Friday, 5 December 2014

Lies, damned lies and statistics*

I used to joke that 86.67% of statistics were made up on the spot. Well, I cannot help but be reminded of that joke when I look at the leaflet recently posted through my letterbox.

I find it incredible that City of York council had the courage to print this leaflet. Why? 
How can they possibly profess to know how much rubbish York residents produce each week? 
How do they know what percentage of our kitchen waste is recycled in our own gardens? 
How have they calculated a figure with two decimal places (43.63%) for such an uncountable thing? 
I have written to the council to find out how they came up with this figure. 

*The phrase "Lies, damned lies and statistics" is attributed to Mark Twain. He, however, always said it was from Benjamin Disraeli, despite it not appearing in any of Disraeli's works. 

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