Recycling conundrum

  S5W 14:57 30 Dec 2008

A couple of years ago when I was preparing to move from my old address to my present, smaller one I gave lots of saleable items to a local charity shop, they refused to accept anything electrical, even a battery operated tape player; they said it was "instructions from head office". A second similar shop told me over the phone that it was also their policy.
After settling in here I went to the local tip to dispose of a mountain of flattened cardboard boxes; the place was a cornucopia if recycling, everything from old lawnmowers, TVs and vacuum cleaners to tables, chairs, crockery etc. was cleaned up by the lads who worked there and put out for anyone to take home for a derisory sum of money. A neighbour bought an excellent bike for riding into the village.
Then the local council gave the job of operating the tip to a commecial firm. Now no recycling takes place, everything is thrown into skips, compressed and taken away to heaven knows where.
Why this vandalism? Probably the unintended consequence of a piece of bad legislation. But I won't go into that.

  Forum Editor 15:05 30 Dec 2008

of a piece of bad legislation"

Not really - it's a common-sense reticence on the part of your local authority to risk the possibility of being sued for negligence when someone electrocutes themselves, or the brakes fail on that bike and sends a child under the wheels of a bus.

Charity shops don't take electrical items for the same reason - they could be held liable for damages if a person is electrocuted by that toaster someone donated.

  €dstowe 15:05 30 Dec 2008

Not quite recycling but, what does one do with old knives?

I was given a set of high quality, very sharp kitchen/cooking knives by Santa. This means my old ones are pretty much redundant. I can't put them in the bin, obviously. The tip won't accept them because of legal restrictions and apparently the police will only accept them if there is a knife amnesty in progress.

Anyone know?

  Forum Editor 15:07 30 Dec 2008

Why not?

  Pamy 15:09 30 Dec 2008

I think when a commercial bussines takes over then they do not want to be responsible and get sued for any faulty item, From their point it is better to scrap everything.

  The Brigadier 15:11 30 Dec 2008

My local council tip is run by a contractor to the council.
You can recycle nearly everything including foil & bra's!
The have a monthly target & reach it normally.
The "big" thing for 2008 was garden waste & this they sell on.
Sadly some councils are not as pro-active as others are!

  S5W 15:51 30 Dec 2008

There is no 'commonsense' in destroying perfectly serviceable items which one party does not want yet another would wish to use. As for suing for negligence, when the second party accepts the used item it should be their responsibility to check it is safe/roadworthy etc. That was for years the 'make do and mend' mentality which worked well.
Laws which encourage people to sue almost for the sake of it or to make a quick buck are gradually strangling us and those with responsible jobs should realize this before it is too late.

  Pamy 16:41 30 Dec 2008

I think it is not so much the laws, but the money grabing solicitor companies. No win -no fee etc.

  interzone55 17:52 30 Dec 2008

Charity shops will not take electrical items because they don't have the facilities to test the items.

Under the sale of goods act any retailer must ensure that goods are safe & serviceable, even if they're second hand.

  Forum Editor 17:52 30 Dec 2008

"There is no 'commonsense' in destroying perfectly serviceable items"

But that's the whole point; charities, and local authorities aren't able to determine when an electrical item is 'perfectly serviceable', so they can't take the risk. There's no mystery here at all, a case for negligence would be very likely to succeed if someone was killed by a faulty appliance. The person selling the item has a duty of care in law - it's not a new thing, it's been the case for many years.

If you sell me a second-hand iron and it electrocutes a member of my family I can sue you because you didn't notify me it was faulty - you have a duty of care to ensure that as far as is reasonably possible you don't sell something that is dangerous.

  S5W 18:51 30 Dec 2008

Forum Editor
Thanks for your reasoned reply. As far as electrical and mechanical devices are concerned you have a very strong case but there used to be (still is?)a type of sale agreement known as "as seen" which meant that the purchaser took responsibility for the goods as soon as the price was paid; perhaps the duty of care was still maintained, I do not know.
When it comes to mundane household goods such as chairs, tables, other furniture and crockery etc. there must be a limit to the responsibility of the seller. My local Post Office is full of Articles for Sale notices and the trade goes on to everyones satisfaction.
We must surely learn or relearn the principle of responsibility for our own
actions if we are to consider ourselves mature adults and not irresponsible children who certainly need protection from themselves.
Anyway thanks for the feedback.

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