A rubbish sight

He does not care for flowers. Calls them rubbish, and cannot tell one from another, and thinks it is superior to feel like that.

On holiday last week I saw something that, even now, a week later makes my blood boil to think about. A gorgeous lane in the Kent countryside, completely wrecked by the fly-tipping of an old kitchen, carcasses and units, sink, taps, plus the cardboard packaging of the new appliances. I suppose we should be grateful for small mercies that they didn’t dump the old washing machine and fridge there too.

So, on the one hand we have the good news that someone has bought and installed a new kitchen. Great. But there has to be a better way of disposing of the old stuff.

Of course the builder responsible could have driven to the local council-run tip – sorry, waste recycling centre – rather than into the heart of the countryside, but then of course he would have had to pay for its disposal. So rather than that he just dumps it on someone else – probably the householder whose driveway was more-or-less blocked.

Now I understand that councils have costs associated with running these centres and that just dumping stuff into landfill is a surefire way of ruining the planet. But we need more ways of encouraging all trade customers to think more about how they dispose of the items they no longer need.

Jewson have been getting a lot of publicity about the success of their pallet recycling scheme and they have now joined up with the Environment Agency to boost plaster and plasterboard recycling. The plasterboard manufacturers have been running schemes to recycle board from building sites for some time and both Dulux and Crown have recycling initiatives and I’m sure there are others that I don’t know about.

We need more schemes like this and we need them to be well-publicised and we need them to be easy to use so that the default option isn’t to drive to a leafy lane and off-load.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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