April’s Waste Thoughts – 2023

Full notes below, quick summary:

  • You are never too young to get involved in repairing – Repair Cafe lessons for schools. RepairCafes4Schools
  • Plans are progressing well for our events during Great Big Green Week
  • Planning for an upcycling competition to start in Great Big Green Week 10-18th June with competition winners being announced on Upcycling Day 24th June.
  • We are still looking for volunteers to help with recycling and talking to visitors at Bilsdale Show on 26th August – fancy a day in the sun taking green and doing green in the middle of the North York Moors – get in touch if you do
  • Yet more incinerators are being planned, Stop Incinerators North East are working to stop the proliferation
  • Chemical Recycling has been much talked about now the first commercial scale plant is planned to be built on Teesside
  • Farming Today spent a week looking at solutions to dealing with Farm Waste
  • People are keen to recycle Blister Packs, but why is it so difficult
  • Business still haven’t got the LED Lights message
  • Councils struggle to increase recycling rates due partly to people recycling in the wrong way
  • What will consistency waste / recycling across the UK look like
  • Our Repair Cafes are going well in 2023


  • Simon add Louise’s address to information about stamp and tin foil recycling
  • Jenny talk to Nadir about crisp packets to sleeping bags
  • Jenny retrieve prize winners photos from previous “Only Weigh Out/ Rountons Coffee” competition
  • Anne produce Upcycle competition with summary of plan so far / timeline

If you have just signed up to the Waste Group, then welcome, I hope these notes of our discussion make sense.

We meet once a month to talk about topics connected to waste and plan / report progress on our ongoing activities such as the Repair Cafes, Foodshare, Refill scheme and upcoming events such as the Bilsdale Show.  If you visit the “Thoughts on Waste” page on the CASaV website you can find all our past discussions – https://climateactionstokesleyandvillages.org/waste/thoughts-on-waste/

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Notes form 11th April 2023 CASaV Waste Group Meeting


Actions from last meeing
Matters arising: Repair Cafes
Recent online / physical meetings
AOB: Great Big Green Week; Upcycling June; River Tees

Actions from Last Meeting

Simon add information to website on postage stamps and tin foil –https://climateactionstokesleyandvillages.org/waste/local-specialist-recycling-points/

Action: Simon Add Louise’s address

Louise produce posters for advertising postage stamp and tin foil collection

Kate – contact Stokesley School to investigate banner sharing with primary schools

  • Will make contact when schools go back after Easter
  • Ordered Repair Café lesson plans to take into junior schools, looking for teachers keen to use as basis for full class lesson, students will do mini repairs and take home to parents, so spreading the ethos of repair.

All – send ideas for upcycling of coffee sacks to Simon, will pass onto Wendy.

Wendy – send idea of what we will do with coffee sacks for upcycling to Rountons.

  • Planted one coffee sack up with herbs
  • Basis for rag rug / proggy rug / wicky mat
  • Use the idea from the previous “Only Weigh Out / Rountons Coffee” competition, as examples to encourage others:
    • Hanger with pockets
    • Basis for rag rug / proggy rug / wicky mat
    • Canvas to paint
    • Hat
    • Suit
    • Apron
    • Wigwam
    • Mat
    • Log carrier
    • Bag
    • Knitting basket
    • Giant mouse

Jenny plant up coffee sacks so we have growing things ready for June – potatoes, herbs, in fact anything

Revisiting – only trouble is do sacks rot down too quickly

Action: Jenny talk to Nadir about crisp packets to sleeping bags

Wendy has found that coffee bags can be ok for a few years as planter if they don’t sit on earth

Action: Jenny retrieve prize winners photos from previous “Only Weigh Out/ Rountons Coffee” competition

Anne – produce upcylcing Powerpaint with templates / examples of upcycling for competition

Sheet given out at last Repair Cafe – seeking ideas / feedback

Request to accept group entries (Brownies / Cubs)

Prizes?  will be given for age ranges 7-9 10-11 12-14 15+ plus best item / most original / inspirational

Prizes? Vouchers for What Planet are You On or Water bottle / Reusable coffee cups / Fairtrade chocolate

Could Globe Library accept entries if not being done as part of a school activity?

