Feb 08

Beal Hey Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC), Chandos Street in Shaw and Arkwright Street, Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC), Oldham

Yesterday I was up in Shaw near Oldham taking more surveys.

It was freezing and I was counting down the clock from after about the first hour.

The men on site made me feel welcome despite appearing initially reluctant for the surveys to be taken. I think this was down to the fact that the men didn’t know I was coming. When I arrive the chargehand said – ‘what’s the point in doing surveys if they’re going to close the site?’

He was refering to news which had appeared over the weekend including on the BBC website which was that a number of sites have been earmarked for closure pending a review. Coincidentally the 4 listed in the BBC article are 4 out of the 6 which I am visiting last week and this week……

The site at Shaw is quite small but there were certainly many people making use of it despite the conditions.

Some people were asking me about the possible closure and the staff were discussing it with the public which was only natural really.

Since I don’t work for the waste authority I havn’t a clue what their plans are.

One bloke was taking an interest in some of the discarded items. He told me in Scarborough they have a scheme at the HWRC where people can bring items which are still of value eg. they still work or are in need of minor repairs. We took a look at a few bikes and other items like a trolley which still seemed to work OK and may have needed minor repairs.

I have been thinking it is actually madness not to have this type of function at all HWRCs based on what I have seen so far.

I saw the clothes get unloaded for the first time in Shaw. Basically the steel container is lifeted up, the bottom drops out and the crane shakes the container around a bit until all the clothes fall out. I suspect this system is a bit tough on some of the clothes…

There were a few spell where the rain became a bit too heavy to do surveys but I still got a fair few done in Shaw.

Arkwright Street

Household Waste Recycling Centre Manchester

Such was the willingness to complete surveys at Arkwright St today that I managed 3 figures – a cool 100 surveys all told.

This was no doubt aided by the fact that there was a constant stream of punters coming through with their waste and recycling.

A surprising thing I have noticed at the sites, particularly the last 3 sites I have been at is the amount of people who stop by on a regular basis to dump excess waste from their bin at home. Refuse collectors won’t take ‘sidewaste’ or waste which is over and above what can fit in the wheelie bin and it seems quite a number of residents have responded by taking this rubbish to the local HWRC.

In my view this completely defeats the point of residents only being allowed 1 bin for household waste.

This furthers my case for charging at HWRCs as a waste reduction measure.

Arkwright street is a very modern site and with the way waste is so quickly and efficiently processed I can’t help thinking of it a bit now like a slaughterhouse. Whoever has designed the system has got the waste disposal down to a fine art with no thought of the moral implications.

Trade waste – the men asked me if I would mind looking out for potential tradesmen to target for surveying and I was happy to oblige. They said it is a constant battle to keep tradesmen out with them trying to put everything in black bags and believing that if they said they said they had wallpaper they woud be let through before everyone started trying the wallpaper trick and it became obvious that half of Oldham was not continually decorating.

There were a number of vans on their today who were suspected of being trades and I have to agree I thought they were. One bloke was looking very shifty when I asked him for his postcode but some would fill in the survey no bother. I don’t think they are very worried about the consequences of their illeagal actions from what I saw. In fact one man openly told me he had brought a number of bags of glass bottles from his club, he didn’t even seem aware that it was illeagal for him to dump them at Arkwright street.

All this will be going into my conclusions next week.


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