Thursday, 15 May 2008

Hafod Quarry landfill site

This is the daily reality of the Hafod Quarry landfill site. For many residents of Ruabon, the stench is becoming unbearable and Plaid councillor Barrie Price will be taking forward the campaign against the continued tipping once in post.

Hafod Environmental Group are still hopeful that no further progress in the landfilling at Hafod will extend beyond the present limit of Phases A and B. The group believes there have been several breaches of EU legislation at the site, which if upheld by the Committee of Petitions in the European Parliament, could result in a substantial fine.
 The present modification order, which is with the Assembly's Planning Inspectorate, should also be restricted to Phases A and B.
 If the landfill is stopped at Phase B, then the remaining Phases C, D and E could in time be turned into a country park or something similar for use by the wider community.

6 comments:

Dba said...

do they thow plastic chairs in the landfill, if so,should this be stopped

Dba said...

A Wrexham woman is facing a possible criminal charge of theft under Section 1 of the Theft Act 1968 for allegedly taking four green plastic garden chairs out of the landfill skip at the local household 'recycling' centre.

A green plastic garden chair



The 'recycling' centre is owned by Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC) and run by the Waste 'Recycling' Group (WRG) under contract. The alleged theft was reported by WRG to WCBC, who apparently own the stuff in the skips that they then chuck into landfill, and it is WCBC who asked the police to investigate the matter. It also had the option of taking a civil action under the Environmental Protection Act. Stopping people from rescuing stuff from landfill is a serious business for the council.

The council's 'Vision, Strategic Aims and Priorities' for 2008-9 include the following: "We are committed to dealing with waste in the most economical and environmentally sustainable way – setting an aspirational target to divert 40% of municipal waste away from landfill. We also aim to recycle, reuse or compost 65% of the waste received at household recycling centres..." It is difficult to see why the council would seek a theft charge against someone who was helping to achieve that target.

Instead of politely telling the council not to waste their time, the cops obligingly arrested and interviewed the suspected 'thief' just over a week ago and threatened to search her house and garden in order to recover the 'stolen' goods which they say must be returned to their 'rightful owner' (so they can be put back in the landfill skip, presumably). When the suspect answered bail today, she was told that the police would like to arrange a photo/video identity parade before submitting a file to the Crown Prosecution Service which will have to decide whether prosecuting the case would be good use of public money and in the public interest etc.

In the council's view it is just too risky to allow anyone to take plastic garden chairs out of skips. Just suppose there was a problem with one of the chairs, and just further suppose that this problem wasn't noticed and a child should sit on that chair and fall off and injure themselves, and just suppose that the parent of that injured child came back to the council and threatened to sue. Just suppose, eh! Never mind that the council is supposed to be conserving its dwindling landfill capacity; never mind that the mixture of plastics and other chemicals that end up in landfill poison the earth and lead to babies being miscarried or born with cleft palates, that children develop breathing problems and tumours from living near landfill. The causes of such tragedies are much harder to prove in the courts.

Given that the suspect in this alleged crime has been attempting to persuade the council to set up a proper re-use section at each of its household 'recycling' centres for some time now, making polite, sensible and helpful suggestions that have been stubbornly rejected or ignored, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the council is trying to shut up the troublesome citizen by reporting this 'theft' to the police.

Although WCBC and WRG have lots of excuses about how a re-use scheme would not be possible, desirable or workable, and could leave them open to prosecution if faulty goods were taken for re-use, councils in many places including Islington and the Isle of Man operate just such schemes, apparently without any problems and keeping large amounts of stuff out of landfill. The council claims that it has tried a scheme like this before but withdrawn it after complaints from the public. On closer scrutiny, it turns out that this was a scheme whereby 'totters' sorted through people's rubbish as they put it into the skip, which some people found upsetting, whereas a proper re-use scheme would allow members of the public themselves to select those items which might be useful to someone else, and leave them in a covered area within the recycling centre (or elsewhere) for other people to take for their own use.

Freeconomy Wrexham has recently set up a small re-use scheme which is proving very popular, and which has satisfied the Trading Standards department of the same WCBC that it is operating safely and responsibly. It's a bit of a mystery why the Environmental Services Department of WCBC has such difficulties with the concept of re-use, especially since it's right near the top of the waste 'hierarchy' which the council claims to be committed to.

It does look as if the police are determined that the case should be prosecuted, and if it goes ahead, it should prove a very interesting court case. If anyone has experience of such cases, it would be good to hear from you.

