November’s Waste Thoughts – 2021

Matter arising
COP26: Waste is not a headline item, implied in most discussions around resource efficiency/circularity, but little focus in the discussions around reducing consumption at all, ok less oil but plan just to replace with new forms of energy.  However a number of parallel events organised by other organisations such as the COP26 Coalition People’s Summit had some challenging sessions on waste, such as the impact of the replacement of waste pickers in India with incinerators on both the environment and people’s lives.
The Circular Yorkshire Week session Food Waste: Rethink, Reduce, Recoup had some sobering statistics, in the UK the amount of food wasted has increased from 30% to 40%, 9 million tonnes of bread is wasted each year, 9-10% of total GHGe are due to food waste, 870million people globally are hungry, all highlighting the importance of tackling food waste locally as well nationally and globally.
UK Net Zero Strategy: The UK’s “Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener” was finally released on 19th October, waste is not an obvious part of it (367 pages so may have missed bits), but resource efficiency and circular economy is widely discussed.  It does promise to build on the excellent (but largely unimplemented) 2018 “Resources and Waste Strategy“, promising a new “Waste Prevention Programme”

Project Purple: Hovingham Repair Cafe/Share Shed – Hovingham united to address green opportunities when threatened with fracking, Project Purple is their whole community conglomerate.  They have 2 great activities which are running – a quarterly repair cafe and a virtual share shed – both of these are activities which could be implemented across parts of Stokesley and villages, probably best focused on individual communities.
Simon has started some discussions in Swainby to set up a repair cafe and possibly a share shed, just feeling our way to get a few key people and organisations involved before asking the whole village for others who might want to be involved.  Terry Andrews, chair of the village hall committee is approaching the WI – Jan Coles and a local electrician – Andrew Porritt for advice and possible involvement.
Pete would like to be involved in Swainby / Carlton.
David has approached Stokesley Engineers (David Alford) and it will be discussed at their next meeting.

Share Shed: is a very simple idea, basically instead of everybody having their own thing (pressure washer, wood splitter, etc.) in the community people share use of either collectively owned things or their neighbours’ things, so instead of a Toy Library a Library of Things.  Instead of a physical shed, Hovingham has a virtual share shed with items being held by their owners but listed/described on a website with a single point of contact to borrow anything, who connects the borrower up with the owner.  Meaning such a virtual Share Shed does not have a big administrative overhead.

Reuse: Freecycle etc should be promoted more, for example Helmsley are running a “Give OR Take” event. Percy, the Middlesbrough “scrapstore” is working with Community Repaint giving out recycled paint.

Action: Simon will check whether Percy is able to take any old paint.

Opportunity for Rishi Sunak to visit on 3rd December: we had a number of ideas:

  • Upcycling – demonstrating various approaches.
  • Macroeconomics – UK Green Bank
  • Climate Fresk – a guided “game” for a group of people to learn about climate change
  • Jack and peers – a suitable young person to ask Rishi questions “my future” – as Jonathan Van Tam has stated that climate change is far more important than Covid.
  • Constituents – what is being done and what he going to do and what can he do to support us
  • Share our maps of local green activities
  • What is going to be done about the barriers to change: no electricity infrastructure, rural transport needs big subsidies, active transport where are the cycleways
  • Lack of motivation companies doing the right thing
    • What part should government play in regulating companies: statutory annual audit companies – ESG or do shareholders have to press for this
    • Front line NHS have to have Covid jab – why can’t we do the same for companies to do the right thing for all of us
  •            Great heat pump money announcement but only for 1 in 1000 houses – what happens to the other 999?
  • Offer to check his house out for retrofitting
  • What actions are already and about to happen coming from the governments net zero strategy

Feed these into CASaV general discussion.

Flexible Plastics Fund – it appears now most supermarkets are collecting soft plastics.
Plan to visit/meeting at the Energy to Waste / Recycling Centre Allerton Park – Allerton Waste Recycling Park – AWRP: After Christmas, Wednesdays in January, Val from radio
Action: Simon look up details on relative impacts of CO2 from energy from waste vs methane form land fills.


Food Waste: Wednesday not covered at the moment but Coop pioneer is looking for people to receive food.  Thursday’s being shared with IPC and Ann Slater’s other good causes.  IPC/International Centre doing great stuff with Afghan refugees
Sam Cornish’s Blog: impact of big herbivores on the tundra – more insulation, less dense forests – multiple benefits from a new form of rewilding.
Is it time to revisit the feeding waste food to pigs?  This was stopped due to the 1990’s foot and mouth epidemic.  This is being revisited now with a Feedback campaign, not very vegan but certainly better than growing soy in Brazil to feed pigs in the UK.

Retrofitting: in the processing of installing overlay underfloor heating which will augment existing internal wall insulation and then be heated by a new air source heat pump.

Which – highlighting Heatwayv as alternative to heat pump, a microwave heater which heat up water like gas boiler, put on wall instead of gas boiler, runs on electricity 90% efficient, potentially a lot less hassle to install than a heat pump, but will use 4x electricity of a heat pump, so probably only a solution a short term fix or for special cases.

Scilly Isles / Farming Today – coffee grinds plus waste straw plus waste bracken – compress to make briquettes for heating – FernFuel Ltd.

Planning to go to the Helmsley “Give or Take” to see if it is something we could replicate usefully locally.

Where do you take 1000 flower pots to get them reused?  Whitegates nursery was taking back plant pots for reuse.

Real buzz on Saturday with genuine concern / interest from people at the Stokesley stall, based on the recent assessment of likely 2.4degree heating, but also people asking about pumps.
Action: Simon put something on the website to help people with home heating or at least point to resources to help.

Connecting up reduction/reuse/recycling: Louise Coidan ( is collecting silver foil for the Methodist Church / used postage stamps for Teesside Hospice / …. , so please get in touch with her once you have some for her to pass on.

Recent online meetings
Circular Yorkshire Week – – great sessions on waste and food.

Many COP26 sessions were recorded and are available on YouTube –

COP26 Coalition People’s Summit had a range of topics around climate justice with grounding in the science and politics –

Ethical Consumer Week: Closing the climate gap –

The Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission has produced the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Change Action Plan: to foster climate resilience and adaptation to climate risks and impact, to support rapid progress towards net zero carbon emissions, to encourage a just and inclusive transition and climate actions that leave no-one and nowhere behind, to promote sustainability and climate actions that also protect nature and biodiversity.  The Commission is committed to working towards its goals by enabling engagement, supporting constructive debate, strengthening the evidence base, promoting best practice, helping to build capacities for financing and delivery and regularly reviewing progress.
Earthshot Prize: the 2021 prizes were for a wide range of really inspiring projects 1 for each theme: Review and our oceans – restoring coral new methods to grow coral in farms / Build a waste-free world – reducing food waste in Milan by working with a wide range of citizens / Protect and restore nature – protecting the natural environment in Costa Rica / Fix our climate – a new form of electrolyser which will make manufacture of hydrogen more effective / Clean our air – a biochar system in India that turns waste into fertilizer reducing smoke by 98%.

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