Man's anger as council blocks fridge exchange between two men at tip

Strumpshaw Recycling Centre prepares for the busy Bank Holiday Easter weekendPhoto:Antony KellyC

Strumpshaw Recycling Centre near Brundall - Credit: Archant

A man who was prevented from buying a brand new "plastic-wrapped fridge" left by a fellow rubbish-dumper at a Norfolk recycling tip has criticised the council for being "wasteful".

Martin, 63 from Norwich, visited Norfolk County Council's Strumpshaw Recycling Centre on Wednesday, March 17 as a favour for a friend.

Recycling centres are closing across Norfolk. Picture: Ian Burt

Recycling centres across Norfolk are not yet selling reused goods on site while their shops remain closed - Credit: IAN BURT

While there, he claims he came across a man getting rid of brand new polythene-covered appliances "from a kitchen which cost £27,000 in total". The man, he said, told him the items he was dumping "had not been to his wife's tastes".

But after asking whether he could buy the discarded fridge and freezer for a house he was renovating, Martin was told by a staff member this was prohibited - and that the items would be stripped and scrapped in due course.

Martin, who does not want to reveal his last name, said he was shocked at the "pointless wastefulness" of council policy.

"Even if these are later reused and sold on at separate recycling sites it just seems like an unnecessary taxpayer expense. I was willing to take them there and then: why couldn't I?", he said.

Recycling rattling along the conveyor belts to be sorted (photo: Angie Sharpe)

Recycling rattling along the conveyor belts to be sorted - Credit: Angela Sharpe Photography

"Not only that, but all the transportation and storage of these goods is bad for the environment. It's just silly."

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NCC's Waste Reduction and Recycling Manager, Kate Murrell, said it was council policy not to allow direct personal transactions on a council site.

She said: "If these items were in a safe and reusable condition, our contractor will have diverted them for reuse and they will not have gone to waste.

"Our reuse shops welcome donations of good quality second hand pieces and sell these on at bargain car boot prices.

"We’re storing up items at the moment and are looking forward to welcoming people back to our network of reuse shops when Covid guidelines allow.

Queues of people were seen waiting to visit the household recycling centre on Boleness Road in Wisbe

The man was blocked from buying a fridge and freezer off another tip user by a member of council staff - Credit: Archant

"Each shop stops an average of 100 tonnes of reusable items being thrown away every year, and although space and testing regulations mean we can’t stock white goods in our reuse shops, we’re pleased they are not thrown away and good quality white goods will be taken for reuse elsewhere."