
Whether a velodrome roof could be met out of current income I have no idea, but I would say one more thing to Ms Smith. These are not, as she suggests, "neo liberal" thoughts.
They are rather obvious mathematics.
Farewell to cheques
Fifty-two years on, farewell to a 1419 cheque processor. What is that? A machine that took up a large space in an upper floor of the BNZ in Vivian St, Wellington, attached to the 360-40 and 360-60 IBM computer.
It was my first "real" job, in 1969, operating the 360-40 IBM computer.
Yes, the machinery of yesterday is obsolete today, as the Government no longer accepts cheques; Kiwibank no longer produces cheques, so please mourn the cheque with your morning coffee and move on to eftpos, direct credits and direct debits and money transfers.
Annoy the banks with requests for money transfers — called direct credits — invented in 1969 too. Why not direct debits? Because people did not want anyone diving into their bank account — so eftpos was invented in 1972.
Banking and magnetic ink character references, RIP. We had it, we used it. It's gone — move on!
Cheaper EVs available
William Partridge in his letter, "Climate emergency": Virtue of EVs.
He would love to own a Tesla; I wouldn't. You can get a much cheaper electric car.
I don't understand the eight years to pay back the carbon footprint. Is this a Nissan Leaf, Tesla or an electric bus?
The question is how long does it take to "pay back" the footprint of a petrol or diesel car, probably a lot longer or never as it will continue to belch carbon its entire life.