May’s Waste Thoughts – 2022

Notes from 16th May 2022 CASaV Waste Group Meeting

Actions from Last Meeting

  • Simon will seek interest in another trip to Allerton Waste Recovery Park – please email Simon if you are interested to visit.
    • Will confirm available dates and then seek further interest.
  • Anne will bring details of the Refill scheme to April CASaV meeting to get volunteers on board.
    • Discussed at April CASaV meeting
  • Waste Group revisit potential to hold Give or Take event in future locally
    • Still no obvious way to deal with end of event leftovers


Simon highlighted green washing or at least not a great message to get across, this padded envelope highlights instructions for recycling rather than any suggestion of reuse, reuse is always better than recycling, especially the instructions appear to show at least part of the envelope going to waste:


Need to encourage manufacturers to improve their products.
In the past labels to reuse envelopes were widely used and encouraged, this seems to have declined recently with envelopes even being made more difficult to recycle as they rip.

Fred has written a book “Recycle Angel” which tells the tale of a grandad who teaches his grandson about recycling and in the process creates a recycling business – (  He also blogs about issues related to recycling and council efficiencies on (, currently he is concerned about collections of waste and recycling being inefficient as they are too often, as on many occasions people don’t have much to be collected.  There are also considerable differences in waste collections between local councils.  The government has in the past suggested that it would insist on weekly collections, the current guidance insists on biweekly collections –
The group has previously discussed the government’s approach to waste, specifically consistency of waste collection between local authorities – – this consultation closed in June 2021, but the government has not yet issued the results, which is disappointing.

Sadly, the government has many outstanding consultations and with several others has announced that it is not going to publish the results, so we will have to wait and see what will happen, but the longer the delay the more difficult implementation will be on the proposed timescales –

This is against a background of the UK’s recycling / waste targets getting worse over the last 3 years –

You can read our previous discussions here –
How do we communicate with people to encourage better waste habits? In the past Hambleton District Council has put notices on people’s bins when they are emptied, normally about changes in collection etc., but this could be used to encourage people to do the best thing with waste.  For example it could even encourage people with very little waste to place it in their neighbours to make collection quicker.

Local libraries / community centres could also be used for example as additions to the waste related activities that are already happening: Stokesley – Globe: Blister packs etc; Great Ayton – Discovery; Hutton Rudby – Hub.

More radically, North Yorkshire County Council is considering shared bins as the solution.
xSoft plastics
Coop have been leading on soft plastics recycling, being fairly open that as much as possible will be recycled including all their own brand packaging, but some of it will be burnt.  However they have not published statistics of what is actually happening –
One opportunity to find out could be the upcoming Coop AGM online/in person – too late to ask the question, but may be mentioned as part of this year’s developments –

Wendy spotted in the Guardian “Raising a glass to wine in paper bottles” brand “When In Rome” –– Frugal Packaging claim 1/6 CO2 of single use glass bottle with a recyclable plastic pouch inside a card outer.
Darlington & Stockton Times had a nice article on vegetable gardening the zero way.  There was also the CASaV Nature article highlighting No mow may and the wildflower walks.
Sent a question into the Coop AGM to ask why there is a lack of own brand Coop products in small stores – this means that more soft plastic waste will potentially not be recyclable, less money will go to local causes and less local crops are  used.
Both of the Wildflower walks are to be recommended:

Ann Prest focuses on how to identify wild plants, where their common names come from and their uses including how edible they are – 10.30am 7th June – Bank Foot, Ingleby Greenhow
Helen Herring focused more on why plants are where they are and how they fit into the landscape – 6pm 25th May – St Augustine’s Church, Kirkby Lane, Kirkby in Cleveland.
Surprising what you can eat: for example ground elder not the greatest taste and it will still spread faster than you can eat it.

Barbara Agar is holding a fabulous June charity event raising funds for the Transplant Unit at the Freeman Hospital – Save your extra plants for this PLANT SWAP DAY AND you can buy:

The Big Plastic Count (Everyday Plastic + Greenpeace UK) starts today, so time to count your plastics –

“What is The Big Plastic Count?

Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic are teaming up to create the UK’s biggest nationwide investigation into household plastic waste. We want to uncover the truth about how much plastic is passing through our homes and what happens to it.

With your help, we’ll gather new, game-changing evidence that will push the government to take bold action on plastic.”


Kate – The tips of goose grass taste like pea shoot – great use for a weed or at least a wild plant.
Getting Swainby Jubilee Celebration to think sustainably – upcycle – for example don’t buy bunting – reusing old fabrics to put bunting down Church Lane, stopping people buying Boyes plastic bunting and using spare wool crowns on posts:
The Friends of the Dales are holding a free digital Zoom talk “Give peat a chance” by guest speaker, Jenny Sharman of the Yorkshire Peat Partnership on 18 May at 7.30pm. In this talk Jenny will explore the degradation to Yorkshire’s peatlands and the consequences of this to wildlife, carbon store and water quality, along with an overview of the partnership’s work to rewet, replant and restore them. To book email –

The second event is a Peat and Poetry guided walk on Saturday 21 May starting at 10am in Ilkley. The seven mile walk will include expert insight from moorland ranger, Jody Vallance of Moors for the Future, along with recitals of two of the famous Stanza Stones and a visit to the Poetry Postbox. No dogs except RAD.Moor Peat  To book email –

David heard part of You and Yours ( – 19mins in) –  where an author (Jayne Buxton) was describing her book (Great Plant-Based Con) where she explained that vegetarians / vegans had got it all wrong and that cattle weren’t environmentally harmful.  It seems obvious that  intensive meat production is likely to be more damaging than pasture-fed, but neither is likely to be as efficient or have a lower environmental footprint than produced by humans eating crops rather than meat.  However, any judgement should be based on the facts, i.e. science and quantitative.

