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It’s not wholly and entirely obvious that this is beneficial

Summary:
Some changes in the waste management industry:Carswell is a driver with 35 years’ experience working for Andersons, a large fallen-stock operator. Or rather, he is a knackerman, knackering being the old name for a role that, over the past 50 years, has been entirely modernised. His job and the way he conducts it are unrecognisable from the profession he originally came into. Now, there are forms, procedures, trucks, lifters, legislation. Since 2001, testing for BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease in cattle which in variant form can be transmissible to humans) has been mandatory on any animal over the age of 48 months, and new drivers coming to the role have to be fully licensed and certified. A business that was once a byword for the wrecked and smelly ends

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Some changes in the waste management industry:

Carswell is a driver with 35 years’ experience working for Andersons, a large fallen-stock operator. Or rather, he is a knackerman, knackering being the old name for a role that, over the past 50 years, has been entirely modernised. His job and the way he conducts it are unrecognisable from the profession he originally came into. Now, there are forms, procedures, trucks, lifters, legislation. Since 2001, testing for BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease in cattle which in variant form can be transmissible to humans) has been mandatory on any animal over the age of 48 months, and new drivers coming to the role have to be fully licensed and certified. A business that was once a byword for the wrecked and smelly ends of animal life is now as antiseptic as modern biosecurity regulations can make it.

Each of these additions, every form, every certification, has been a well meaning addition to the mountain of such already extant. It’s not though, in the end, entirely obvious that the system as a whole has ended in a net benefit. As with restrictions on other forms of waste disposal leading to more flytipping, or those new regulations - new a couple of decades back - on lead battery recycling leading to a fall in lead battery recycling, it is possible to make the system too complex to actually operate effectively.

We have heard - scurrilous rumours no doubt - of an increase in the illegal burial of fallen stock in odd corners of farms for example…..

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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