Ever watched your hair stylist or barber sweep up the hair after you’re done getting a trim? It took your body so long to grow those beautiful locks, it seems a shame just to toss them in the trash, doesn’t it?
That’s just what Jeff Stone, a hair dresser from Blackburn, Lancashire thought when he opened his salon. That’s why he’s been taking home the hair clippings from his shop and placing them on his compost heap for over 40 years.
But recently, the barber was banned from taking home clippings from clients’ hair to use as compost and ordered to pay to send it to landfill instead (Telegraph).
Stone also told the Telegraph that “he has also been told he cannot take home the newspapers he buys for customers – because they are purchased with cash from the till.”
Local officials have informed Stone and several other shop keepers that, instead of recycling or composting, they would have to pay £100 ($156) for trade waste sacks that would be collected from outside their shops, in order to comply with government recycling guidelines.
The local business people are outraged that the Blackburn council would impeded on their rights to reduce landfill waste and keep their costs down, and rightly so.
“Every authority on environmental matters recognises that human hair is fantastic compostable material. It’s very biodegradable.” said Mr. Stone. “But [when] a man from the council came in and threatened me with legal action I was astounded.”
The article included only one comment from local officials in defense of their actions, which seemed quite contradictory, implying that “Mr. Stone had been acting illegally because businesses had a legal duty to ensure their waste was not harming the environment.”
This is an ill informed statement, as home composters have been adding human hair to the pile for years, and it’s been shown to be a great source of nitrogen for the soil.
Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons - comedy_nose