As regular readers of Forest Row Local will know, a working group sponsored by the Parish Council has been working on a plan to re-open the Household Recycling Centre in the village which was closed by East Sussex County Council in 2018.  Anything connected with waste handling or recycling is a complex business, hedged about with all manner of regulations and licensing requirements, and our plans have already undergone several mutations to meet those demands.  The handling of ‘unwanted materials’ is dominated by very large national companies, and it is not easy for a community-based enterprise to make its mark. 

By the time you read this we will be half-way through our ‘pop-up’ or taster sessions to bring the Tip back to life.  Our October information session was designed to reinforce the message that very little material is ultimately waste that nobody can make use of.  We have perhaps become accustomed to simply throwing things away when we have no further use for them. But we are all now aware that landfill resources are limited, expensive and potentially toxic, and that much of what used to be buried in the ground can be processed back into raw materials, or that many items can, with a little TLC, be re-used or re-purposed by someone else and given a whole new life. 

So a community-based waste/recycling site cannot match the operations of a company like Veolia or Biffa.  We have no access to an industrial incinerator, and landfill taxes are prohibitive.  But we have no ambition to match that approach.  Our aim is firmly to recycle, re-use and re-purpose. Therefore our pop up events will concentrate on accepting categories of material which can be re-processed, and which we know from our survey people have difficulty in disposing of.  It is a deliberately limited aim, for which a heavyweight permit from the Environment Agency is not required.  But we hope it  will reassure the community that the project is serious, and on its way to something more comprehensive, which in time will include a broader range of materials, a re-use shop and possibly a repair facility to turn somebody’s trash into someone else’s treasure.   

Please support this initiative and let us have your feedback.

David O’Driscoll

Parish Clerk