January’s Waste Thoughts – 2023

Full notes below, quick summary:


  • Simon update all the different Repair cafe websites
  • All could you send in your suggestions for improvements in waste that you would like to see locally as the North Yorkshire unitary authority consolidates to single waste approach across North Yorkshire.
  • Simon circulate template letter to demand government puts in place a firm timeline for implementation of the policies set out in “Our Waste, Our Resources: a strategy for England”

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/

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

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Notes form 10th January 2023 CASaV Waste Group Meeting

Apologies: Pete, Joy, 
Matters arising
Recent online / physical meetings


A method has been developed to remove microplastics from water using a magnetic powder onto which the microplastics absorb and can then be removed – New Scientist Article.
D&S-asphalt build a plant near Allerton Park – concerns as it is near watercourse – from ash / waste plastics
The D&S reported on 30th December that North Yorkshire County Council had received funding from the UK Government’s Share Prosperity Fund to support community venues to provide advice to reduce energy use – venues need to register an interest by 10th January by emailing fprotheroe@cravendc.gov.uk 
A carbon friendly concrete has been developed by a partnership involving Teesside University.  Mevocrete uses byproducts of steel / chemical industry to produce a concrete using 85% less carbon dioxide.

The Environment Agency calls for the Allerton Park asphalt plant to be rejected,as it is sited too close to controlled waters.

Octopus offer tariffs (Agile) which encourage you to shift your electricity to times when grid carbon intensity if very low but you have to have the right type of smart meter.  It is not obvious if my type 1 smart meter will work, certainly type 2 smart meters would allow access to these tariffs.

The Guardian had a great article – 52 acts of kindness: how to spread the joy in every week of 2023, which included:

  • Repair Cafes – surprisingly national articles get people to look for things locally – one of our repairers basically found out about Repairer Cafes through one in Southampton connection, then found us locally
  • Care for Calais desparate need for winter coats to keep refugees warm
  • TWAM – “tools with a mission” – unwanted tools passed onto people who need them – any type of tools drop off points fairly close.

Christmas Tree Recycling –  will be recycled at all North Yorkshire Waste Recycling Centres, if they aren’t collected by a special green bin collection as they are in some areas – check your HDC bin collection day.
Rather than reducing waste our councils are still planning to build more incinerators, the SINE group (Stop Incineration North East) is holding a zoom meeting tomorrow night where you can find out why this is bad idea and how they are trying to stop – Facebook Event Details – Wednesday 11th January 2023 (7pm-9pm) https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85880022490?pwd=ZjFqTDMvdnRvLzJabmRKd3ZlY2c5Zz09 ID: 858 8002 2490 Passcode: 422637 – you can read the planning permission here – R/2019/0767/OOM – where it is justified due to increasing amounts of waste and commercial need caused by contracts ending..

The Silo Restaurant is a zero waste restaurant – as they state they do things backwards, so make sure nothing will go into the bin – all explained in a great Youtube video.  For example after flavouring foods seaweed gets turned into lamps and glass into plates, plus the novel ways in which they use waste food.
India uses garlands of flowers extensively and these are often just left to float down rivers, where they deprive the rivers oxygen threatening the marine life.  So local people have developed a process to upcycling flower leaves into leather (Fleather), just as Stella McCartney has shown her first non-leather (Murum) leather handbag.
In contrast there appears to be no recycling in Lebanon, which is made worse as all drinking water comes in plastic bottles. One non-profit is spearheading recycling in Lebanon according to UNEP, so hopefully Lebanon will look different soon.


My day job is at the Environment Agency, currently working on the decarbonising of industry from a licensing point of view, so keen to share my experiences, but not on behalf of the EA.
Lots going on locally with:

  • BP is planning a “green” hydrogen (from renewable electricity) plant in Redcar (Teesworks) and a “blue” hydrogen (from gas-methane with CO2 captured and stored) plant on Seal Sands.
  • Sembcorp (owners of Wilton International) have a number of gas power plants they were planning to fit these gas fired power stations with carbon capture and storage (CCS), but are in the process of entering into an agreement with Mitsubishi to be a test / demonstration site for hydrogen burners.
    • Hydrogen burnt won’t be available to decarbonise hard to reach energies such as steel and cement, but these processes aren’t yet available.
    • So while hydrogen power plants won’t help the development of CCS, and it relies on H2 first, but it could still accelerate decarbonisation as hydrogen when burnt produces no CO2, so immediate win, but requires hydrogen availability.
  • If this is going to work then hydrogen has to be available and so need to prioritise licenses for H2 production.
  • So to reduce CO2 quickly change focus from hard to reach but smaller to quick to do and larger.

Tapproge balls are used to clean the boiler tubes in the Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station, sometimes they escape, float out to sea and are then washed back onto beaches locally. Our family has been collecting the balls and sending them back to the power station, the plant manager phoned to thank us and as a thank you has invited my son’s class for a tour of the power station. The ball start with a diameter of 2cm but get smaller the longer they are at see, as little as 5mm after many years.  Hartlepool has invested £100k to reduce release and so we are only seeing smaller balls nowadays.
DEFRA is to finally publish its plans to ban plastic plates, trays, bowls, cutlery, balloon sticks and certain types of poly­styrene cups and food containers on 14 January.  As this is due to come into effect in October there is still work to do to find the right alternatives, as many nominally recyclable alternatives contain multiple materials for example plastic coatings so can’t be recycled, perhaps back to newspaper which can at least be composted.

