One of the most short sighted decisions of the York Council’s Labour administration between 2011 – 2015 was their decision to scrap plans for a “reuse and salvage” centre.
The facility could have been located at Harewood Whin and – as well as replacing the Beckfield Lane recycling facility which was closed in 2012 – would have provided 21st century salvage facilities for surplus items in the City.
More important, it would have introduced a more professional approach to the re-use of unwanted, but still serviceable, items.
That need is currently partly met by the internet based Freecycle and similar groups but large numbers of usable objects still find themselves in the land-fill stream.
Today, visitors to the Hazel Court amenity site witnesses a good example of the issue. One resident arrived with a set of perfectly serviceable wooden dining chairs. They would have found their way into the timber recycling skip had not another visitor offered them a new home. But that was down to luck not planning.
Recycling is more costly, and energy intensive, than simply reusing items…..even if some need repair or a coat of paint.
The Council still persists in asking residents to drop electrical goods into a steel container from a height of 3 metres jeopardising any opportunity to reuse the computers, printers, phones and other potentially valuable items which fill the skip each day.
The Council must take an independent look at the range of re-use services that are available in the city.
They then need to expand them and make sure that the options available are communicated regularly, and effectively, to local residents.