Thursday, 19 March 2009

On 10th April 2009 Kerbside Calderdale will suspend its collection service to 25,000 households in the borough – unless a source of income materialises in the very near future.

The battling recyclers have defied economic gravity since 4th August 2008 when they manifested a determination to carry on collecting despite the withdrawal of funding for the service.

Paul Brannigan has told the Hebden Bridge Web,  “On 10th April we will have survived eight months longer than certain leading figures, within SITA and Calderdale Council, expected or desired.  This was made possible by the single minded loyalty and determination of both our customers and our staff – a fact which is as moving as it is breathtaking.”

Kerbside protest

On the subject of the future Mr Brannigan explained: “We have not stopped fighting and will be asking our customers to put their black boxes in a safe place until we return.  These items may belong to Kerbside but Kerbside belongs to the people of Calderdale.  They are our trustees.”

Kerbside has a full time staff of 18 and also 16 trainees who were being prepared for advancement to employment.  The employees were offered employment by SITA back in August 2008 and it is believed that they will all be offered employment when the collection is suspended.

Kerbside Director, Chris Haddock, confirmed: “Our staff, on performance statistics, show they are the best – any waste management company would be fortunate to employ them.  We gave many of them their first real chance of employment and we would never encourage them to risk unemployment again – particularly in the present climate.  Should we resume our service, they will all be given the opportunity to return to Kerbside.”

The trainees are a much greater concern for Kerbside.  They have no immediate prospects of employment and could find themselves having to return to what, for many of them, was a relatively meaningless existence.

Their training programmes were funded out of profits from the main recycling operation and, at present, no one is stepping in to continue Kerbside’s work.

Chris Haddock explained: “These are some of the most vulnerable people in our community.  They have made phenomenal strides at Kerbside and they were always our greatest concern – one of the main reasons that we decided to keep going – it is very upsetting for everyone concerned.”

On Saturday Kerbside will be having an open day event, starting at 9.00am, at its premises at Luddendenfoot.   Local produce stalls, music, a bar and, above all, the official launch of Kerbside Green Ale.

Paul Brannigan said: “Come and taste the emerald nectar on draught, buy it in bottles and celebrate the work of The Green Machine.”

Paul Brannigan also told the Hebden Bridge Web, "Many people have asked what they can do once if we reached this point. From the suggestions made the most effective one would seem to be a continued boycott of the CMBC-Sita recycling service. It is only hitting them in the targets that will cause them any pain. I think it was referred to as a 'dirty protest' on Hebweb. Sita and CMBC were never going to run out of money, it is us running out of money that has meant the suspension of the service. I don't think it should be Who Has Most Money Wins when there are values and priniciples at stake here. An indefinite protest until Kerbside is reinstated would be a thing of beauty."

See also

Hebweb News: Kerbside's Paul Brannigan to fight election

Hebweb News: Wheelie bins are on their way

Hebweb Forum - Wheelie Bins

Wheelie Bin database - enter your postcode and see if you will be receiving one.

Hebweb News: Calderdale/SITA cut refuse collections to once a fortnight

Kerbside website

Hebweb News: Kerbside Urges firm action from local politicians (Jan 09)

Hebweb News: Talks break down: Sita reject Kerbside (Dec 08)

Hebweb Forum - Kerbside, what next?

Hebweb News: Kerbside: the gloves are off - report of public meeting of 29th November (Nov 09)

Hebweb Forum - Barbara Green's plea to write to Hazel Blears

Hebweb News: Halifax demonstration (July 2008)

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