KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
21st July 2017
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It takes a lot to make me cross, but sat in a queue of cars with a boot-full of garden waste for dumping at my local civic amenity tip, is not how I like to spend a hot sunny day. I'd not expected it to be busy either, since it was late morning, mid-week... Most people would have been at work...
The hold-up was partly because of stringent checks made by the 'gate-man' to ensure we were indeed locals and that we were not dumping waste we shouldn't be. I was thinking that I'd had an easier time getting into some of the old Eastern bloc countries before Perestroika...
It turned out that as well as the checks, he was handing out leaflets about a public consultation on reducing the tip's opening hours. The idea is, that the tip is shut completely for two days a week and opening hours are further reduced. Other, smaller Surrey tips are earmarked for closure, meaning more people than ever, are going to be trying to dump waste at my local tip. It used to be open 363 days a year and until 20:00 in Summer. Now it shuts at 16:00. Who amongst us (who doesn't work from home) can join the queue that early in the day?
So - more traffic travelling further across the county, polluting our environment, and more time spent by residents sitting in queues, hoping they'll get to the front before the gates shut. Oh yes - and more illegal dumping, blighting our countryside. And this is happening all over the country, as councils try to reduce costs...
As we in the KBB industry strive to persuade consumers to upgrade, replace, refurbish etc., I wonder whether there's more we should be doing to encourage people to - rather than dump their often still-serviceable appliances, furniture, kitchens and bathrooms - recycle them? I know some councils have 'used-product showrooms' at their tips, where those without the money to splash on the latest products, can browse and buy.
As someone who's still living with a kitchen acquired via Gumtree ("dismantle it and you can have it for free") I know there are many of us who could benefit from such an arrangement. Can we, when we're selling products, encourage people to offer what they're discarding, via sites such as Gumtree and FreeCycle, to others who might need it? And if we're removing it, can we ensure it's recycled rather than dumped?
14th July 2017