Ruth Hunter Pepper. Recycling our Waste: While we know that PKC have installed recycling bins in different places for people to use which are then manually and mechanically sorted through elsewhere, and the waste team spend time educating people on how to recycle more effectively, in other councils like East Lothian they have conducted a pilot study into different ways of diverting more of their waste from landfill.
What they discovered from this study was that the most time and cost-effective method to improve the efficiency of their recycling rates was to take away all on street recycling bins leaving only the normal bins. It seems bizarre to do this, but East Lothian Council have proved that they were able to recycle more of their waste through saving money from landfill costs and the provision of bin lorries for contaminated recycling bins. The money they saved covers the cost of mechanically sorting all their public waste (including landfill).
As far as I know East Lothian Council certainly mechanically sort the on street bins. Commercial waste is separate I think and Household waste is sorted at home into boxes . (From August 2021 recyclable material will be collected from households on a weekly basis with all materials collected on the same day. This refreshed recycling service is designed to help us all recycle more than ever before. The more frequent collections mean that you might not need to use as many boxes.)
So maybe something to go back to PKC with?
Compostables Binns Group will dispose of compostables and recycle them properly. But there are another two companies in Scotland. Viridor is one but they are more expensive than Binns.
The reaction in North Berwick is the customers love them.
We could try a small pilot project here to see how well received they would be. They could be trialed in one or two takeaway or deli outlets or in the Handam shop? We could try to get some funding to buy some then the takeaways could charge a small deposit so they become self-funded to get more should they be successful. One consideration would be the additional cleaning and storage required to store the Tiffin Boxes. We could make posters to advertise businesses who are offering these Tiffin Boxes. Or compostables like A Plaice to Be use. But they could be used for school and work lunches, picnics etc. Takeaways could brand them to advertise themselves. The other thing is you can just open them up and serve from them at the table. They can go in the oven. You could use them for camping too. What kind of cutlery could be used outside. There are a number of types now that are bamboo or wooden.
If we do want to start this scheme here then there are takeaway owners in North Berwick who would be happy to speak to local takeaway owners and Ruth is happy to continue to advise us on any concerns.
Ruth would like to chat about the Refill shop at some point as they have lost their local shop.
For information about litter:
Keep Scotland beautiful https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/scotlands-litter-summit/ https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/community-and-place/clean-up-scotland/
Bottle Return scheme has been pushed back to 2022 https://depositreturnscheme.zerowastescotland.org.uk/
Verges Rosie mentioned that there was a big bank between the Episcopal Church down towards the distillery that was covered in violets last year. She had been admiring them and then someone came and mowed it including all the violets. So she wrote to the distillery asking if they owned the bank. They said they did and that they had a policy, that if it was non public facing, then they didn't mow it. They also said as they were a Gold award business they would make sure that it wasn't mowed in future and would speak to their gardeners. And then bank was mowed. When Rosie spoke to them again they were going to double check to see if it was the council, and if it was they were going to ask if they could adopt the cutting of the bank.
Plantlife (Plantlife.org.uk) I am not sure if you are aware, but the organisation Plantlife is currently conducting a national campaign re verges. They recommend that cutting be avoided as much as possible during the times when flowers are setting their seeds. They have produced a document called "Managing grassland road verges" which suggests a variety of different ways to manage verge cutting throughout the year, whilst minimising disruption to wild plant populations, and hopefully boosting biodiversity in these. Balfour Beatty, the road engineers, have an environment officer - quite helpful when I got in touch about ‘spraying’ around newly planted saplings.
Plants and a Seed Exchange Box: There is a Plant and seed exchange box at Handam Shop for any unwanted/spare plants or garden seeds you have? Come see what we have. Drop some off and pick some up.
Climate Café Network Website is now operational. Jess has included lots of great information as well as links to all the climate cafes along with the climate cafes on soils etc. www.climate.cafe
Climate Conversation: 2040. We had 50 people sign up to watch the film on the 24th May along with a few attending the climate conversation afterwards. Maybe once the restrictions allow it, we could organise an in person screening of it in Pitlochry?
Other talks for future Climate café meetings?
Water Saving Campaign: I will be contacting Scottish water to see if they would be interested in helping us with a water saving project – supply water saving devices for our cisterns and water butts? Then advertise it to the accommodation providers and community.
Tayside Biodiversity Catherine Lloyd would be happy to come chat about some projects we could do here with the school. Pollinators stepping stones – wild flower corridors. Hedgehog project, Swift surveys to name a few.
Green Hyrogen? Would anyone be interested to hear about this new source of energy?
Our next meeting is Friday 11th of June and the topic is LoveMyBus.