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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 June, 2004, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Targeting rubbish
Rubbish dump
Is recycling the answer to the growing problem of waste disposal?
More or Less, the guide to all things numerical, in the news, in politics, in life returned to BBC Radio 4 on Thursday, 17 June for another series of seven programmes.

Much of this week's programme is rubbish.

Let's put that another way: this week we investigate the bizarre regime of waste recycling.

As it's reported that Britain faces an unsustainable and growing torrent of rubbish without the facilities to deal with it, presenter Andrew Dilnot examines the government targets for recycling.

BBC Radio 4's More or Less was broadcast on Thursday, 17th June, 1500 BST
The pressure is on local authorities to increase the amount of rubbish they recycle, but do the targets make sense? Might they even, in some cases, be making the problem worse by creating perverse incentives? And for councils struggling to meet them, could their reputation be on the line? Andrew goes out with the bins to find out.


Also this week, a big number taken apart.

Europe's agricultural subsidies and tariffs are blamed for causing massive damage to poor farmers in the developing world.

But are we getting a fair picture of who is really hurt and by how much? We talk to the economist who suggests that we need to be more careful with the figures before coming to conclusions.


And how could we begin this week without mentioning football.

You want to know the results? What if we proved we could predict them? Could it be your instinct would tell you to back our judgement?

But your instinct would be wrong.

The start of a series within the series looking at some of the occasions when our gut instinct fails the number test.

Read the thoughts of Helen Joyce, editor of Significance, magazine of the Royal Statistical Society, on instinct and football results by clicking on the link below.

Click here to have your say about the programme

Producer: Michael Blastland
Editor: Nicola Meyrick

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How our perception can deceive us
16 Jun 04 |  More Or Less


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