One of the most bizarre arrests of recent years was that of Wrecsam environmental activist Genny Bove back in 2008 for taking plastic chairs out of a council skip to re-use them. Re-use being the best way to reduce waste.
The case was covered briefly on this blog but Plaid councillors also raised the wider issue with officers after being elected. We argued that people should be able to take away unwanted goods from the council's skip sites and that a specific bay should be created for that use.
Two years ago, that argument was ruled unworkable due to health and safety grounds but it's interesting to note that such a policy has come to pass and that we now have a social enterprise called New 2 You taking unwanted goods from the council's own sites - except now it's with permission rather than getting arrested!
New 2 You has meant that 17 tonnes of goods have been re-used in the community rather than going to landfill - not only saving the council money by paying less Landfill Tax, but also in helping to provide affordable furniture for people.
Like the proverbial oil tanker, the council sometimes takes a long time to turn around. All the indications suggest that this is changing - let's hope so.