At Greener Greens we, like many people, avidly practice the three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle – to cut down waste, conserve natural resources, landfill space and energy. But something I saw today prompts an additional R – resourcefulness.
I was at the Dorking recycling centre (aka “the dump”) which sadly the local council has voted to close, although closure has now been delayed until the end of September. As I put a black bin into the landfill/burn container one of the recycling team split it open to reveal its contents. “Why are you doing that?” I said. And this is what I was told…
On recognising the folly of the planned closure, the team thought they would prove the value of their service by opening each black bin deposited, reclaiming (yet another R!) items that can be recycled and keeping a tally of the amount their actions earned the council. Within the first fortnight they had reclaimed 2 tons of clothing for which the council receives 50p per kg and many tons of other items. To date the team has gained the council thousands of pounds. And so impressed is the council with their trial that it has allocated funds to help their efforts.
I saw 3 bags opened today and each contained bottles, paper and other recyclable items. Sadly one third of the contents of one bag was recyclable, demonstrating that we still have a way to go. But this wonderful team at Dorking is busily generating the statistics that enable a better message to be presented to us all. And they have given a new dimension to “protesting”!
We shall be campaigning to keep this recycling centre open and the team in jobs. And to do that, we will be following the progress of this trial.