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The Christmas and New Year holidays were not ambushed by the snowy and icy weather that had threatened - well - in my neck of the woods anyway, so I took advantage of mild days and an extended break from producing Cleanzine to do some much needed clearing out in my home and garden. This resulted in numerous trips to the British Heart Foundation shop (which takes furniture and electrical goods) and other charity shops, as well as frequent visits to the local dump.
I was not the only one making changes at home and the dump was fairly busy. It's always well staffed and seems pretty well organised with council workers directing residents to where they needed to take their various unwanted goods and helping carry heavy items.
On each trip I was dismayed to see skips full of clearly reusable items, from household and office furniture of all types to toys and garden items - much of it newer and in seemingly better condition than that which I have at home. The charity shops could have had a field day with that lot!
This was just Epsom though, and I paused over a lovely sofa wondering how many such items were being dumped in local amenity tips throughout the UK, which would have been loved and valued by those who can't afford to buy them new. And then I thought of how many of these items were also being so thoughtlessly discarded throughout the civilised world.
Civilised? Well... when you consider that huge parts of the world are wanting, and parts of it seem to have such abundance that items others would covet can be so easily confined to rapidly filling landfill sites or sent for incineration, I question just how civilised we all are.
The New Year is a time for making resolutions. It's January. Let's help one another and help the planet by disposing of our unwanted goods in a responsible fashion. You may not want it, but there's a good chance that someone else will, so use the Web to find out how to dispose of it in the best way possible. It will make you feel virtuous, it will allow local authorities to redeploy the people manning these tips to cover areas where there is insufficient manpower and will help keep our taxes down too!
19th January 2012