During GBGW would it be possible to set up stuff in the libraries so that posters could be made in Library?

We could accept poster and/or items with extra prize for items

Novel ideas also ok, such as upcycling stranded assets?

Oil refinery into war hammer theme park

Any object / facility / stuff which is no longer of use

Basis for rag rug / proggy rug / wicky mat

Action: Anne – produce Upcycle competition with summary of plan so far / timeline

Preliminary Timeline

  • Launch end of May
    • Radio
    • D&S
    • Facebook
  • Examples on show at Repair Cafe June 10th
  • Upcycling sessions during GBGW
    • Joanna
    • Anne
    • Kate
  • June 24th – display in Globe with judging

Simon arrange Bilsdale Show plan and seek volunteers for the day / ideas.

Confirmed with Bilsdale Show we can help and reached out to North Yorkshire Council to involve them – Tracey Flint/Recycling and Jeff /North Yorkshire Rotters. 26th August



Reusable Nappy Week 24th – 30th April Northallerton Nappy Library

Stop Incineration in North EastSINE – was worried about an increase in the planned capacity for the Tees Valley Energy Recovery Facility (TV-ERF) to greater 500,000Tonnes per year waste incinerator. SINE warned local people about it, with the result that the Environment Agency had so many objections that TV-ERF now has to go through a full planning review. Good result for people power / common sense, we should be reducing waste produced not creating more and more facilities with every larger capacities to dispose of it.


Clean Planet Energy has announced a new joint venture with private equity firm Crossroads Real Estate to fund the flagship Teesside ecoPlant – the first of 10 new ecoPlants that Crossroads Real Estate and Clean Planet Energy are jointly seeking to build and operate across the UK. The ecoPlant will use high temperature to breakdown waste plastics into the basic raw material naptha which can then be used to make other plastics or burnt as a fuel. https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/23125727.ecoplant-teesside-announced-key-funding-partner/


Old children’s muslins can be used as sieves for jelly / cheese straining

Farming Today has had week looking at farm waste:
A company in Wales are going round collecting all plastic waste (not the netting) produced by the farms and turning them into bin bags, fence posts and rails, additive for tarmac, furniture etc.;
2 chaps in East Yorkshire are collecting used plastic shotgun cartridges, shredding them and recycling.
Someone else is using micro algae to eat slurry.
City Harvest in West London are  gathering unused/unsaleable but edible green food  and delivering to food banks etc.


Blister packs – Louise collects them to be taken to Superdrug in Chester Le Street, and Superdrug do not really appreciate receiving such large amounts from apparently a single person. So there needs to be a more scalable route. Any suggestions?

It turns out Keith who collects food bank food on Tuesday mornings, also writes for D&S and has said he is happy to help with articles for CASaV.

Sam’s podcasts on climate change / indigenous people – Polar Pod – can be found here – https://www.buzzsprout.com/1977380


Middlesbrough Repair Café starts on 22nd April at the Hope Foundation.

Guisborough Eco Group – people have been very interested in Jamie Oliver cheap low energy meals, for example using air fryers to cook as energy efficiently as possible.

The Bridge – Methodist church – contributions from local shops are collected and offered on a table outside church with small contributions towards the food bank and the Bridge charity. The Bridge prepares meals for 50 people a couple of times a week. The meals use donated food etc.. keep prices down and get potentially isolated people together.

Looking into a Repair Café for Guisborough, the Bridge are keen but an only offer sewing. Suggestion from Simon based on experience with Stokesley and Villages Repair Café and having had the same approach used by Middlesbrough Repair Café too, is to find just a venue and a few repairers, then just fix a date approximately 3 months in advance and you will find you can find the repairers to be ready for the date. If you wait till everything is in place before setting a date, some of your original people will have drifted away and you can be in danger of never being ready. It does still need considerable effort, but following the Repair Cafe advice makes it possible for a single person to pull it together.

