Quote of the Month: Mr Ernie Sharp

That was always a problem at Christmas because people would put a Christmas tree down. What would be the easiest way to put a Christmas tree into an 18ft gap, you would put it in root first so that the branches, but now the branches have opened up inside, refuse has gone inside and gone on top and added weight to those branches and now it becomes a blocked chute. So people keep putting refuse in so the refuse is piled up with a Christmas tree stopping it and someone has to unblock the chute. Mr Ernie Sharp, transcript of an audio interview.

Mr Ernie Sharp (1921–2015) worked as a dustman in Lewisham Borough Council from 1947 until 1965 when he became Junior Area Manager of the Rivers and Refuse Disposal division in the Greater London Authority’s (GLC) Public Health Engineering Department. He was promoted to Deputy Area Manager, then Area Manager, and in the early 1970s he was appointed Assistant General Manager of the GLC’s Solid Waste Management Branch. He served in the Armed Forces from 1941 to 1947 as a mechanic, and spent a long period of his service in Egypt. In London, he taught on the waste management course at Hackney Community College for over 30 years.
Mr Sharp also took part in our Wellcome Witness Seminar The Development of Waste Management in the UK c.1960–c.2000