Strong reaction to news of Cessnock City Council dump shop closure

Cessnock Council’s decision to permanently close the reuse centre at the city’s rubbish dump is an interesting one.

Roger Davies at the Cessnock Waste and Reuse Centre. Picture: Simone De Peak

Roger Davies at the Cessnock Waste and Reuse Centre. Picture: Simone De Peak

News on Tuesday that council would shut down the dump shop on December 2 attracted a high level of interest on social media.

Fairfax Media’s story that broke the news was shared more than 40 times on Facebook in the first two hours and attracted dozens of comments after it was posted online.

“20+ years this service has been in Cessnock enabling the community to recycle and upcycle reusable goods, offering employment opportunities and most of all reducing landfill,” reader Robbie Widdrington posted.

While some comments took aim at the price of goods at the store, many others lamented that they would no longer be able to visit the tip and claim someone else’s trash as their own treasure.

The decision to close came amid Cessnock Council’s revamp of its rubbish dump.

After going to tender for a new dump shop, council decided it wasn’t financially worthwhile to replace the outlet.

East Cessnock Recycling owner Roger Davies (pictured) said he was “extremely disappointed”.

He told Fairfax Media the decision would affect people around the Hunter, because many customers travelled from across the region to shop at the Cessnock dump.

Many people would have fond memories of parents or grandparents taking them to the dump shop when they were children to see what they could discover.

The concept came in an era when being allowed to show up to the local tip and rummage through the piles of discarded rubbish was being allowed in fewer places.

Since Australia’s first one opened in Tasmania in the early 1990s, the facilities have become popular endeavours for councils across Australia as they looked for ways to reduce garbage being left at increasingly swollen landfill sites.

In a time when there is an increasing focus on the need to waste less and recycle more, it’s an interesting decision by Cessnock Council to abandon plans for a new centre at its revamped tip.

While it’s good news that people will be redirected to charity stores if they have unwanted but re-usable items, the closure will clearly disappoint some people in the community.