Statistically Speaking

Statistics aren’t always useful, as Des McHale observed with, “The average human being has one breast and one testicle.” However, today I’ve come across two statistical announcements which seem very much more useful.

The Christchurch City Council have released information on waste collected and processed for the year ending 1st July 2010 which you can check out in full here. Christchurch introduced a new kerbside collection system around the start of 2009. The system involved giving all residences three wheelie bins, reducing in size from the yellow lidded recycling bin, to a smaller red lidded rubbish bin, and an even smaller green lidded organics bin with organics collected weekly from the kerbside and the other two bi-weekly.

It appears that while Christchurch folk have embraced with gusto the recycling and organics options, this hasn’t meant a reduction in the amount of landfill rubbish being disposed of residentially. Rather, there has been an increase of about 4,000 tons. Despite this anomoly however, the total amount of rubbish being sent to the Kate Valley Landfill has reduced by about 50,000 tons, presumably due to commercial operations reducing their rubbish output and finding new waste recovery options. I assume that there is a financial incentive at play here, with it being worthwhile for businesses to reduce their rubbish output, whereas it doesn’t directly impact residential dwellers in the same way.

Although this has nothing to do with rubbish, sticking with statistics a bit longer, the Auckland Regional Transport Authority recently announced that there has been an overall increase of 3.4% in the number of people using Auckland’s trains, buses, and ferries. There has been a huge increase in June of this year compared with the previous June with an increase on the buses of 6.7% and 8.8% on the trains. Cool ay!