Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 13:22 UK

Recycling anger over skip arrest

Genny Bove
Genny Bove said she was helping the council meet recycling targets

An environmental campaigner has been arrested for taking four plastic chairs from a recycling centre.

Genny Bove, 46, from Wrexham, said the chairs were dumped in a general rubbish skip and were due to go to a landfill site rather than being recycled.

She is on bail, but called it a "waste of police time and resources".

Wrexham Council said "rooting through skips" was dangerous and banned, but it would not press charges. North Wales Police confirmed it was investigating.

In a statement sent to police, Ms Bove admitted taking the four garden chairs on 2 May from the Brymbo Household Recycling Centre at Lodge in Wrexham.

I would have thought that almost anything else the police do would be a higher priority
Genni Bove

The centre is run by Waste Recycling Group (WRG) on behalf of Wrexham Council.

Ms Bove said there was no victim because the chairs were about to be sent to a landfill site, which she said went against the council's own waste policy.

She was arrested after the incident and said her DNA and fingerprints were taken.

She was interviewed before being released on bail and claimed she had been told she may have to take part in a video identity parade.

She said: "I cannot believe that any reasonable person would think that removing usable items from the landfill skip constitutes theft, still less decide to call the police and ask them to waste valuable police time investigating this alleged offence.

This practice is clearly very dangerous and not allowed under any circumstances
Wrexham Council

"I would have thought that almost anything else the police do would be a higher priority."

Ms Bove said she was initially offered a caution, but declined because she did not feel she had committed a crime.

She is waiting to see if any further action will be taken.

A North Wales Police spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that we received a complaint that plastic chairs were stolen from a recycling centre on 2 May.

"On 8 May a local woman was arrested on suspicion of theft and has been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

"We are duty bound to investigate all allegations of criminal offences and this includes theft."

A council spokeswoman said: "The police were called when a lady refused to put items back into the skip after being found rooting through the skips and removing items from them.

"This practice is clearly very dangerous and not allowed under any circumstances.

"We have not pressed any charges."

She added: "The civic amenity site recycles over 60% of the waste taken there and where people have furniture to recycle we advise them to go to Second Circle which has the facilities for the correct storage."

Ms Bove is a founder member of Freeconomy Wrexham, an organisation which stages "bring and take" events to encourage recycling.

Fellow founder James Whelan said: "I'm behind Genni on this one. It doesn't exactly send out the right message about recycling."

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Genny Bove said she thought someone else could use the chairs

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