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Feb 02

Hurstwood Court Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC), Bolton

I was up at Hurstwood Court HWRC in Bolton today to take surveys for GMWDA (Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority).

I was let in by the site staff and given a short induction before being let loose on the unsuspecting public to get them to take surveys in the freezing cold. I don’t know if it was my authorititive looking hardhat or pity, but I was getting pretty much a 100% hit rate right from the off and there was a steady flow of cars coming up the ramp to drop stuff off.

Household Waste Recycling Centre Manchester

Not that I am any expert in HWRCs but this was the biggest and most modern I have been to. It came into operation last September and was built across the road from another tip (er I mean HWRC) called Raikes Lane which is currently being renovated and when it comes back into operations will be used solely for trade waste.

During the dips in traffic I had the opportunity to survey what was in the huge steel containers where people were throwing everything including the kitchen sink – and a bath, settee etc. There were containers for wood, small appliances, large appliances, rubble and hardcore, 2 for general waste and several more. When the area was clear a caterpillar crane would crush the waste down like a giant foot stamping on the waste so more could be thrown in.

Looking in the containers I did reflect on the fact that from what I could tell a lot of the items in there probably worked OK or were in need of simple repairs (not the crushed ones)

For example there were many desktop pc units, bikes, skooters, skis, a sewing machine, settee and countless electrical items.

I think people will have bought superior and more modern replacements for a lot of this stuff.

I also reflected on the fact that I thought people should be charged for throwing this stuff away. At the minute people can throw away however much they like at the HWRC and don’t have to pay anything to do so so long as its not commercial waste. To me this is unfair as the costs for recycling and disposal are shared equally between these people and with more careful people who use freecycle and throw less away

I am going to try to dig around and find out how much waste and recyclables passes through this site if possible.

After about 4 hours the freezing cold conditions changed – they got worse. It started sleet/ raining. People were seeming more unwilling to answer the survey so I retired to the cabin and decided to call it a day shortly after that.

Hopefully the conditions will be better tomorrow and allow me to make up my hours. As I was leaving one of the men told me conditions are set to worsen tomorrow..

Edit – I did make up the time – on the last day of surveying!

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