Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ship Wreck

Brighton & Hove, the south coast UK

Above: Worthing beach after 3,000 tonnes of timber was washed up
(pict. www.worthingherald)

Above: Your Nicked! Timber from the sunken ship 'ice prince'

" A couple of weeks ago around 3000 tonnes of timber was dumped on the south coast as a result of a ship wreck. The recovery and disposal of this timber has taken one of the least environmental options by choosing to ignore approaches by local businesses with offers to quickly clear the beach of all the timber, and house it in a farm warehouse to dry out until it is ready for reuse in and around the Sussex area" said Johnathan Essex.

The local council said "This is not being treated as an environmental issue but as a health and safety problem. The timber was in the water too long and is no longer useable". Locals have disputed this claiming it is a false story to give the impression that it is of no use as DIY to stop people from stealing it. One local who recovered some of the timber said "The outside edge is abit flakey but when it has been dried out it can be replaned and reused." The salvage industry, which now mainly reuses timber from home refurbishments and the construction industry - started with "salvage" from ships. "Tom Angove "Builder's Mate" from 1953, retiring in 1993, recalled how single handed Rowena carried twelve 15ft beams from the shoreline right up to the Theatre. Customs men looking for this "wreck" from a Spanish freighter met her on the beach. Challenged as to whether she had seen the timber, Rowena admitted that she had taken up some wood that morning. She suggested that the men should come and see it. Concluding that such a frail looking woman could not have lifted what they were looking for, they went on their way. "I didn't tell them a lie now did I?" remarked Rowena as she and Tom built the twelve beams into the new dressing rooms."

However, the council have chosen to ignore the sustainable option and the DRS are currently transporting all the wood to Crawley to chip for green fuel for electricity generation. "This ignores the most sustainable option of reuse, the goverments waste hierarcy, the european protection and by my calculation is causing atleast 500 tonnes of extra C02 emission," commented Mr Essex.

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