Friday, April 03, 2015

Taking rubbish from the North West

Gateshead Council had a scrutiny meeting recently to consider the issue of landfill in the west of the borough. There was a major incident last month in which high winds had blown a huge amount of rubbish from one site in particular, Blaydon Quarry, into neighbouring communities. At the meeting, the Environment Agency was questioned their response to Blaydon Quarry. One member, Paul Foy, claimed that the site was taking rubbish from Manchester. I don't think anyone would want Gateshead to take rubbish, cast offs and waste from the North West, or indeed anywhere else. Sadly, we have to as Gateshead Council has given planning consent in the past to landfill and we have to live with the consequence.

My argument is that putting rubbish into holes in the ground is a completely unsustainable way to deal with waste. We should all be working to reduce the amount of waste we produce. My non-recycling waste wheelie bin is filled only once every 6 weeks. Our recycling bin is put out for collection once a month. We no longer use the garden waste collection service. All organic waste is composted. Garden waste is wherever possible fed to the livestock. Paper is shredded for bedding for the poultry. We try to turn wherever possible our rubbish into a resource. Not everyone will be able to do this to the extent we do in our household, but we can each do our bit.

It was noticeable that when I saw the Blaydon Quarry landfill site last month, much of the windblown waste caught in trees, fences and shrubs nearby was plastic carrier bags. It's great news that Lib Dems in government have taken action to tackle the plastic bag blight by placing a levy on them. But the sooner we stop using them completely, the better.

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