Well, it is high time Battleaxe had a rant!
Here in Hastings, a new household waste recycling tip has just opened at Freshfields, replacing the interesting but somewhat smelly and third world set-up we had before. Much is made of the fact that the new facility is clean and modern, there is no queuing, you don’t have to climb up steps to dump things in skips etc, all very true and good and commendable. But there is a problem – no provision for members of the public to access recoverable goods, either via a charity store or, as before, an informal buying-point run by the tip geezers. I have mentioned this before in a blog post back in May, and then one of the blokes told me that the tip was moving, but that there would be a new charity store.
Since coming to Hastings in November 2011 we have made many trips to the tip, and I have acquired: one brand new two-drawer filing cabinet, a set of wooden shelves, a Victorian plant pot stand, two old terracotta chimney pots, assorted other plant containers, a half-barrel planter, several other assorted planters, a pair of long-handled garden shears, a dustbin and a big pile of Beano comics for my grand daughter.
It is not that I now want more stuff for myself – our house is full up! However, picking through the goods always provides an incentive to go to the tip, and I am sure that is true for others also – a good thing in itself. Most important, though, good reusable things are now just vanishing out of reach into the shiny new skips, where they increase the volume of landfill, and could be raising money, either for the Council, or better still, for a charity. Even a few quid going into the pockets of the tip men is better than nothing. At the new tip, I can’t even see any facility for buying the bags of soil improver made from our garden waste.
The facility is run by Veolia/East Sussex County Council. I called them up.
A nice young man told me that there are no plans for a charity store at
that tip, even though ‘most other facilities have them’. Why not? I
will start campaigning straight away.
Second part of this recycling rant. On moving into our new house in June we called Hastings BC and asked for a brown bin for recycling garden waste. We were told that we would be put on the waiting list. As no bin had appeared, I called again earlier this week, to be told that there were 60 households in front of us on the waiting list, and ‘If we are very lucky’ we might get a bin next March, when a few people give them up. Realistically, as there is only apparently capacity to process a couple of hundred bins (the one above belongs to our next-door neighbours, the lucky dogs), it is going to take years to get through that waiting list – getting a council house would probably be easier. What kind of nonsense is this? We have come from Birmingham, where we had regular garden waste collections every two weeks as part of the standard service.
In July this year the Observer reported that Hastings had the worst-fly-tipping record of any authority in East Sussex. It is not so bad here in genteel Clive Vale, but in other parts of town you commonly see unsightly heaps of garden waste just chucked over people’s back fences on to verges, or onto open ground.
Phew, less of that ranting says Digby. Just tickle my tummy, please……