Dba said...

would it not be more helpfull to our communitys and landfill sites to set up an enderprise,which would help people who can not afford to buy items,all electrical items would be tested etc,i for one would be willing to talk to anyone who would like to see this be a reality,while freeconomy do a lot, i feel we need to get to the skips and liberate electrical items worth a second home, would any one back me on this idea this project would cost the council nothing, http://www.foursquare.org.uk/efi.htm

Dba said...

PRESS RELEASE
22 MAY 2008

EMBARGOED until 9:00 am Thursday 22 May

Plastic Garden Chairs - saved from landfill or stolen?

If you have not seen previous reports, read 'background' towards the bottom of this email first.

Genny Bove, 46, of Moss, Wrexham, has now made the following statement about the alleged theft in a letter to the police, which should be received at Wrexham police station this morning:


STATEMENT TO THE POLICE


I am writing to make a statement concerning the alleged theft of four plastic garden chairs from the Brymbo household recycling centre at Lodge, Wrexham, on 2 May 2008.

I cannot believe that any reasonable person would think that removing usable items from the landfill skip constitutes theft, still less decide to call the police and ask them to waste valuable police time investigating this alleged offence. I would have thought that almost anything else the police do would be a higher priority.



A lot of police time has already been spent on this case:



the police have sent an officer round to my house to investigate
the officer and his sergeant spent time interviewing me at Coedpoeth local police station
the officer then attended Wrexham police station to interview me on tape under caution
time was spent by the custody officer completing a large number of forms when I was arrested
my photograph, dna and fingerprints were taken
I was bailed to return to Wrexham police station, only to be told that arrangements which should have been in place before my return had not yet been made
I was re-bailed to return to the police station next week to take part in an identity video parade

There is no real victim in this alleged theft, since Waste Recycling Group (WRG) on behalf of Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC), the supposed owner of the allegedly stolen goods, was about to commit the chairs to landfill, a practice which goes against the council’s own waste management priorities.


Wrexham County Borough Council's 'Vision, Strategic Aims and Priorities' for 2008-9 include the following: "We are committed to dealing with waste in the most economical and environmentally sustainable way – setting an aspirational target to divert 40% of municipal waste away from landfill. We also aim to recycle, reuse or compost 65% of the waste received at household recycling centres..."

I find it difficult to see why the council would seek a theft charge against someone who was helping to achieve that target.

However, since the police have decided that a thorough investigation of this matter is appropriate and are now proposing to hold a video identity parade, I have decided to make the following statement to save further waste of police time and resources in attempting to establish that I took chairs from the skip on the day in question. If the case is prosecuted in court, the question of whether I did or did not remove the chairs would not be an issue in my defence.

On 2 May 2008, I removed four green plastic garden chairs from the landfill skip at the Brymbo household recycling centre at Lodge, Wrexham.

Signed



Genevieve Bove

21 May 2008

-----------------------------------------------------

WHAT'S WRONG WITH PLASTIC IN LANDFILL?

In the words of long-time campaigner against landfill, Pauline Smout of Ruabon, Wrexham:

"The emission of toxins such as dioxins and furans from landfill gas flares and generators as a result of deposited plastics is one of the major concerns for residents living close to landfill sites."

----------------------------------------------------

THE COUNCIL RESPONSE (unconfirmed)

According to the chief reporter of the Wrexham Evening Leader, Laura Hughes,

"the council said they called the police because you were rooting around in the skip which is very dangerous and not allowed. They didn't press charges though, so I don't know what is going on with the police now?"

Genny has responded as follows:

"If that is what was said, then I contest all aspects of the council's account.

"There was no 'rooting around in the skip'. The chairs were sitting right on top of everything else.

"It may help to know that the police were not called while I was at the recycling centre.

"The decision to inform the police and report the matter as alleged theft was, according to the police, only made by WCBC after discussion between WRG and council officers, and the police will no doubt have a log of the time they were contacted and what they were asked to investigate."

---------------------------------------------

BACKGROUND


A Wrexham woman is facing a possible criminal charge of theft under Section 1 of the Theft Act 1968 for allegedly taking four green plastic garden chairs out of the landfill skip at the local household 'recycling' centre on Friday 2 May 2008. Things that are put in the general waste or landfill skip at the 'recycling' centre go straight to landfill.


