Joyce Wade, who has run Wade’s in Ipswich for 47 years, had a visit from a council jobsworth to tell her that her waste (less than 5kg) could no longer be taken to the tip by herself or her son. Instead, she must buy 50 bin bags from the council for £45 and this will give her a certificate demonstrating her duty of care. The council would then come to her to collect the rubbish. Joyce, who has a tiny business, often buys from supermarkets and therefore has no outers to dispose of and hence little waste for a c-store business. However, the council could not pinpoint pick-up times, offering her a six-hour window instead, and because she feared leaving her rubbish outside for that long as a fire hazard, she offered to deliver it to the council-approved tip. Nope, not allowed.
Let me explain her fear and let me warn you, this is not for the faint-hearted. Nine years ago “the balaclavas came through the door” as she puts it. They murdered her husband. The police caught and sentenced three of them but while the robbers were in prison her garage burnt down and the police suspected arson – an ‘inside job’ as it were. When we spoke she was dreading Bonfire Night because of what might be put through the letterbox and she is afraid to put rubbish outside as she is convinced that yobs will see it as a tinderbox. I ask you. Do you recognise our country? Sometimes I bloody don’t. Joyce will be 72 on Christmas Eve and she is very close to having had enough. All she needs right now is this sort of ‘rubbish’ from the council.