December’s Waste Thoughts – 2022

Full notes below, quick summary:


  • All – please let Bridget know if you are available to help with the Biodiversity event in Stokesley on 17th December –
  • All – please contact Jenny if you are interested in getting involved in bulk buying of foods to avoid packaging.
  • Simon – produce a summary of key point for people to mention in a letter about the sea life die off and continuing dredging / dumping around the River Tees for CASaV meeting.

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 –

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Notes form 6th December 2022 CASaV Waste Group Meeting

Matters arising
Recent online / physical meetings



Stokesley Toybank: All toys are display in the Stokesley Room of Stokesley Town Hall on10th December Town Hall – 10am – 2pm, then any remaining toys will be in the Globe from 12-17 December – further details –
YorWaste – The Reuse Santa Appeal –
Even though Stokesley Toybank is now full, clean toys, games, books and puzzles for children, can be taken to all the NYCC/HDC recycling centres.  The items are distributed via charities.
Teesside Hospice Treecycle – if you are in a TS post code – Stokesley / Great Ayton / Great Broughton / Hutton Rudby – they will pick up your tree, but you need to register by 8th January.  The trees are chipped and put back into local park, so while rechipped they don’t accept plastic trees (hopefully these are used year after year).
For the UK to be world leading in recycling then these are the global initiatives we need to be as good as –

Guisborough Recycling Hub is a community interest company,, toys given away all year round, other charities also do similar things.
Farming is an interesting business, as often when it creates problems they rapidly become  our problems, either via pollution or through our taxes being used to fund necessary improvements.  Farms are producing far more slurry than their slurry storage can handle, so this is causing both continuous water and air pollution.  The government is addressing this by offering farmers grants of up to £250,000 in order to be able to store slurry for at least 6 months.  Perhaps they should be given money to reduce livestock farming, rather than applying a sticking plaster, as the sticking plaster will no doubt result in even higher carbon emissions.

When in Berlin you can only buy milk by paying 15c charge for milk bottle, a deposit return system, in fact 15c glass and 25c plastic, which you get back when you put the clean empty bottle into a bottle return machine.  The UK Government 2018 Resources strategy promised such DRS schemes, but timeline of when this occurr is no longer clear –

Coop involved in scheme tagging recyclced plastic bottles to check if their bottles get back to North Wales for recycling –
German has a great word for those times when renewables are in short supply- dumkelflaute – dull grey and no wind.
An Icelandic company has built a plant that turns waste CO2 into methanol, removing the need for fossil fuel feedstock –  The plant combines hydrogen from coke manufacture with CO2 generated in the manufacture of lime (heating calcium carbonate).
Stokesley guerilla gardening has seen blackcurrant and raspberry planted near the bus stop at the library.  Hope that they will avoid over zealous strimmer users.

Clearing mother’s house lots of sewing paraphernalia, great for the Repair Cafe’s sewing resources hub.  Similarly any kitchen equipment may be useful for Investors in People and Culture, for the international Centre in Middlesbrough.
There will be an event on Saturday December 17th 10-12 for the COP15 Event for Biodiversity, where signatures for a letter to Rishi Sunak requesting the UK to not just stop the loss of our biodiversity but to enhance biodiversity.  Tables will be by the zigarat in the centre of Stokesley near to the Chapters Bistro, on the opposite side to Boyes.  Volunteers to help with signing letters etc.. and explain information on biodiversity / UN Event etc..

Action: All – please let Bridget know if you are available to help with the Biodiversity event in Stokesley on 17th December –

Part of the December CASaV meeting will be spent writing letters – topics such as biodiversity, pollution, net zero, to PM/MP, councillors etc..

Listening to Sam Cornish’s podcasts (on AppleBuzzsproutSpotify) the ground is the biggest store of CO2, so why do we seem to only plant trees.  We can do things such as leaving leaves on the ground so the worms pull them down to trap carbon and of course more biodiversity means more carbon will be absorbed.
Positive News ( – examples attached 221204PositiveNews.pdf) is a great source of uplifting news stories, well worth reading.

The Financial Times is a great source of clear infographics, a recent one on energy flows in Europe (Can Europe keep the lights on? – sadly behind a pay wall), makes it very clear why not to turn on the kettle from 3 – 6.
The Food Group is looking into bulk buying certain foods to avoid packaging.

Action: All – please contact Jenny if you are interested in getting involved in bulk buying of foods to avoid packaging.
In order to avoid his book being produced in China and shipped around the world, Joe Cornish has self-published his latest book based on his residency at Fountains Abbey during the lockdowns, you can still get a copy from the Joe Cornish Gallery or by contacting Jenny, also Sanctuary (compositions of trees from across the North York Moors).

Nitelight ( – take surplus food and make it available to those in need via market stalls in big conurbations on Teesside, they also provide a wraparound support by signposting their client to other sources of support.  We now give the food from the Coops to Nitelight one night a week.

