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Charity responds to Wiltshire Council over waste policy comments

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WESTBURY’s Imperial Charity has responded to Wiltshire Council over their current waste disposal policy. 

In issue 707 of White Horse News Imperial Charity said that Wiltshire Council’s waste policy was putting ‘dramatic’ pressure on the charity. 

Bob Summerfield, business manager at Imperial Charity said, “People don’t realise the cost involved to charities of being asked to collect items that are obviously not in a condition to be sold.  This situation is exacerbated by charities not being permitted to take any non-recyclable items to the local depots and restricted to 12 visits per year, for which we have to pay £75 for the privilege!” 

In response, cllr Bridget Wayman, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for waste said, “We reviewed our policy relating to the disposal of waste from charity shops in 2016, in order to avoid disposal costs estimated to be in the order of £40,000 per year.”

She also explained that household recycling centres are becoming congested, with some charities visiting several times a day. 

Following the response from Wiltshire Council, Bob Summerfield responded by saying, “I would like to thank cllr Bridget Wayman for taking the time to read my article on the council’s current waste policy and replying to it. 

“Without wishing to turn this into  an argument and counter-argument saga, I feel I must pick up on one or two points she made and indeed one that wasn’t addressed. With regards to cllr Wayman’s point about the cost of disposal of non re-use items for which she appears to be blaming charities for, baffles me. It seems to escape everyone concerned in the council that if an item is of no further use to anyone and is obviously non-reuseable, it is going to end up in the recycling centre anyway. Does it matter who takes it there?

“Of course I can’t speak for other charities but Imperial Charity has never as a matter of course,  collected items that were not suitable for re-use and taken them straight to the recycling centre and that is not what I was implying. 

“What I was saying was that we are getting called out more often than ever to view/collect items that are obviously unfit to be sold which is not only a waste of time, but also very costly. This is occurring because households are experiencing difficulties in getting the council to collect them and are hopeful that they can convince a charity to take them. It is laudable to hear from cllr Wayman that the contractors employed to remove bulky items regularly exceed their 10 working days’ target to collect these items. In reply, all I can say is that we must be being misled by customers who tell us that on a regular basis they are having to wait for 3–6 weeks, with 3–4 weeks being the norm. Either that, or Westbury and Warminster are being treated  as a special case in order that their targets can be met elsewhere.

“Perhaps the most glaring omission in cllr Wayman’s reply was the failure to address the council’s policy  on people who are physically  unable to get their bulky items on the kerbside, which is a major problem for many people. 

“If this policy has come about because the contractors used are not insured to enter houses, as I am led to believe,  then this has got to be penny pinching in the extreme. The vast majority of people are fully aware of the financial costs of every aspect of life today, but sometimes the human cost is overlooked.”

One Response to Charity responds to Wiltshire Council over waste policy comments

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