Waste site should be moved, not ‘recycled’

NO doubt some of the residents of Todmorden and Hebden Bridge have noticed that Calderdale Council are inviting them to have thjeir say on improving the Household Waste Recycling Station at Eastwood, which has now become unfit for purpose.

Some local and older residents may remember the vitriolic planning dispute that took place with Calderdale in the first place and perhaps some of them at least would say that it has never been fit for purpose.

They are planning to upgrade the site and for approx. 18 months were doing it covertly, only recently coming out of the shadows and admitting that they have a problem.

Most road users between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden have witnessed or been caught up in the standing traffic caused by the ludicrous, unannounced acts of closing the gates for skip movements whilst clearly advertising that the gates are open.

As a former resident who was resident when the whole debacle started, I have first hand experience of how frustrating, dangerous and ridiculous all this has become. I am still the owner of the property nearest to it, but I now live in France, and it appears that because I now live abroad, they can continue devaluing my property and the right to peaceful enjoyment of it.

Until recently, they have ignored residents’ feelings by denying there was a problem. Calderdale are now pretending that they are the good guys and admitting they did not get it right.

They have even told us that they have looked at the options for other sites in both Todmorden and Hebden Bridge that are available and most certainly satisfy national and EU criteria by being more central to where the waste is being produced, therefore cutting down on traffic journey length and time in order for the residents to recycle their waste.

As you can imagine such sites should be a lot further away than the 20 yards it is from my house – can you imagine what the effect of their bottle bank alone has on the peace and quiet of the area nine hours a day, seven days a week? Calderdale and others would argue that I knew what was there when I bought the property, which is true, but, believe me the escalation of the site usage along with the traffic problems caused by it, is far worse than anybody could or would have conceivably imagined.

In effect they are now asking residents of both towns whether or not they want the site nearer their doorstep, where it should be, or leave it on our doorstep, where it shouldn’t. Recycling waste by the public at Eastwood is not green and is not cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions because the thousands of journeys that the residents make there each week.

Calderdale is asking residents to do their dirty work by cleverly giving them the option to say “not in my back yard” and sod the atmosphere. Catch 22 perhaps?

Peter Walton