Olive Taylor’s garden is our shame, not hers

by Damien Murphy

Olive Taylor, 87, in her garden in Brighton.
Photo: Express and Star

WHILE most of us agree that recycling is important, most of us still knowingly bin recyclable waste, according to a study published last September.

The study showed that, for the most part, we throw out what we could recycle simply because we are too busy or too lazy.

So perhaps Brighton should be grateful to have someone like Olive Taylor, who has been picking up the slack, and the trash, for others for decades.

The Brighton pensioner has been shouldering more than her share of the burden, collecting cans and rubbish to recycle for charity since 1978.

But cleaning up after the rest of us is quite the Herculean task for a blind octogenarian, so it is little surprise her workload has literally piled up.

Brighton and Hove City Council has given the 87-year-old until April 10 to clear the four-foot-high piles of rubbish that line the path to her house.

It is hard to blame her neighbours for complaining about the rubbish and the flies it attracts, nor the council for viewing the hoard as a health risk.

Yet it is just as hard to doubt that Miss Taylor’s intentions are noble.

Back in 2003, Miss Taylor told the Argus: “[The council] seem to think I am an obsessive compulsive who collects rubbish for the sake of it… [but] it is there until I have sorted through it and taken it down to be recycled.”

It may be an eyesore and a hazard, but perhaps it is not Miss Taylor who should be ashamed of the mounds of rubbish.

Perhaps the shame better belongs to those of us who don’t take responsibility for the waste we produce, leaving it for others to pick up.

Clearing up Olive Taylor’s garden once and for all means getting better at cleaning up after ourselves, and binning only what we can’t recycle.


3 thoughts on “Olive Taylor’s garden is our shame, not hers

  1. Miss Taylorl’s intentions can hardly be described as ‘noble’ nor is it the case that Miss Taylor acts as an unofficial collector of recycling that people leave laying around. Miss Taylor has filled a 3 bedroomed house with rubbish ( not recycling ) along with the rear of the house and more recently since 1993 the front of the house. Recycle we should and in most peoples life reasonnable recyling they do. Miss Taylor has made her home a store for rubbish of which will never be recycled if left to her own devices, she has made it impossible to use the water supply at her home along with the inability to use any cooking facilities and has no electricity supply ( all of her own doing and her choice ). Her food is provided by a local day centre along with the soup kitchen in the evenings and other ‘homeless persons projects’. Ironicaly the very people she relies upon for food etc are that which provide for persons with no home whilst Miss Taylor denies those from housing by using a 3 bedroomed house which is owned by the City Council to be a sore facility for rubbish.

  2. Can anyone tell me how I can contact Olive? just watched The Hoarder and think she is a marvellous lady, I would love to go and help her out for a day or 2 x

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