Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Reduce, REPAIR, Reuse, Recycle

The earlier post on this subject which I copied from Cllr Paul Canal (A Redbridge Blue) is, and has been for quite some time now, the most popular (by some margin) post on this blog, with most of the hits coming via search engines from all over the world. Paul is our Redbridge Waste Guru and Chair of the Waste Working Party that produced this 54 page glossy magazine earlier this year and which was put to cabinet on 11th September 2012. While it looks ahead and postulates strategies to deal with our waste in the longer term you will notice immediately from the content that the potential big reduction in expenditure for council tax-payers is in the area of “preventing stuff from entering the waste stream in the first place”.

As you will see the report is titled “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mirroring the conventional waste hierarchy diagram that has appeared here and all over the web. However, there is an “R” word missing – REPAIR. I suppose you could argue that Repair is encompased within the word Reduce, but I think it should have it’s own status on the chart at number 2 just to remind people that you don’t have to throw things away when they break or develop a fault.

When a button falls off your shirt or blouse do you sew it back on again? If the zip on your trousers or skirt breaks do you get out the sewing machine and fit a new one? Or do you know someone who can do that for you? Or do those garments just get thrown out? The old fashioned Haberdasher is long gone but if you look you will find places that still trade in such items – there’s Regents down in Chapel Road in Ilford. And for footwear we are still fortunate to have two Cobblers on our own High Street. Talking of cobblers who else still owns a cast iron Hobbing Foot? They make good door stops (Reuse).

Most people don’t think twice about having their car repaired when it breaks down, but do when faced with an upwards of £60 call out fee for an ailing washine machine or similar. My washing machine, which bit the dust earlier this year, was 12 years old and I repaired it several times before it’s demise with the help of some on-line tuition, pictures and diagrams on a website which is sadly no longer there.

And this, pictured left, was recently on it’s way to the Brentwood tip before I took it home and repaired it. The thing about a vaccuum cleaner is that all it consists of is a switch, a motor and a load of plastic pipes. It didn’t take long to establish that the motor had blown and to get a new one from KDS Appliances (recommended) down in Beehive Lane on the corner with Fairholme Road. It cost £53 slightly more than sourcing it off the internet but I like to support local business and you do actually get to talk to someone who knows their stuff. The vaccuum cleaner is now restored to it’s owner who also has an electric oven not working and which I tested on Saturday. There was a current leakage from live to earth in the element which was tripping the ELCB. Guess where I’m going tomorrow to get him a new element.

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