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Trash Overlords


Russian saying

There was an old Russian saying very much in style during the glorious years of the USSR: They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.

In the same spirit, most enlightened (or at least learned) people have adopted a similar modus-operandi when it comes to the trash overlords. It reads:

"They pretend to control us and we pretend to obey them"

And so every day in suburbia and everywhere else a war is waged. The white knights of common sense against the dark forces of the trashy kingdom. Non-recyclable items are sneaked into recyclable bins. Non-compostable materials are placed into compostable containers. Larger, heavier or improperly bundled items are left out earlier than allowed. Anything and everything that makes our life easier is attempted because in the end, it is our life, not theirs and so it is our decision.

The cost of the trash tyranny

Let's assume for a second that we are good drones properly indoctrinated by the forces of trashy ecological wellbeing and are determined to follow all their instructions to the letter. How much would this cost? What would be the cost of all the facilities, equipment and personnel required to hold, separate, classify and package all the trash of an average house? Let's run a few numbers:

  • Holding facility licenced to store biological waste (10 m2): 20.000 USD / year
  • Laboratory licenced for biological analysis (10 m2): 20.000 USD / year
  • Technician: 40.000 USD / year
  • Analytical balance (used): 1000 USD
  • Work balance (used): 500 USD
  • Full HPLC (used): 30.000 USD                                        
  • Full GC (used): 20.000 USD
  • Glassware (used): 2.000 USD
  • Miscellaneous equipment (used): 6.000 USD
  • Microscope (used): 1000 USD
  • XRF Spectrophotometer (used): 6000 USD
  • Reagents / Waste Disposal: 5000 USD / year

This would require an initial investment of 65.000 USD and an ongoing expense of 85.000 USD/year.

Does this make any sense to you? At all? The whole concept is absolutely ridiculous. According to all the idiotic trashy rules and regulations we would have to spend a fortune just to stay compliant to them.

Of course, this is just a hypothetical scenario since nobody in their right mind would even attempt something so stupid. However, there is a point. If this is the real, actual cost of being compliant, how come we don't pay it? Ahhh grasshopper, glad you asked. You see, in order to answer that question we need to enter into the Inner Dimension of law making. A place in between the real world and beyond, inadvertently created by mankind. A tunnel, before the light - or the dark.

In logical terms, laws are there to prevent people from doing things that would harm them or others. And so if a person plays with rat poison or a company does so, it is still rat poison and will have the same effect. Logically then, the lonely person and the industry should be forced to use the same health & safety equipment. But then again, the law is not logic. You, as a person can go out and buy rat poison and do whatever you want with it health & safety-wise; a company, on the other hand, cannot. How is this possible? Because if a politician would attempt to do so this person would lose a great deal of votes from upset people (remember, one person one vote). However, this is not the case for companies who may have many employees but only a few owners from whose votes will be lost. Humm… a few votes versus a great deal of votes… what to do?... what to do?...

Presto! Let's legislate for companies only while ignoring people and so retaining the bulk of the votes. And so in complete agreement with the illogic of legislation, our trashy overlords follow the exact same premises. This is the reason why we don't have to fork ridiculous amounts of money to perform all the trashy tasks that were offloaded to us. It is not that those tasks are not logical or technologically sound (they are), it is that they would piss-off too many voters.

The point we are trying to make is a simple one. The trashy overlords don't care about logical soundness, technological appropriateness or ecological principles for that matter. All they care about is their jobs and privileges. And for that to work they need to commoditize trash collection. This is, to transform what is a service into a commodity that can be sold under a monopoly in small, artificial chunks. This is exactly the same principle that cable companies do with "packages" or phone companies do with "features". Every package is an extra cost, every feature is an extra expenditure.


And then we have the inevitable do-gooders that insist in telling us that all those nonsensical rules and regulations are all "for the greate good". You see dear reader, without all those limitations to our freedom we would decimate our ecological environment.

This is, again, idiotic. The problem is that governments create loopholes and behaviours through which ecologic disasters slip quite comfortably. Should governments would not exist and everything would be private property, ecology would take a gigantic step forward (see for example Ecology Through Self-Interest).

