April’s Waste Thoughts – 2021

Despite my contributions Val managed to pull together a great episode of Leven Life “A load of rubbish”, going from the people dealing with our waste, to those stopping things from becoming waste by turning them into craft, to me talking about what CASaV is trying to do and I do – I would appreciate your feedback on the programme and thoughts on how we could better use the media to tackle climate change – Leven Life – https://levenonline.co.uk/leven-life-programmes/ and direct link to “A load of rubbish” – https://levenonlinecouk.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/a-load-of-rubbish-and-recycling.mp3

Mike Newton has done a lot more than read Bill Gates’s “How to avoid a climate disaster”, having summarised the book both on YouTube and in a pdf.  It would be great if you could have a look at one or both before our meeting next week.  The book does not really cover waste, so my thought was it would be good to discuss our thoughts on the implications of the book on waste and whether waste really needs to be part of any approach to avoiding a climate disaster.
Summary..  http://mikeenewton.wikidot.com/climate-disaster
YouTube.. https://youtu.be/lxnQ2tgPy_4

Anne: Nationally Coop are trialling recycling of soft plastics (bread bags etc) in some of the larger of their 2000 stores, as Stokesley Springfield is the 198th largest CooP, it is expect to be in the trial.  This is due to start on 1st of June, but Springfield’s inclusion has not been confirmed.
Action: All – Attend Coop AGM in May to encourage initiatives such as plastic recycling – https://www.co-operative.coop/get-involved/agm
Jenny: Medicine blister packs – Terracycle are now recycling blister packs, from certain pharmacies and the Soroptimist International Group in Stockton are collecting them https://www.terracycle.com/en-GB/brigades/medicine-packet-uk
Action: Wendy see if the Globe can host a recycling container for blister packs
Coffee Hessian sack competition – The Only Way Out has run of bags, having distributed 80 already.
Action: Simon phone Rountons about extra coffee bags for Only Weigh Out if going to Roots.
Caroline Kitching will arrange recycling of any tree protectors which are collected.
New bin at Gribdale – while litter is not a core climate issue, it is a sign of poor regard for the environment.  So if people think about littering, they may well think about other core climate issues and in time do the right thing. 
IPC been doing litter picking and sorting for recycling 
How do we inspire not littering?  Today’s Life Scientific may offer some inspiration, where Theresa Marteau discussed how to change behaviour for example giving people a personalised DNA based strict diet didn’t change people, but having lift doors close very slowly got people to use the stairs, smaller wine glasses get people to drink less alcohol – nudges – https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000v2rt and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nudge_(book).
What’s the nudge for littering?  What’s the nudge for reducing waste?
Pete:Working with refugees it is interesting to see their reaction to things we take for granted, for example litter and waste.  Celery leaves are a delicacy in other countries, yet in the UK they are food waste either disposed off before they get to us or cut off by us and put into the compost.  Could we encourage people to eat more of the food crops we already eat?  Celery leaves, beetroot leaves, carrot leaves for example, should we be sharing recipes for some items or just letting people know they can be used in salads etc..
Action: All – attend Coop AGM to encourage Coop to supply more of the whole vegtable they stock and offer customers idea for how to use these new food stuffs.
David Goulson – “The garden jungle” – many simple ideas to save the planet – for example create little lagoons – push half a plastic milk bottle into soil, fill it with compost and water, you have just made a rot hole for insects!
If we eliminated all waste food, we would only need to grow 70% as much food, so could rewild an area the size of Australia and the USA. https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Dave-Goulson/The-Garden-Jungle–or-Gardening-to-Save-the-Planet/24651085
Rachel Carson – “Slient spring” written in 1962 is still has the power to shock and sadly make you think about what is still going on now.
Every primary school should have a wormery, do worm count in school grounds, gives a real appreciation for the importance of the heatlh of the soil, in fact used to be on sylabus.
Wendy: Able to stop towels used for washing powder testing going to waste and instead give them to IPC.
Thinking about cooking more sustainably, 3 different approaches:
Using steamer – 1 ring for everything – potatoes boiling in the water, other vegtables steamer above the pan.
Pressure cooker – 2 hours to cook chick peas it reduced to 15 mintues!
Hay bag cooking – bean bag (something insulating) – prepare dish cut smaller then heat in heavy pan – boil for 5 mins, wrap in towel / bean bag, very slow cooking, cooked all the way through after half ready to eat / whole day may need some reheating
David: Recent webinar on Plastic Recylcing on Teesside organised by IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers) – talks about 2 big facilities on Teeside which will take used plastics and turn them back into raw materials which can be used to make new plastics, helping to make a circular plastics economy.  One facility takes polyethylene and polypropylene plastics to produce a hydrocarbon oil which can be used as a raw material in petrochemicals manufacture.  The other facility PET (polyethylene terephthalate) back to a monomer which can be made into new PET.  Teesside still has considerable chemical manufacture so the regenerated materials can be used locally.  However, the plants need sorted plastics, so certainly for Hambleton, plastic waste is taken to North Wales where it is sorted into different types, so would need to be brought back to Teesside for reuse.  Not exactly a joined up system at present.

