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Not only does Boverket want to effectively ban people from recycling old wood stoves - now it has emerged that they want to send them to the scrapyard too, and you will pay for it.
In reported from December last year, the Boverket proposes, as Anders Gustafsson wrote about in Blekinge Läns Newspaper yesterday, a scrapping premium for old iron stoves and other solid fuel appliances and space heaters. So the Housing Agency wants to use the public's own tax money to permanently scrap this cherished part of our cultural heritage.
At the same time, they manage with the proposal to get in a jaw-dropping blow to Swedish crisis preparedness by killing the secondary market of iron stoves and stoves. This would put an end to less well-off people who cannot afford to buy new products but still want to be able to cook and boil water if the crisis comes.
The Boverket's second proposal in its report is that they want to introduce an extended notification requirement for the replacement of wood boilers and stoves, in order to strengthen "social control" and prevent "irregular replacements". It is estimated that the increased processing that this strengthened "social control" would entail would cost the general public over SEK 100 million in increased bureaucracy alone.
But that cost is a piss in the sea compared to what the scrapping premium would cost taxpayers. Boverket estimates that the scrapping premium for old solid fuel boilers and space heaters will cost SEK 1.4 billion - just for the bureaucracy(!) involved in applying for subsidies.
Total cost including premiums: over SEK 5 billion. That money could keep the recently closed Sollefteå BB open for 250 years, just to put the sum in perspective.
I am speechless.
Boverket, headed by Director General Anders Sjelvgren, has developed the proposals on behalf of the Government. Something tells me that the government will go along with the proposals, but you want to believe the best about people, including politicians, so I hope that for their own sake they send the proposals where they belong - to the scrapyard.
Any sensible government would do the same with the new rules that Boverket wants to introduce for the summer, which effectively bans the recycling of old iron stoves and fireplaces. The cultural and historical value of the wood stove and the role it plays in our emergency preparedness should make it self-evident that old wood stoves, like old tiled stoves, should be exempt from the new stricter rules. Anything else is unacceptable.
So what can ordinary men and women do? For a start, we can make our voices heard. We can send a message to the powers that be in the capital that there are many of us "rednecks" who will not accept any curtailment of our right to recycle our beloved old wood stoves. Please join the Facebook group Vedspisupproret, a civic call to show that there are many of us who hold the wood stove dear.
As Vilhelm Moberg wrote in his novel Ride tonight!"What 12 peasants cannot do, 12,000 can do." The Facebook group has now passed this fine symbolic threshold of 12,000 members.
Please also email Boverket's Director General Anders at email@example.com and Minister of Housing Peter Eriksson at firstname.lastname@example.org (alternatively email@example.com, marked "To Peter Eriksson") and tell us what the wood stove means to you and what you think of these proposals. For example, you could point out the cultural and historical value of old wood stoves and fireplaces and the important role they play in Sweden's ability to cope with serious crises.
It doesn't matter if there are a lot of us emailing, they probably appreciate hearing from the people who pay their salaries and fat pensions. Those of you who sympathise with the current government and perhaps even voted for the Green Party have a particularly strong reason to express your dissatisfaction to Peter Eriksson (MP). A polite tone goes a long way (and all e-mails to authorities become public documents, so don't write anything you don't want to end up in the local paper).
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