The second so-called "rationale" of these deluded people is that trashy overlords are doing the best they can in order to keep prices low. This is again, idiotic. To begin with, these people have no idea what it is that people really need because they can't perform any economic calculation in the same manner that Communists could not (see for example Communists Can Not Count). Furthermore, they have no incentives to improve because they are not dependent on profit or losses. There is no competition that would advance technology. And lastly, as there is no competition, there is no external pressure to be the best and the most inexpensive thus staying in business and making a living. Let's be clear, trashy overlords are nothing but overpaid apparatchiks. The only "Greater Good" they are interesting in is their own.


It goes without saying that you are not convinced and we are not surprised at all. Yet, there is more. If you now switch perspectives from developed or semi-developed nations and look at what's happening in under-developed ones, it could be very illuminating indeed. In such nations of the so-called third world private enterprise is alive, well and growing. In those places there are all kinds of garbage collectors who scour the streets scavenging anything that may be recyclable or reusable. These people work "on commission" (as is the politically correct term) which is to say that people do not pay them but their income originates in whatever they can sell. They make the incessant and paranoid selection and classification of garbage by average people unnecessary. They do it for other people for free. Furthermore, they are quite cautious and mostly polite since it is in their best interest not to be interfered by the police or property owners. They provide an invaluable service since they manage to reduce garbage volumes anywhere between 25 to 33%. This is, the regular government-sponsored trashy overlords get their work reduced by up to 33% by these people and all for free! Of course these people are very poor indeed and we are not advocating using poor people as cheap labour. What we are pointing out it is simply the fact that private enterprise, even at the trash levels, beats government processes and procedures at a price that the state cannot afford. Now, this is not political or economic science fiction; this is reality today!

Those people are very poor indeed and unfortunately they will probably remain so simply because the economies are stagnating thanks again to the intervention of governments in financial and economic affairs through the unholy trinity (tax, borrow and print) but as well as through market and money manipulations from Central Banks and Ministries of Economy. Should the state would not exist, natural economic grow would increase economic activity to a point at which even those people would be far better off. Furthermore, it is a well-known fact that the most successful entrepreneurs are those that are familiar with their field of success. This pretty much guarantees that should the economy is left to their own devices, today's garbage scavengers will be tomorrow garbage collection enterprises and recyclers which will operate competitively, effectively and efficiently.


The Trash Tyranny is real and it is here to stay…until Libertarianism slowly begins to take over the world When Countries Dissolve. At that point many companies will step in to close the gap left open by decaying government organizations. Those companies will offer the services of trash removal for a price. As with any service, there will be many options to cater to different budgets and lifestyles. Some people will gladly separate recyclables and compostables from their opposites, for a cheaper price. Some people will prefer the opposite since they won't want to bother with such mundane tasks. There will be all kinds of services for all kinds of needs and life will go on. One thing is certain, you will know exactly how much you are paying for the service and what the service will consist in. Furthermore, should you want to dispose of your trash in your own way, you would not only able to do so, but you would be free not to contract with anybody. This is the ultimate choice. And life will go on but better, much, much better because Contracts Are The Key To Coexistence.


The trash tyranny is very real indeed because it operates in practice as a real tyranny. But then again, all government organizations are de-facto (as a matter of fact) tyrannies and this is just a small, tiny example of how our lives are dictated and manipulated without our input, knowledge or consent by unknown politicians and bureaucrats. Talking about trash as an example of what's wrong with democracy (and all other government political philosophies in general) is weird to say the least, but it is not illogical or out of place. The point we are trying to make is that governments pervade, permeate and control everything and every aspect of your life right down to trash. There is no issue small enough that escapes them.

If you are OK with this concept; if you are OK with this way of life then enjoy it while it lasts, it is your decision. We, on the other hand, will be looking forward to the time when humans will finally be free to make their own choices and take on their own responsibilities as fully grown adults who do not require nor desire to pay the high price nanny states any longer.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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