Update on Coop Food Share / food waste – progress: Jenny was able to report that we are now regularly collecting some of the food waste from the local Coops.  There is still work to do to get all the waste collected 7 days a week from the 3 stores.  The Coop systems is set up for food share in cities, where 1 food bank takes a whole store waste.  The 3 stores have variable amounts of food each day.  It looks like we are going to need to distribute food to 3 different food banks and so are setting up a schedule to collect from all 3 stores

Bill Gates – How to Avoid a Climate Disaster : The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need
Mike Newton’s summary of Bill Gates’ book – makes the challenge that the 51 billion tons of CO2 per year produced by humans has to be reduced to 0 by 2050 very clear, the book focuses on the research that governments must initiate to provide the technology to meet this target.  Mike stresses that immense pressure needs to be applied to governments to get them to spend on climate change research.  How do we get our goverment to take the necessary actions to address climate change.Summary..  http://mikeenewton.wikidot.com/climate-disaster  – YouTube.. https://youtu.be/lxnQ2tgPy_4
We should get behind the CEE (Climate and Ecological Emergency) bill, currenlty 106 MPs are onboard, Amanda Brown is actively supporting this via the CEE Alliance – https://www.ceebill.uk.  Could we do a pyramid scheme?  Each ask 10 of our friends to emails there MPs, as MPs will act if enough of their constituents express the importance to them of the government tackling climate change.
Action:All get 10 others to write a letter to their MP to support the CEE bill

Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World – https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/p099f58d/greta-thunberg-a-year-to-change-the-worldInside view of what Greta did last year, a clear exposition of the challenges the earth faces – there is also a link to the Open University with some discusson of what individuals can do: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/nature-environment/how-respond-the-climate-emergency – simple inforgraphic inlcuding what each of us should do: reduce/reuse/recycle.

Climate Change: Ade on The Frontline – https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000v4f6/climate-change-ade-on-the-frontline-series-1-1-the-solomon-islands-and-australiaA very hard hitting programme showing that climate change is real, but that people are working to mitigate its effects.  Seeing a whole island that has disappeared in 15 years, a rock strewn desert where sheep used to graze lush grass, and the warped metal roof that is all that remains of town after a bush fire makes climate change very real now.  How restoring giant kelp offers a chance to capture vast amounts carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the same for sea grass and was also highlighted in the Netflix documentary My octopus teacher.

Updating the waste minimisation useful resources list – recycling locations on CASaV – https://climateactionstokesleyandvillages.org/waste/local-specialist-recycling-points/Action: Simon update website listing of recycling

Composting: Wendy talked us through her approach to compost.
3 compost heaps are ideal, 1 & 2 to cycle between yearly – always leave compost for at least a year before use, then number 3 for woody things that are slower to rot down.
Ideally build the compost heap up in thin layers alternating between green and brown, leaves are tricky certainly in thin layers, if you have more than you will need to leave them for 2 years to properly rot down or place in hessian sacks to store for longer.
If weeds are put into the compost then unless a high temperature is reached they will survive, if this is problem then don’t compost them or put them in the council green bins where they will be composted at high temperatures.
Food choppings and raw anything except meat and cooked food, unless you want rats.  Some farmyard muck, earth, comfrey (miracle plant, encourages breakdown, activating, perfect for tomato food, very deep roots, good for bees) help to activate and get the rotting process going.
Old pallets are good to build a compost heap.
Council composting are hot enough to kill weeds and doesn’t release methane.
You can also buy accelerated compost bins which gets up to higher temperature, bugs builds up, even add accelerator, produces compost in a few month, 5 months over winter.
Pete speeds up his compost by spreading into across a lawn and then running the lawn mower over it, to chop up the compost into small pieces, then heats up a lot quicker.
Need to have both bacteria and fungus, addition of small amount of wood chips encourage one sort expands the microbiome.
Food waste from hospitality?  UK government has stated all councils will collect food waste but has not yet finalised the date that they have to do it by.

Only Weigh Out – happy for people to reuse paper bags.

Recycling stall at Farmers’ Market – everything that can be recycled and how to recycle it – very visual – nudge.  We will need some activity to attract people and perhaps a competition of some kind to get people involved.

CASaV Pop-up shop – Old Style shop in Stokesley 2 large windows, all groups do something, even just in the windows

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