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Man granted permit to dump dead gran at tip

Waste disposal, Cumbria style

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Any reader whose granny has just passed away and who can't really afford a decent send-off should ring Cumbria County Council which recently issued a permit for one chap to dispose of his deceased nan's dismembered body parts at the local tip.

According to the Times and Star, 42-year-old Dave Straughton of Workington called the authority for a "waste permit". His description of said garbage as "general domestic waste" did not satisfy the operative at the other end of the line who said Straughton "needed to be more specific".

Straughton explained: "The man on the phone said they couldn't accept that and I wouldn't get a permit unless I could be precise. They kept pushing me to be more specific. It's crazy - it was just a bit of household rubbish."

Straughton then duly specified he had a guitar and organ to dispose of and, in a fit of pique, "asked if they would accept dismembered body parts in bin bags".

He recounted: "Amazingly, the council officer asked if that was what I was taking, replied okay and put the phone down."

When the permit turned up a few days later, it read: "The following waste can be disposed: Guitar, Organ, Grandma's dismembered body parts in bin bags."

Sadly, the temporary council worker responsible for this tomfoolery got himself sacked for his trouble. A Cumbria County Council statement explained that Straughton "first applied for a van permit to take rubbish to the Clay Flatts household waste recycling centre on November 9".

It continued: "Mr Straughton made it clear that he was not a supporter of the [waste permit] scheme and, when asked for a description of the waste he intended to bring to site, he replied: some old musical instruments and dismembered body parts of his grandma in bin bags. Our call centre operative challenged this description, but Mr Straughton insisted this was the wording he wanted to appear on his permit.

"Regrettably, the permit was issued with this wording included. The following day this was discovered by management, investigated, and the operative's temporary contract was terminated. We then wrote to Mr Straughton to apologise and issued him with a revised permit."

For those of you wondering why Cumbria's residents need a permit to turn up at the local tip with granny's binlinered remains, we should explain that the council reckons "waste being dumped at centres across the county has gone down by over 20 per cent" since the scheme's inception, leading to savings of "several hundred thousand pounds each year".

Recycling has, on the other hand, increased, so if your local council decides that dead relatives should not be disposed of at the local dump, try composting granny at the end of the garden. ®

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