Smart Meters potentially help us to reduce our energy wastage, locally many of us have been unable to get smart meters due to the potential to interfere with Fylingdales, but in December I had a 450MHz meter fitted instead of the standard 420MHz meter, comparison picture below:

Standard 420MHz Smart Meter:

Variant 450MHz Smart Meter:

Our Repair Cafes are promoted extensively on CASaV’s Facebook, plus on CASaV’s website, the Repair Cafe International Organisation website and https://swainby.org.uk.

Action: Simon update all the different websites.

Our waste, our resources: a strategy for England was published in 2018 by the government and set a balanced pragmatic approach to treating waste more as resources, it set out a not too challenging timeline, to allow industry to change:

Disappointingly little progress is visible in a number of areas, while many items weren’t due to be visible yet, the dates on the timeline have now been stated not to be achievable, but new dates have not been set for many food waste collections, extended producer responsibility or deposit return schemes.  2023 has to be the year for the government to reassert a firm timeline to show real progress in 2023.  As mentioned above action on single use plastics is positive, but only deals with the tip of a large iceberg.

Action: Simon circulate template letter to demand government puts in place a firm timeline for implementation of the policies set out in “Our Waste, Our Resources: a strategy for England”
North Yorkshire is rationalising the approach to waste as the unitary authority comes into action, so now is a good time to push for improved waste practises across North Yorkshire.

What are the best practises in waste in other North Yorkshire district councils?  These should be the easy things to implement across the whole of North Yorkshire.

Action: All could you send in your suggestions for improvements in waste that you would like to see locally as the North Yorkshire unitary authority consolidates to single waste approach across North Yorkshire.

Actions from last meeting
All – please let Bridget know if you are available to help with the Biodiversity event in Stokesley on 17th December

Unfortunately due to weather the event was called off.
All – please contact Jenny if you are interested in getting involved in bulk buying of foods to avoid packaging.

Nobody has been in touch, Jenny is still keen if others are interested.
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.

A brief was produced and worked up into a letter at the December CASaV meeting.

Matters Arising
14th January – Upper Esk Valley Repair Cafe – Danby Village Hall – great to see that another repair cafe organisation is operating locally.
21st January Swainby Repair Cafe
11th February Stokesley Repair Cafe


Net Zero Teesside

Plans are in place for Teesside to become one of the hubs of new decarbonised previously high carbon technologies will be operating.

One key part of this are major plans to store carbon dioxide, here Teesside is part of the East Coast Cluster with the Humber, both will send their carbon dioxide to the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP). NEP will store carbon dioxide in the Endurance oilfield which is 90km off the Yorkshire coast or 145km by pipeline from Teesside.

Despite all the carbon dioxide generated on Teesside, the first carbon capture and storage project will be a new combined cycle gas fired power station part of NZT Power.  This will be an 800MW power station with 30% of the power being used to capture and compress CO2 to liquie so it can be pumped into the Endurance pipeline and transported by pipeline to be stored in the oilfield.  There is a plan for 2 more gas power stations to be built.  Such a big single source of CO2 is seen as being the keystone of the whole NZT process.

When the NZT project was first launched the picture below shows plan for initial CCS, varying from the new power station, to incinerators, to existing industrial plants on both sides of the Tees.

Since then a number of other plants have been added to the plan, and recently a new approach has been suggested where NZT will be implemented initially only on the south bank of the Tees, with a phase 2 which will expand to the north bank.

The map below shows purely the areas which will directly involved in CO2 capture and transport, pipelines on land and in the sea, plus impact from cooling waters reentering the sea to the north east of the power station.  It is also important that in our race ot net zero we don’t destroy other parts of the environment, so developing such huge areas will require a sensitive approach and can not be purely driven by minimum costs as has been the case in the recent past as demonstrated by the state of our rivers and sea.

On the one hand the scale of the ambition of NZT is impressive to capture all of the CO2 to allow business as usual, on the other hand it is not very creative as all the CO2 will plus more will still be produced but it will just not enter the atmosphere.  CO2 is a waste product as such ideally the approach to dealing with it should be in line with the waste pyramid, i.e. reduce before you do anything else.  So rather than generating more electricity using gas, strenuous efforts should be made to reduce energy consumption.  No question if this was all operational now we would have taken a big step towards net zero, but as it is not operational now, its success in stopping the acceleration of global warming will entirely depend on the speed at which all these assets come on stream.

NZT plans to capture and store 10MT of CO2 per year, currently global carbon capture, utilisation and storage is around 43MT per year.  Currently most of the CO2 captured is used in enhanced oil recovery, and it is part of the reason why enhanced oil recovery is so energy intensive due to the parasitic load the CO2 capture imposes.

Obviously the task will be made more difficult if more and more energy from waste, biomass or fossil fuel burning plants are built in the meantime, as each of these will require its carbon dioxide capturing. 

Reclaim Our Sea Update
A local fisherman has brought an action against dredging in the River Tees basically on the basis that the dredging is depriving him of his livelihood, if successful it would require dredging to be paused until it could be proven to be safe.

South Tees Development Corporation has submitted a variation to deposit material that could be excavated and taken to landfill to be dredged and dumped at sea instead:

Marine License Variation 2 Option Paper from South Bank Quay construction license MLA/2020/0506/2.

You can find more details on https://www.facebook.com/groups/reclaimoursea and read the background on https://northeastfc.uk

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