Letters, Monday, January 2nd, 2012

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Have your say

Best way to deal with city’s waste

I WOULD like to respond to Eddy Moore’s letter of December 27. I am a bit unclear if Mr Moore is suggesting that Houghton Quarry Landfill should be allowed to expand and by so doing save the need for the planned waste transfer station at Hendon or, if the transfer station proceeds, then how do we fill Houghton Quarry?

Well, firstly there is no “we” in filling in Houghton Quarry. The site belongs to Biffa Waste Services and they have for quite some time received waste from a wide area, not just Sunderland. Waste from Hartlepool has been brought to the Houghton site for a couple of years, which probably is the best example of just how stupid our waste strategy is.

Sunderland City Council will transport waste to Teesside (using Sita Ltd) while waste from Teesside will be transported to Houghton Quarry landfill.

This madness will continue until a proper waste strategy is developed. Waste needs to be dealt with as close to where it is produced as possible and not transported miles away.

The Rats group have long suggested that local autoclaving plants are used to treat our waste. Autoclaving steam sterilizes the waste and at the same time greatly reduces its volume. It offers the widest possible recovery of recyclable materials and the material remaining can be used to provide methane gas to run the autoclaving plant, with surplus gas being used to produce electricity for the National Grid.

The remaining sterilized soil-like material, circa 10 per cent of the total waste, can safely be used on land reclamation. Other uses for are also being explored.

Only when we move toward process-engineering companies, as Wakefield Council has, will we provide safe and sustainable waste management. The Wakefield solution to their waste disposal is as described above, but with a central facility. Rats believe smaller, more local ones offer a better solution and should be co-located where the bin motors are garaged, cutting travel to a minimum.

Finally there never has been a need to fill Houghton Quarry. It could and should have been put to a much better use. For example, the site closely resembles the quarry the very successful Eden Project was built in and could have provided an Eden Project of the North. Only one thing stopped that – lack of vision – just like our waste disposal plans.

Coun Colin Wakefield, Leader of the Independent Group and chairman of Houghton Rats

Waste of money

THE good people of Ryhope received their revised bin collection dates leaflet for the festive season on December 19.

Two days later they received – hand delivered – a further leaflet, again informing them of the revised collection dates. However, the hand-delivered one was a little strange. The usual collection day of Monday, January 6, was now to be Wednesday, January 4, an obvious printing error as the Monday is the second of the month not the sixth.

The council waste and recycling team, rather than return the leaflets to the printer, had decided to spend more taxpayers’ money to have the leaflets hand-delivered so that the people of Ryhope can recycle them instead.

Perhaps at the next council elections we can recycle a few councillors and council employees if this is typical of the decisions made on a day-to-day basis

Bob Graham, Tavistock Court, Newbottle

Heavy defeats

I ATTENDED Sunderland’s recent match at Molineux, marking 50 years of watching them. Unfortunately, I missed the 1973 cup win, their one major trophy in the half-century, having broken my leg playing football. It occurs to me, however, that I might now be unique among Sunderland supporters since I witnessed both of the club’s record defeats.

I was a student in London when, on October 19, 1968, I went to Upton Park to see an 8-0 defeat by West Ham, with Geoff Hurst scoring six. By chance, I was working as a teacher in Hertfordshire and went to Vicarage Road on September 25, 1982, to watch a young John Barnes run the Sunderland defence ragged and Watford hand out an 8-0 drubbing.

I guess those of us afflicted with “a love supreme” should get used to the odd heavy defeat, but I would be interested to know whether any other readers saw these two demolitions.

Steve Telford

Bad bus service

THE No. 38 bus service must be the worst in Sunderland. Three times in the last month a bus has broken down, leaving people to wait an extra half-hour for the next one.

Why does half of Hollycarrside, who use the 42 bus, have six buses an hour where we people who live on the other side only have two? The 42 have brand new buses where the 38 gets all the old ones.

If we had one every 20 minutes it would not be so bad. Bus companies need to rethink their routes and take some action.

Mrs Jones, Hollycarrside