Reminder for recycling centre users

Skull discovered at recycling centreSkull discovered at recycling centre

Posted on: 21 September 2015

A reminder is being issued to users of Devon County Council’s recycling centres to think about the waste which they are taking to the sites.

It follows the discovery of a human skull in the general waste skip at Sutton Barton Recycling Centre near Honiton on Thursday 17 September. The centre was closed for a few hours as Police had to be called to the site to examine the skull. On closer inspection it was found that the skull had been used for educational purposes.

This is the latest in a series of incidents this year in which suspicious or potentially dangerous items have been taken to Devon recycling centres, prompting sites to be temporarily closed.

In June, marine flares were taken to the recycling centre at Punchbowl in Crediton by a member of the public. In the same month, a tank mortar shell was found in a bucket of metal items at Bideford recycling centre. Both sites had to be evacuated and closed for a number of hours while bomb disposal experts removed the items.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “We have had a few incidents this year where the centres have had to be closed either due to potentially hazardous items being brought in by members of the public, or items which have caused concern. These closures have been avoidable, and have diverted the valuable resources of the Police and the Bomb Squad away from any other essential work.

“Some people may consider something that’s been sat in their loft or garden shed for years as completely harmless, but it’s a question of perception, so we would like to remind people to check and think about what they’re planning to take to the recycling centre. Wherever possible, it would help if members of the public could make staff on site aware of anything unusual they may have brought to the site.

“Otherwise it causes unnecessary disruption and inconvenience for other site users and, even more seriously, it can also put the public and staff at risk of injury or worse. However, flares, fireworks and ammunition should never be brought to our recycling centres.”

For advice on disposing of flares, fireworks or ammunition contact your local Police/Coastguard station.

Posted in: Environment