June’s Waste Thoughts 2021

Pete: Visited Calverts – scrap merchants outside Stokesley and was shown round.  Interested to see what materials they were collecting and disappointed to see that the range was narrow but obviously well organised with focus on high value metals which they could pass into the metal recycling ecosystem.  – neat place.  No sign of rags and bones :-).  They mentioned they had contacts in Stockton for example who collect plastics, but once again interest in high volume uniform / high quality materials.Thought for the day – “while hugging a 30year old Sycamore with 1.1m girth which must weigh more than 1 tonne and is one of 500 trees in total I realised they must have captured over 100 tonnes of CO2 in total”.

Jenny: Coop Food Share now starting to be routine while time consuming and still subject to issues that create occasional disruption.

Great Ayton Methodists collecting from Springfield 3 evenings a week with the food being stored overnight in fridge/freezer for distribution the following day, collections from High Street Stokesley being sorted out by Eileen.

Collection for local distribution in Stokesley is still planned, awaiting Hambleton Food Share to complete necessary paperwork and complete training of volunteers, meanwhile discussion with Stokesley Methodists are ongoing.

Regularly taking food to IPC (refugees) in Middlesbrough has given some insights into the food waste and the processes behind it.

Often there is masses of bread – white bread – why does Coop make so much bread?  Cheap ingredients but also computer algorithm which triggers next batch to be baked must be at fault, can we encourage Coop to reduce this production?  What else can we do to reduce supermarket waste?  Coop says that supermarkets are starting to work together to tackle the issue and this will negate the need for French style legislation, in the meantime we should lobby our MP, the supermarkets and potentially use our power as stakeholders to ensure they take the right actions.

Anne: The Crossing the Tees festival has a talk on Wednesday 9th 3pm with a talk on clean air from Tim Smedley about his book, unfortunately booking now closed – https://www.crossingthetees.org/whats_on/tim-smedley-clearing-the-air/

There has been a lot of publicity about the air pollution caused by wood burners particularly when using damp wood, but even worse is the burning of things such as chipboard.  A wood burner simply does not burn hot enough to destroy toxic materials produced by burning chipboard, so not only will it clog up your chimney but it will also create your own pollution black spot.  Similarly, pallets and other tannalised wood products should not be burnt in a domestic wood burner. The Allerton Park / Haverton Hill waste to energy plants burn waste at a far higher temperature so will destroy any toxic chemicals released and the flue gases are extensively scrubbed to remove any residual toxic chemicals (i.e. dioxins) before being released.  So take such scrap wood to the Hambleton Recycling centres.

A number of people helped put the mulch mats around Caroline’s trees one weekend, she may need more help to put down more mats or with watering of the trees – watch this space.

Simon – DEFRA Waste Consultations In 2018 the government in the document “Our waste, our resources: a strategy for England” – set out a series of milestones to address waste in the context of climate change and the environment – 

image.png

The 2021 Environment Bill which is going through its final stages in the House of Lords before royal assent is the next step in producing a 21st century waste process for the UK.

I have recently discovered that there are a lot of consultation going on around making these policies real, I completed the online survey for the consultation on “Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging” by deadline of 4th June and am working my way through “Waste Prevention Programme for England: Towards a Resource-Efficient Economy” deadline 10th June.
You can find all the current DEFRA consultations here – https://consult.defra.gov.uk/.

The consultations are about the 100 page documents which define what the government wants to do to improve waste in the UK, as such they are not easy reading and you need to be committed to work through them if you are going to make comments which are both impactful but also likely to be taken into account when the policy is enacted.

The documents also embed the current government’s policy of favouring light touch legislation so working with industry defined standards rather than imposing absolute standards.  While approach is also likely to be successful to producing a policy which works, it may not produce the optimum result for the environment and may even embed poor practises c.f. diesel.

However, all these documents set visions which make sense to society and ultimately the environment – producers are responsible for the waste from their products, materials should be used within a circular economy, all UK regions should be recycling the same materials etc..

The companies whose business will be directly impacted by the legislation, policy and specific rules put in place, will invest the time and effort to give significant feedback to these consultations.  Previous consultations in this area have received less than 1000 responses, so responses from groups such as CASaV will serve to provide a balance for what may otherwise be dominated by industry who will have to work within the frameworks set up and councils who will have to implement the frameworks.

I have pulled out some salient parts of 3 of the consultations and included my input into the EPR consultation in the attached presentation.

I will be in touch to see input to the consistency consultation – https://consult.defra.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling/consistency-in-household-and-business-recycling/ – timeline relevant to this consultation:

image.png
%d bloggers like this: