As anyone who has ever seen my desk could attest, I enjoy sifting through rubbish. Why is it that the most interesting stories in the newspaper are always the ones on the front of the publication you're about to throw away?
Anyway, after two days of racing at Cartmel, there's quite a lot of rubbish to sift through - about 15 tonnes in fact. It includes: 3 tonnes of paper and cardboard, 2.7 tonnes of glass bottles, 1 tonne of wood (including chipboard) and one third of a tonne of plastic, plus lots of other stuff, not all of which you'd want to know about.
As part of the great clean-up on the day after racing, the guys from Wicks Waste Management have been bagging all the rubbish up and taking it away – but not to the tip, it will all be finding a new home. The glass, plastic, paper and cardboard is separated and recycled. Even the metal legs of twisted gazebos can easily be melted down for a fresh life.
Not one piece of waste from Cartmel will go into landfill – not a race programme, a cream scone, barbecue ember or lost pair of socks. Once all the useful material has been extracted from the huge pile of rubbish, the residual is pressed into pellets or bricks and used as fuel - to be burnt in cement kilns for making hydraulic cement.
I am sure that knowing these facts spurs on our team of litter-pickers to chase down every tiny piece of paper that floats across the deserted fairground. Certainly, there is an amazing vigour about their picking – as there is about the cleaners’ mopping and hoovering.
Meanwhile, a team of ground-staff have arrived to put back all the divots and reinstate the track with the aid of nothing more than a set of garden forks and their own boots. Following them is a smaller team carrying buckets of soil mixed with grass seed, to fill in any small holes that remain. The aim is to have a perfect green carpet in time for the next races in June, just four weeks away this weekend.
This week's rubbish tip is Surf And Turf in the 7.25 at Stratford on Saturday night.