Wandering round the dust bowl that is Great Park with my grandchildren, one in a pushchair and the other free running, got me thinking about recycling. It’s strange how your mind wanders yet the building site is huge and seems to have been going on forever. It must be nearly twenty years now since the green belt was given over to the development of a massive housing estate with its own town centre and schools. Every time it looks like it is nearing completion another piece of land is opened up. It will soon stretch as far as the airport.
I think it was the dust that made me think about the environment. The ground is very dry and there hasn’t been any proper rain for a few weeks now. I know it’s approaching summer yet this has been a dry and warm spell. In geological terms I have only been on this planet for a fraction of a second yet the climate seemed to have changed in my lifetime.
I must admit that the builders have been very conscientious and have managed to keep the site relatively tidy but construction is both messy and wasteful. The ground is littered with broken bricks, unused mortar, empty caulking tubes, offcuts of material and the inevitable plastic wrap. It all has to go somewhere. A lot stays where it is, only to be covered by topsoil while much will go as hardcore fill on some other project.
There are some obvious things that can be collected and recycled. Wood can be chipped, glass and metal can be melted down to be reformed, yet the plastic continues to be an issue. Naturally I have not been anywhere near the inner workings of the site yet there are no obvious signs of recycling collection points. Perhaps the focus has been on waste reduction and improved distribution rather than reuse.
When I thought about his blog, it was less to do with the problems of working on a building site but rather how complex some of the issues ahead of us are. Everywhere you look there are significant environmental issues to address.
When buying a house I doubt that this is uppermost in our minds. Perhaps it should be?