The 'recycling' centre is owned by Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC) and run by the Waste 'Recycling' Group (WRG) under contract. The alleged theft was reported by WRG to WCBC, who apparently own the stuff in the skips that they then send straight to landfill, and it is WCBC who asked the police to investigate the matter. It also had the option of taking a civil action under the Environmental Protection Act. Stopping people from rescuing stuff from landfill is a serious business for the council.

Instead of politely telling the council not to waste their time, the police obligingly arrested and interviewed the suspected 'thief' just over a week ago, took DNA and fingerprints and threatened to obtain a warrant to search her house and garden in order to recover the 'stolen' goods which they say must be returned to their 'rightful owner' (so they can be put back in the landfill skip, presumably).



When the suspect answered bail on Tuesday 20 May, she was told that the police would like to arrange a photo/video identity parade before submitting a file to the Crown Prosecution Service which will then have to decide whether prosecuting the case would be good use of public money and in the public interest etc. Rather than have the police waste even more public money on this, the suspect has decided to make a statement to the police (above).

In the council's view it is just too risky to allow anyone to take plastic garden chairs out of skips. Just suppose there was a problem with one of the chairs, and just further suppose that this problem wasn't noticed and a child should sit on that chair and fall off and injure themselves, and just suppose that the parent of that injured child came back to the council and threatened to sue. Just suppose, eh! Never mind that the council is supposed to be conserving its dwindling landfill capacity; never mind that the mixture of plastics and other chemicals that end up in landfill poison the earth and air and lead to babies being miscarried or born with cleft palates, that children develop breathing problems and tumours from living near landfill. The causes of such tragedies are much harder to prove in the courts.

Although WCBC and WRG have lots of excuses about how a re-use scheme would not be possible, desirable or workable, and could leave them open to prosecution if faulty goods were taken for re-use, councils in many places including Edinburgh, Islington and the Isle of Man operate just such schemes, apparently without any problems and keeping large amounts of stuff out of landfill and in local communities, often benefiting the poorest in those communities.



The council claims that it has tried a scheme like this before but withdrawn it after complaints from the public. On closer scrutiny, it turns out that this was a scheme whereby 'totters' sorted through people's rubbish as they put it into the skip, which some people found upsetting, whereas a proper re-use scheme would allow members of the public themselves to select those items which might be useful to someone else, and leave them in a covered area within the recycling centre (or elsewhere) for other people to take for their own use.



Given that the suspect in this alleged crime has been attempting to persuade the council to set up a proper re-use section at each of its household 'recycling' centres for some time now, making polite, sensible and helpful suggestions that have been stubbornly rejected or ignored, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the council is trying to shut up the troublesome citizen by reporting this 'theft' to the police.

A group of unpaid volunteers - Freeconomy Wrexham - has recently set up a small re-use scheme which is proving very popular locally, and which has satisfied the Trading Standards department of the same WCBC that it is operating safely and responsibly. It is a bit of a mystery why the Environmental Services Department of WCBC, on the other hand, has such difficulties with the concept of re-use, especially since it's right near the top of the waste 'hierarchy' which the council claims to be committed to.


NOTES

Genny will be available for interview on Thursday afternoon from 2pm on 0845 330 4505.

Genny is a member of the Freeconomy Wrexham group which is running free 'Bring and Take' events around Wrexham to keep usable items, things that might otherwise end up in landfill, in the local community. All members of Freeconomy Wrexham give their time and energy for free. All items given out at the group's 'Bring and Take' days are completely free of charge - i.e. given away, not sold. Collection and delivery of larger items in the immediate local area on Bring and Take days is also free, as are all the refreshments provided at the events. The group aims to show through practical action that re-use is viable, desirable and environmentally friendly, reducing landfill, promoting sharing and goodwill in local communities and benefiting those who cannot afford to buy new items.

Dba said...

Hi again

As a follow-up to all that chair nonsense I sent round earlier, BBC
Radio Wales has asked me to be on a phone-in programme tomorrow
lunchtime - the Richard Evans show or something. Might not be a good
idea, but I've agreed anyway. The police are going to have loads and
loads of evidence for their court case against me now! :o)

If you would like to phone in and express your opinion about this issue
- is it theft to take green plastic chairs from the landfill skip? Is it
acceptable for the council to allow green plastic chairs to go to
landfill and call the police when someone tries to do something about
it?, I think you can call Richard Evans between 12 and 2 on 08700 100
110 or txt 07786 201040.

Please pass on to anyone else you think might be interested.

Ta

Genny

Dba said...

BBC Radio wales on line, 12,o clock
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/mainframe.shtml?http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/wales.shtml