Friday, 9 March 2012

Down in the dumps or a trip to the tip

Our local recycling and reuse centre used to be approachable on quiet back streets and just 0.7 miles away, off the Walworth Road. It's just been closed by Southwark Council and replaced with a shiny new one 2.7 miles away off the deeply unpleasant A2 just past Rotherhithe Road.

When I got there today I was told off for coming in on my bike with its trailer laden with ancient paint, scrap metal and dead tyres. Apparently I'd ignored the sign which said 'No Bicycles', though when I checked on my way out there wasn't one. Anyway I guess I won't be going back there again.

Instead I thought I could go the other way to Cringle Dock, off Nine Elms Lane, which is 2.1 miles away via the major roads. Checking out the Waste Authority website I found out that it's closing in late Spring, but that doesn't matter as I can't use it anyway:
Unfortunately the site is not suitable for cyclists and pedestrians. If you wish to drop off recyclables or household waste by bicycle or on foot, you may do so at Smugglers Way SW18.
Smugglers Way is near Wandsworth Town Station, 4.8 miles away.

So what used to be a quick mile and a half round trip to the local tip has now become a ten mile expedition.

I know what you're going to suggest: rather than using Southwark's or Wandsworth's centres (which Lambeth residents, at least those who drive a car, are entitled to) I could use Lambeth's in Vale Street, SE27.

Unfortunately that's 5.7 miles away, the best part of a 12 mile round trip.

Given that a large and increasing number of central London residents don't own a car I think there's a flaw in the system.