Jayne Buxton basically claims that meat is beneficial for health, regenerative agriculture is the only agriculture which sequesters carbon, and that the science which says the opposite is wrong.  It sounds a bit like the tobacco playbook i.e. make general statements and then suggest that accepted science is in fact disputed.  This has previously resulted in well publicised books from Bjorn Lomborg “The Skeptical Environmentalist” to Nigel Lawson’s “An appeal to reason”, both of which I hope you would now read as anti-science / anti-truth.

George Monbiot talked on Sunday as part of the “Transition Towns Together We Can” conference session on “Rewild the World”, and he showed how rewilding generally offers real carbon and ecological benefits which are only possible by freeing up land from farming by reducing meat consumption – details here or you can watch it here –  George has a new book out next week called “Regensis” which tells how rewilding is a key part of tackling the climate and ecological emergencies.

Whereas we talk about “buyer beware”, we should probably also think “reader beware”, in that we need to understand where our own and any authors own confirmation bias is likely to skew what is read and written.

Matters Arising

Bilsdale Show – 27th August still discussing what to do, HDC have made a proposal to supply residual waste and recycling collections, awaiting decision from Bilsdale Show Committee.
After having asked if the show had an environmental policy, Simon was asked to propose a simple environmental policy, this is his draft thought:

“The Bilsdale Agricultural Society aims to reduce the environmental impact of the Bilsdale Agricultural Show.

The Society will:

  • Aim to repurpose existing signs / crowd management equipment rather than purchase new
  • Encourage all exhibitors and traders to reduce their waste and wherever possible use recyclable materials
    • Food vendors will be asked to only use recyclable food receptacles
    • The show will operate a refund scheme for drink receptacles to support drink vendors
    • The show will provide water refill stations and encourage visitors to bring water bottles
  • Put in place a recycling scheme for visitors
  • Encourage lift sharing for visitors / encourage provision of public transport to the show ground
  • Highlight the environmental aims of the Show to encourage visitors to make their visits environmentally responsible
  • Manage the show ground in such a way as to increase biodiversity and reduce disruption to wildlife 

Environmental regulations, laws and codes of practice will be regarded as setting the minimum standards of environmental performance.”

Repair Cafe 14th May – Swainby Village Hall – Next one 25th June
Still analysing the repairs and the feedback, so early data:

  • Pink shirts worked well – they shouldn’t really be ironed to save energy (and time)
  • Over 40 items were examined
  • Most people were fairly local, but some came from as far as Richmond (left with a fixed toaster)
  • Some people came just for coffee, they were shown the repairing and hopefully went away having got the message that mending is great.
  • There will be a break over the summer with the next on to be confirmed on 10th September
  • People learned about the Repair Cafe from everywhere – village newsletter, D&S, Loop, Facebook groups, CASaV, their mum, etc.  So we will need to continue to use all these routes
  • Richard Bradshaw interviewed people to make a future Radio Leven online podcast

Thirsk Repair Cafe should start soon and noises have been made about Northallerton
Could Guisborough hold one?
Stokesley and Villages Repair Cafe need to put cafes into action in Stokesley and Hutton Rudby where interest has been expressed.
Action: Simon to follow up with Peter Chandler / Gill DeCosemo to find out whether they are able to supply insurance to host the Repair Cafe – otherwise additional insurance for a single location annual policy is ~£250.
Action: Simon to follow up with Hub in Hutton Rudby about whether they could cover the insurance for the Repair Cafe.

Refill – hope to get this underway with visits to new potential businesses.

Further visits to Allerton Park – Dog poo bags is it best to use old plastic bags or special dog poo bags?

Action: Simon to request potential dates from Amey for additional visits to Allerton Waste Recovery Park.

Recent online / physical meetings
Faceby Food Waste Meeting – Simon attended this meeting, around 15 people attended, volunteer from North Yorkshire Rotters described their activities, Simon gave an outline of CASaV and the waste group, there was a good discussion around waste but spreading into energy saving.

Transition Towns Together We Can Summit – some great sessions with lessons for CASaV for example “Led by the Young” and “Inclusivity”, recordings of many sessions are available on YouTube – with details 

Labman Recycling: Simon did a recycling survey with Labman staff, generally some really sensible practises in place – all packaging is kept from polystyrene noodles up, all material cuttings are recycled.  We identified a number of areas where improvements could be made – food waste recycling with composting should be implemented but will raise some practical issues.

Survey of prospective NYC candidates: David Tonge from Thirsk Friends of the Earth has reapproached all successful candidates who didn’t complete the survey to do it now, so we can hold them to account into the future –
Wildflower – how to engage/educate young people – could we have posters to identify plants – neat example during lockdown in London where a botanist chalked the names of plants growing up through the pavement –
In future could be add QR Codes to the “Excuse the weeds we’re feeding the bees”
Fountains Abbey have a great tree trail with everything from identification of flowers to different tree trunk rubbings to drawing of leaves –

Coop Food Share: Key is to find local groups to take food, specifically there is unclaimed surplus food on Wednesday / Saturday, still awaiting feedback from Rotary as to whether they could support.
Only Weigh Out have said they will think about providing a fridge, while the offer would be fantastic, it should really be in a community owned building, i.e. a library.  Locally Whitby and Redcar have community fridges plus 2 in Hartlepool –
Could Stokesley School hold “food technology” classes on next day made out of surplus food?
Possibility to collect food 4pm on a Sunday from big Stokesley Coop then take to the community farm on the A172 between Stokesley and Carlton.

Action: Simon call Coop Foodshare and ask for what other rural groups do to connect food surplus to need

Guisborough Church on High Street does lunches, could this be another home for surplus food?

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