Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

A woodland carpet

Eight bags of rubbish were extracted from the undergrowth alongside the 40 metre path between Dutton Road and Lanesborough Rise this morning. That was just from one side - the other will have to wait a couple of weeks till the next bin round comes.

I'm told that when the estate was built, this was an attractively laid out route, with plantings of ornamental trees. You can still pick out the trees among the brambles

But lift a little of the leafmould, and you get the feeling that there's a permanent plastic skin spreading across the surface of the planet.

Along this path, there's plenty of the kind of rubbish you'd expect to be put out in a wheelie bin, but for some reason it's been neatly bagged up, tied - and hurled deep into the brambles.

Apart from that, there are the inevitable drinks cans and plastic bottles, often still half full. Crisp and snack packets too - with bright designs intended to catch the eye of the supermarket customer, now drawing the eye of anyone walking by the woodland.

A bit more curious are the multicoloured mass of cable insulation, the buggy, and the one ladies stiletto heeled red boot. Someone had a painful journey home!

Not much of all this was degradable - it's more likely to degrade the district.

Ironically, to leave it there would have been 'cost-free' in the economists book. By shifting it to the roadside, to be gathered up by the bin men, taken to the waste transfer station, bailed and containerised, and railed off to be reburied in some Buckinghamshire landfill, a few quid will have been added to the council's waste bills.

And maybe today's economists would welcome that as a much needed stimulus to economic activity.

There are always stories of all sorts of nefarious antisocial behaviour in this little piece of woodland. The clues in the rubbish show something different. I think there's a secret cabal of treacle addicts who assemble there by night, beyond the gaze of the dieticians. But I can't explain the heap of carrots further down the hillside. A bit back, there were oranges at the same spot - and before that, bread buns. Any ideas?


Glenn Vowles said...

'Not much of all this was degradable - it's more likely to degrade the district.'

Yes, the evidence is very much with you. See this link that a friend sent me today....

Pete Goodwin said...

Thanks, Glenn. Intuition tells me that a littered spot is more likely to attract more litter, but that article is pretty conclusive proof. A strong link, too, with other minor crime.

I'm having no luck persuading the council teams to deal with flytipping incidents - stuff that was reported several months ago is still there. Plenty more has been tipped in the same places since. If only they'd keep to their target of clearing it in a couple of days, I wonder if things would improve?

Maybe I've set up a social experiment here, with just one side of the path being cleared. Will the 'dirty' side now attract more litter than the 'clean' side? Watch this space.

Chris Hutt said...

Aren't the Council supposed to have a clean 'n' green team who come and deal with fly tipping and suchlike?

Pete Goodwin said...

Yes, they are supposed to! The system's a bit fragmented, and the cost seems to depend on which department owns the land - each should place a separate order on SITA to get the stuff collected. It doesn't always happen though.

DonaQixota said...

Seems to me that the biggest issue here is how to alter the selfish and thoughtless attitudes that cause people to buy and then lazily dump so many pieces of garbage in the first place. This then requires other people to waste their time, and in the case of c&g teams, petrol, picking the wretched stuff up again.

After all a refillable bottle of water and a re-usable box of sandwiches in a proper bag will take you a long way, perfectly well, without the need for all this rubbish.