“We had moved into a house that had been vacant for some time, and there was a lot of cleaning up to do in the garden. I had seen the overgrown blackberry patch and rejoiced to think of the jam and crumble it could provide. So I started there first.
And then I started to find them. Bags of rubbish – some simply tossed, some burned, with their chemicals seared into the earth. Odd bits of plastic. Strands of barbed wire. A few old wooden items. At some point – perhaps while the house was vacant? – the area had been used as a dump. As I cleared the area, I started to mark where the worst pollution was, so that we wouldn’t eat the berries from those spots. And I began to think – if this was what a relatively small amount of waste had done to this land, what of the large quantities of waste I was “putting out” in the bins? Where was it going? What land was I poisoning? And when would I start to do something about it?”