For the St Nick’s Planting Event there will be a demonstration of how to separate steel from aluminium, with a steel spoon hidden in a plastic bag of aluminium cans, where a magnet will used to extract the spoon.

LED lights – while almost all domestic have properties have LED lights, it turns out that not all businesses do, despite the obvious savings both in energy and money – GEG Blog.

It turns out Redcar and Cleveland has a recycling rate of only 35% recycling, only 15% non-garden waste. One issue is people getting recycling wrong, recently I saw 2 green and 1 recycling bins full of rubbish, if these were tipped into a recycling lorry then whole wagon load will be burned / land filled. It feels like it is possible to ruin a whole wagon load of recycling with no penalty and no chance of being caught. While operatives do reject bins when they spot things and don’t empty the bin, there does need to be a change in people’s attitudes to stop this happening. How about a Recycling Club you have to show you are going to recycle properly to get a recycling bin, otherwise all your waste will be burnt, possibly with some financial penalty. How do we get people to appreciate the value of the resources in our waste?


The Scottish DRS (deposit return scheme) is due to start in August, but it is still awaiting final UK government sign-off.

The incentives to reduce waste are not being increased to the expected levels, instead of the expected 10 increases to landfill tax, both the standard and lower rate per tonne are being increased by less than 2% – standard rate by £1.60 to £98.60/tonne and lower rate by £0.05 to £3.15/tonne.

There is a danger that the governments move to consistency of waste collection may if not decrease the quantity of material recycled certainly reduce its quality. As after long discussions, councils are coming down on the approach of a single bin for all recycling, so comingling, plastic, metal, glass, paper, etc.. One of the key arguments is that nothing must be more difficult for the people, which plays with the current governments obsession with how difficult Net Zero etc..

An application to turn the new but mothballed Port Clarence waste wood plant power station into another energy from domestic waste plant. Sort of good news that there wasn’t a need to burn this much waste wood, but bad news that even more waste will be burnt rather than reduced.

Matters arising

18th March Swainby Repair Cafe and 1st April Stokesley Repair Cafe – both were well attended with over 50 items presented at Swainby and 60 at Stokesley – lots of garden sharpening, but also lots of sewing, vacuum cleaners and push chairs.

Our next repair cafe is 20th May Swainby Repair Cafe.

10th June Stokesley Repair Cafe during Great Big Green Week will also have a number of CASaV themed activities within it.


Summer Half Term – Joanna Whitwell – Discovery Centre Great Ayton book upcycling – half term book sculpture

Great Big Green Week – 10-18 June – same as Open Garden weekend plus Repair Cafe – 10th June – Stokesley. Invite our MP / Upcycling event / Get schools involved

Upcycling Day is 24th June.

Current Bilsdale volunteers – Jenny, Kate, Simon, (Joanna?),

Reclaim Our Sea Update

Sampling of the River Tees took place today and an active debate is ongoing about the effect of the ongoing dredging. The material dredged in the Tees is supposed to be dumped at sea, but in fact much of it is released into the river at the point of dredging as can be seen from space. The river changes colour at the dredge site, as dredged sediment is resuspended in the river:

As can be seen on 4th April the dredged sediment went around the corner and can be seen going along the beaches – South Gare, Mujaba, Redcar, .. As the water is not very deep inshore, there will be less dilution of the contaminants which are known to be on the sediment and so more damage to the marine ecosystem. https://www.facebook.com/groups/reclaimoursea

DEFRA’s independent panel’s report on the previous research ruled out chemical contamination partly on the basis that any contaminants from dredging of the river would be infinitely diluted, this won’t be the case if the sediment hugs the coast as the satellite image appears to show.

We await the results of the independent from the developers and their backers sampling shows.

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