Thursday, November 22, 2007

Where do library books go for Winter?

We wrote in October in our blog about ‘Library Dumps Books’ which referred to Wiltshire County Council, decision to send hundreds of library books to be dumped in a landfill site, ‘because it is not viable to recycle them’.

Today we read about Waltham Forest’s ‘lost’ 250,000 books which appear to have gone into the skip and buried in landfill. A Unison union representative was reported in the local Guardian paper, "I know for a fact lots of them were taken to the tip, at least two van loads. There were all sorts, but I know there were brand new books."

Apparently all the borough's non-recyclable rubbish is taken to the London Waste depot at Edmonton to be burned. And anything not already sorted for recycling is destroyed along with the rest. Nearly 75,000 books vanished during January and March this year alone.

David Brangwyn, a former librarian at Walthamstow Central Library, is quoted as saying that staff had spent weeks packing and labelling books worth thousands of pounds before the library was refurbished but no-one knew where they went. "They were perfectly good books and there was no reason to throw them away."

Its amazing that in this day where library funding is constantly under question and recycling is such a hot subject that books are thrown into the skip and buried in landfill. What also is interesting is that these sales are outside the returns and publisher’s pulping programmes. We note that what was probably common practice yesterday, is fast becoming socially unacceptable to many today. How many more libraries are following this practice?