First payment based on reduced electricity between 6-7pm, part of reducing the grid carbon intensity.  This type of load shifting will become far more possible with increasing installation of smart meters.

As we are coming up to the “great festival of consumption“, there are various approaches that different people take, perhaps we could promote these next year: no adult family member presents, all presents second hand, only give experiences.

Ash die back was raised at the Great Busby Parish Meeting.  This is causing a massive loss of habitat, and released all the sequestered carbon if burnt.  We need work out the best way to leave trees in place such as not to increase infection, so they can be habitat, we will have to get used to seeing ash stumps in hedgerows.
Building materials tend to be a huge source of waste due mainly to over purchase.  Need to ensure over purchase doesn’t occur, but probably requires a change in building code.

There is considerable doubt over the DEFRA explanation of the cause of the die offs of sea life of the North Yorkshire, such that a new government inquiry is being carried out, not unreasonably until this reports there has been a request that the work that may cause further die-offs is paused (pause the dredge).  The River Tees sediments and banks are one of the most contaminated equine environments in Europe. However, the river had remained clean as the contaminated sediment and banks were not being disturbed, this is no longer the case with landslides in the river meaning that contaminated materials has likely been dredged and with the extensive development of the South Tees ex-steel site.  The Teesworks / South Tees development is continuing and rather than reduce the amount of material being released into the water, they have now requested a variation to dump all the land ground between the new South Quay and the existing riverbank at sea.  This is the opposite of what Ben Houchen stated last October ( when he explained how construction would take place with ecological consideration (building the South Quay on land).

The green cross-section shows the extra material to be “dredged” and dumped at sea – 300,000 cubic metres, probably nearly 1 million tonnes.  While we don’t know how contaminated this material is fully, as it has only been minimally sampled, it has had 150 years of being in the proximity of coke so is likely to contain some coal tar, pyridine etc, even if it wasn’t contaminated dropping 1 million tonnes of material into the sea results in oxygen depletion as it settles and cover the living sea bed in a layer of dead mud.  I can only assume this is now seen as the cheapest way to carry out the development and this wasn’t realised when the promise was made to build on land.

Action: Simon – produce a summary of key points for people to mention in a letter about the sea life die off and continuing dredging / dumping around the River Tees for CASaV meeting.

To learn more watch this recent Channel 4 New Report – “What’s killing marine life in North East England?”, visit and follow Reclaim Our Sea on Facebook –

Actions from last meeting
Simon encourage a farming discussion group based on the follow-up from the CASaV farming meeting and the Climate Action Northallerton’s the Ants and the Grasshopper film showing.
Spoken to Geoff Jacques – need to follow up with One Planet One Northallerton
Simon Check with Caryn / Bridget about CASaV recent involvement in tree planting
No further planting beyond what mentioned at previous meeting.
        Kate template letter to send to Rishi Sunak.

Matters Arising

19th November Swainby Repair Cafe – lots of challenging repairs

10th December Stokesley Repair Cafe – 3rd Repair Cafe in the Globe.
14th January the Esk Valley Repair Cafe will happen in Danby, great that Dave & Cal Moore have set up this independent Repair Cafe.

Q1 2023 – Middlesbrough Environment City and Friends of the Earth Middlesbrough and Redcar are planning on holding their 1st Repair Cafe, still in the early stages of planning.
North Yorkshire Climate Coalition has now met with all the political council groups.  All the groups get it but their ambition is constrained by only operate within what they see as things people will accept and that everything has to be economic best value – which could be said to what goes us into the mess.  So big job for all climate groups to move people’s views and ensure that this is plain to our political representatives.
We may also have a role in ensuring we avoid and don’t stoke political infighting.
A local community energy company could be a way to get the councils to move faster towards Net Zero.
North Yorkshire County Council – NYCC – David Tonge on behalf of the Climate Coalition presented a 3 minute statement to a full council meeting, it was well received, but the main ask to ensure all councillors undergo full Climate Literacy training was not agreed, however working with the individual parties this will be encouraged and NYCC will fund where necessary.
The full council meeting felt very formal / dated / unchanged starting with a minutes silence for the leader who had just died which seemed very appropriate, but was followed by eulogies for members who left long ago, then prayers, plus not much diversity in councillor make-up.  A bit concerning for an organisation who will in April have over 15,000 employees.
Reinforced the need for local groups to ensure that a strong focus is kept by the council on Net Zero and improved ecology.

Great things going on in Middlesbrough both on Doughnut Economics and Circular Economy:

Guardian Live on Thursday 8th 7pm Naomi Klein in conversation with Greta Thunberg –
Reclaim Our Sea – Get Together – Pause the Dredge – 12th December 9.30am Teesworks entrance – Trunk Road Roundabout / Coatham Lane.

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