BRAG spreads the word at Brentford market

BRAG members Hugh and Douglas show off our bags

BRAG members Hugh and Douglas show off our bags

BRAG had a stall at Brentford market at the end of October, sharing a table with the Brentford Works, and had a very successful morning. We gave out about 100 of our cotton shopping bags and sold jars of home-made jams and marmalades for the Marie Curie cancer charity. BRAG committee members Catharine, Douglas, Hugh, Rukmini, Wendy and Virginia were all in attendance, promoting the fewer-plastic bags message alongside the free cotton bags, which are also available at Brentford Works. Check out the BRAG Flickr page for more photos of this and previous events: https://www.flickr.com/groups/brag/pool

BRAG AGM

The fifteenth Brentford Recycling Action Group (BRAG) Annual General Meeting will be held Tuesday, 18th November 2014, at 7.00pm at the Docking Station, 108 High Street, Brentford, Middlesex TW8 8AT.

The AGM will comprise a review of BRAG’s activities in the past year, including our work at community events, followed by a number of presentations and a question-and-answer session. We will round off the evening with refreshments, where you’ll have a chance to chat with members and guests in an informal setting. Continue reading

Food Recycling for Flats

Up to 3,500 residents living in flats will be able to recycle food waste for the first time this spring.

The new service from Hounslow Council – funded with more than £133,000 from the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) – will provide ‘caddies’ to enable residents to recycle food.

Cllr Colin Ellar, deputy leader of the Council and cabinet member for environment, said: “These new caddies will enable people living in flats to recycle food and be on a par with other residents.

“It also helps push Hounslow’s recycling rate up which is good news for the environment and council tax payers as less money is spent on land fill tax.”

The new service is scheduled to start after April. Officers from the Council’s waste and recycling team will be in contact with managing agents and residents’ associations to provide further information.

New bins a wheelie big success

Wheelie bins have proved hugely popular according to new figures released by Hounslow Council today and have also led to an increase in the recycling rate and less litter on streets.

A survey in the wheeled bin pilot area – which covers 7,300 households in Hounslow West, Heston West, Feltham West, Syon and Chiswick Riverside – saw an increase in the recycling rate from 37 per cent to 41 per cent. Continue reading

Cindy Gardener is BRAG’s 2012 Green Champion

Cindy Gardener, Waste and Recycling Officer at Hounslow Council, was presented with BRAG’s third Green Champion award at last month’s AGM. Cindy, the liaison officer for communications between Hounslow Council and BRAG since 2010, was honoured for her commitment to recycling and the initiatives she has spearheaded in her work at the council.

Cindy receiving her Green Champion award from BRAG members Patti Horsnell and Hugh Picton

Cindy receiving her Green Champion award from BRAG members Patti Horsnell and Hugh Picton

Last year, for example, Cindy’s team introduced a service for schools whereby food waste produced in the kitchens of the borough’s primary schools is collected and sent for anaerobic digestion rather than ending up in landfill. The food is collected on the same vehicles as the food waste from nearby homes, saving unnecessary trips by the recycling fleet.

Another initiative, launched this year, is a programme for mothers and mothers-to-be aimed at reducing nappy waste. Mums and pregnant women are being offered a free ‘taster pack’ to give them an idea of what it would be like to use washable nappies instead of disposables. As a result, 16 mums so far have made the switch to cloth nappies and said good-bye to nappy waste.

Cindy's Green Champion prize

Cindy’s Green Champion prize

Cindy’s Green Champion prize was a hamper of (mostly) locally produced goodies, including a cotton shopping bag made by BRAG member Rukmini West; jams from Abundance London in Chiswick; chocolate honeycomb, apple-and-chilli jelly, apricot-and-cashew biscotti, and bay leaves from Brentford’s Hen Corner; apple chutney from Chiswick farmers’ market; green tomato chutney and Ealing honey from Angela Malik in Acton; Brentford Dock honey;  Ringden Farm apple juice; Richmond blackberry jam; and some Turkish Delight labelled “Brentford Delight.”

BRAG reckoned that the prize was a chance to showcase the abundance of fine products available in and around Brentford as well as to honour Cindy for her efforts.

With characteristic humility, Cindy said the award had taken her by surprise. She added that every member of BRAG was a Green Champion in her eyes.
How our habits have changed
How our habits have changed – presentation (ppsx)

BRAG Comments on Brentford High Street Plans

Redevelopment of Brentford High Street – Ref:  P/2012/2735 00607/BA/P2

As you may know, BRAG (Brentford Recycling Action Group) is a voluntary, non-political community waste action group made up of Brentford residents. Our main aim is to raise awareness of waste and environmental issues, promoting activities and facilities to improve the local environment for the benefit of local people.

With this in mind, we have looked at the proposals for the south side of Brentford High Street which have been presented by developers Ballymore.  There is much to be commended (for example a CHP system that could be connected to Brentford Dock/a town wide district heating system).  However improvement is needed in the following areas:

  • Carbon neutrality – Locally we are very proud that Lord Stern of Brentford published the Report on the Economics of Climate Change in 2006. This is internationally recognised as a milestone report on the economics of climate change and shifted the global debate.  Ballymore’s Economic study (pg 41) suggests that the developer picks up on the Council’s desire: “To ensure that all new developments within Brentford contribute to the Community Plan goal of a ‘carbon-neutral’ borough and address key environmental issues that exist within the area.” At present the scheme’s environmental proposals are not yet ambitious enough in their contribution to this goal in a town that should be leading the way. Continue reading

Eco Village

I (Ruk) spent many happy days and evenings at the Eco Village situated by Kew Bridge, enjoying good company, food and music.

It featured sustainability, blooming flowers and vegetables, various art and building projects. Recycling, re-use and reduce were also an ethos and the chance to chill out without any who, what, why and where.

One felt in an oasis – away from the noise and hubbub of the commercial world.

Good old back to basic living.

Its closure was a great loss to me. The site has now been enveloped by a multi-storey block of flats and the ground floor houses a Sainsbury.

You can read more about the Eco Village at Wikipedia (and have a look at the links) and here’s the Kew Bridge Eco Village blog.

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