After the sealant and grout had settled in my rather pleasant new fitted kitchen, there were some components left over as surplus to requirements. Having not found use for seven shelves and two back panels made from high quality wood, as well as two unopened boxes of metal hinges, off we trotted to the local store as it seemed silly to just throw them in the skip. I didn't imagine that a refund would be forthcoming, but rather that they might have a policy of reusing such things to make up kitchen packs for future customers.
After all, their web-site is very enthusiastic about environmental issues. Here are a few highlights (emphasis mine).
Supplier Environmental Performance
To continue to build active partnerships with our suppliers to develop more sustainable supply chains for all the products we sell
To ensure that all our wood and paper products come either from proven, well-managed forests or recycled material
To increase the amount of B&Q products that are re-used or recycled
To reduce the amount of waste generated by our stores and other activities
You know what's coming, I expect. To be truthful, I think I had a bit of an inkling too. We spoke to Enid, a very amiable living example of the famed B&Q senior staffer.
DP: I realise you can't issue a refund for these, but I didn't want to just throw them away, so thought you might like to take them in and return them to the supplier to make future packs. There's not a mark on them, and it's good quality stuff.
Enid: I'm afraid we can only take back unused full packs.
DP: Seems rather silly. Can I leave them with you anyway? Perhaps someone might like to ask the supplier if they can use them.
Enid: Well, you can leave them here if you like, but they'll just go into the skip. We can't do anything with things like that, the suppliers won't have them back.
DP: What about the boxes of hinges? They haven't been opened, can you add them to your stock?
Enid: Fraid not. There's no value in them you see? They're sold as part of a pack so we can't return them, either.
DP: So they'd go in the skip, too?
Now, B&Q would probably argue that they make sure that waste is handled responsibly and is recycled (ie they put it in the correct bin at the dump), but wouldn't it make more sense, and render their bold web-site claims less laughable, if they were to recycle them into something they were built to be in the first place?
Leg Iron recently wrote of the nonsense surrounding recycling, and this struck a chord at the time.
I'd really like to recycle. It's in my genes. I don't like waste. But this travesty of recycling is not what I had in mind.
Nor is the travesty of companies clambering over each other to dick-waggle their green credentials in appeasement of the environ-mental cultists when, if they were being totally honest, they would admit that business practicalities make most of their boasts undeliverable.
Or, to put it another way, stop the green guff and save us from bullshit pollution. Please.