Waste not, want not: how the rubbish industry learned to look beyond landfill

A yellow monster truck pushes mounds of rubbish across the summit of Britain’s biggest waste mountain. The 50-tonne beast has huge, spiked, steel wheels that grind mattresses, plastic bottles, trainers and traffic cones into the mud of the manmade peak.

This strange landscape is Packington landfill, near Birmingham. And this week Sita UK, which owns and operates the site, closed its gates for the final time. A boom in recycling, coupled with the 1996 landfill tax have slowly choked the life out of the refuse disposal sector. The charge of £80 a tonne will rise again to £82.60 from April, forcing the industry to deal with its waste in different ways.

Read on at The Guardian website…

Sign Up For The Big Dig

The Big DigThe call is out for Londoners of all ages and experience, to get involved in the Big Dig Day on Saturday 21st March 2015. The day will see thousands of Londoners and many more people across the country don their wellies and get stuck in at a local food growing garden.

The Big Dig Day is the flagship community event of Capital Growth London’s network of over 2 000 food growing gardens located on roofs, in parks and tucked away in hidden corners between houses, by canals and on urban farms. In its fourth year the Big Dig is also run nationally and has helped recruit over 10 000 volunteers to take part in community gardening in the UK. Continue reading

EU agrees strict targets for reduction of plastic-bag use

The 28 EU member states will be required to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags by 80% by 2025 under new rules agreed by the European Union this week. Countries can decide themselves how to achieve the goal, through measures such as charges for plastic bags or outright bans.

There is already a 5p charge for single-use bags in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and England will follow suit in October, with the money collected to be used for environmental and charitable causes.

Hounslow to host first-ever restart party

Do you have an electrical appliance or electronic device that needs repairing? If so, come to Hounslow’s first-ever restart party on Saturday, March 7, at the Hounslow Library and give your objects a new lease of life.

Restart parties are pop-up community events offering free repair services to participants. They are the brainchild of The Restart Project, a London-based social enterprise that encourages and empowers people to use their electronics longer by sharing repair and maintenance skills. Continue reading

Swish your way into a new wardrobe this Saturday at Twickenham Library

Does your wardrobe need an update? Come to the West London Waste swishing (clothes swap) event this Saturday, February 21, at Twickenham Library, and walk away with a new look. At the same time bid farewell to clothing you no longer wear, and send them on their way to a new home.

You can bring up to 10 items of clean clothing (in good condition, please) to the event to exchange for tokens (a maximum of 10). The tokens can be traded for items of clothing others have brought. Continue reading

French FoE shows consumers how to fight planned obsolescence

Calling all French speakers! Amis de la Terre (Friends of the Earth France) has launched a consumer guide to avoiding planned obsolescence in everyday products. Called Comment sortir de l’obsolescence programmée?*, the guide offers tried-and-tested advice, including to avoid throw-away products, buy simply produced goods (so there are fewer parts to go wrong), purchase reparable and good-quality products, and take part in borrowing-and-lending schemes such as Streetbank (see earlier BRAGonline article). Continue reading