A letter to Gravesham Recycling Centre

Dear Colleagues,

I spoke to several of you today and wanted you to have a complete view of why I said what I said.  

Firstly I don’t ask for much – as a 65 Year old veteran of more than one nasty little armed conflict, I certainly don’t want to go into conflict with you, when I turn up to dispose of my rubbish. 

As a responsible citizen with more rubbish than I could handle; (five heavy waterlogged ex-comfy chairs, a waterlogged and filthy mattress and divan base, and a door,)  I reviewed the safest and most economical way to dispose of them and hired a trailer large enough to do the job in the smallest number of trips.  Keeping my carbon footprint down (A point in my favour yes?)  as well as making it easy for myself after the physical wear and tear of military service.

When I loaded the trailer I was pleased.  My own trailer was much smaller and using it would been much more difficult.  Two days instead of half a day.  

To get to the rear of my house and pick up, I had to negotiate an alleyway.  The photo’s below show a couple of skip loads of mixed and bulky household waste which had been fly tipped on what is council property.  This has been spoiling our community for several years.  I first complained in 2016.  See here.

Some of this is newly dumped and some has been there for years. 



Some people who lived here before us tell me you (the council) regularly cleaned this area until a few years ago.   

From our point of view, the right place for rubbish is in the recycling system.  As you can see it doesn’t get there by itself and if you (the council) don’t move it, who will?  Which is why I think the following is not acceptable. 

It was colleague A who said “you can’t bring that in here – your trailers too large”.  Beg pardon?  I sized it deliberately from available resources.  8′ Long, 4′ wide and 4’6″‘ High.  This allowed me to make two runs, One more than I would have liked (the latter with only an armchair and a door.)

When colleague B came over to reinforce this message, I didn’t take kindly to also being told to remove the trailer off the site and load the mattress into my car and bring it back.  Couldn’t see the point of that.  

Thanks for the advice but I hired the trailer to keep my vehicle clean.  I was naturally disappointed to learn that the trailer was too big (IMHO it wasn’t big enough, but it was easily handled by one person.)  That didn’t make sense.  I didn’t see any notices about trailer sizes on the perimeter fence or gate.  I was really disappointed when colleague A said I couldn’t come back in with the second load.

Does Size Really Matter?

Thankfully colleague C was a bit more helpful.  In the spirit of Christmas he “allowed” me to unload and make the second trip. 

What I didn’t say was this:  When our back streets and estates are covered in rubbish do you honestly think it’s appropriate to give people grief for bringing stuff in, in a marginally over-sized trailer?  We really need to be setting an example and getting waste into the recycling system efficiently and effectively.

Notes for Gravesham BC and Kent CC

Your re-cycling policy is failing.  People are living in among other peoples rubbish.  Your staff need to be able recognise and encourage responsible and ethical waste re-cycling.  Its that or the street or countryside.   Not acceptable.

Merry Christmas

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