AN ORNAMENTAL garden created by workers at Christchurch’s household waste recy-cling centre from items dumped by residents has been cleared away amid claims it was deemed a health and safety risk.
The collection of statues, pots and bird feeders brightened up the entrance to the facility in Wilverley Road, Somerford, which is owned by BCP council but run by Dorset Waste Partnership.
But to the dismay of local people it suddenly disappeared last week with workers saying they had been ordered to dismantle it.
One said: “We were told it was a health and safety risk, although it’s been here for years without anyone being hurt.
“Our boss just told us he had been ordered to remove it. We don’t know if it was BCP Council or Dorset Waste Partnership who wanted it gone.”
Since news of the garden’s disappearance was circulated on social media there has been an outcry from users.
Doreen Pelmear said: “Oh no! I loved that lovely display. Why would they be made to dismantle it? Miserable so-and-sos.”
Marlene Dashwood commented: “Was such a welcoming site arriving at the tip. I actually took pictures and sent them to my family living abroad almost bragging about the unique garden set-ting we enjoy created by the men working at the site.”
Jane Sparks said: “Our tip is the best, the guys that work there are amazing, please don’t do anything to stop their amazing enthusiasm. We are lucky to have them working on our behalf.”
Dorset Waste Partnership was asked to comment but it did not respond.
Cllr Simon McCormack, who represents the Burton and Grange ward on BCP Council, told the A&T he had spoken to workers at the tip who said they had been ordered to remove the gar-den by Dorset Waste Partnership.
He said: “It was claimed that it was attracting rats but seeing as it is a rubbish tip next to a lake and an industrial site, the site will do that anyway and there should be procedures in place to deal with them.
“I think this is a knee jerk reaction to a small issue. The garden was a very good example of recycling which everyone is encouraged to do.
“It was innovative and creative. The workers there were very proud of it. I feel the whole thing could have been dealt with in a different way. To just get rid of it is very sad for both workers and residents.”
Cllr McCormack said he will bring the issue up with BCP Council when it takes over the running of the tip in April this year.
He said: “One of their key policies is sustainability which this garden was a good display of. I will be asking the council if it can be reinstated.”