30/09/21 - News in Brief

GTR unveils new initiative to boost Brighton Station’s recycling rates

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has unveiled an initiative that aims to increase Brighton Station’s recycling rates to 95 per cent, from an average of 30 per cent recorded last year, through implementing a new Mobile Segregation Unit (MSU).

Currently, 12 per cent of the total waste collected across GTR’s network comes from Brighton. Prior to the pandemic, in an average year, the station produced 650 tonnes of refuse.

The new unit will segregate, wash, compact, bale, weigh and electronically tag all waste from Brighton station, as well as all Southern and Thameslink trains running to and from the city, through working in partnership with sustainability start-up, The Green Block.

Since its installation last month, GTR states, the MSU has already prevented over 32 tonnes of waste going to incineration, and if rates remain at the same level, the initiative should see nearly 400 tonnes of refuse being recycled between now and September 2022.

Govia Thameslink Railway’s Infrastructure Director, Keith Jipps, commented: “Brighton station’s MSU will be one of several major sustainability successes across our network and we are delighted to have seen a phenomenal increase in the station’s recycling rate in this first month.”

Josh Katz, Client Services Manager from The Green Block, added: “Everyone at The Green Block (TGB) is delighted to be working with Govia Thameslink Railway to support this forward-thinking, innovative approach to waste, delivering world class recycling rates.”

Merseyside community groups come together to help reduce waste

17 community groups gathered last Tuesday (14 September) in Liverpool to generate ideas to help the City Region reduce, reuse and recycle more.

The groups have all received funding from the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) and Veolia Community Fund 21/22, which has distributed £165,000 to help support local waste prevention, reuse and recycling initiatives since its inception.

The organisations bid for the funding which will be allocated to delivering waste-reducing behavioural change projects across the region. Programmes include cookery clubs to reduce food waste; community recycling hubs; sewing classes and craft clubs; upcycling and restoration of unwanted furniture; clothes recycling; and a cloth nappy lending library.

Due to the pandemic, this is the first time that representatives from the organisations have been able to come together in person to discuss their plans to help cut household waste levels.

The successful organisations have got until March 2022 to deliver their projects.

Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), Councillor Tony Concepcion, commented: “The event was a great opportunity to meet all our project partners. Year on year we’re seeing more success from our Community Fund programme and its influence on the whole region. This year there are a wide range of projects and a good mix of materials including food, furniture, plastics and textiles.”

Drone technology helps reduce refuse in Bournemouth litter hotspots by 75 per cent

A survey covering Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole has used drone technology to identify litter hotspots across the area.

Lead by scientists at Ellipsis Earth, the trial took part in three phases throughout the year. The intelligence gathered from the analysis has enabled environmental charity Hubbub to distinguish regions in need of specific litter-reducing intervention.

This intervention includes the use of bins with ‘positive, engaging messages’, placed ‘strategically’ throughout the refuse hotspots. Findings from the study have shown a 75 per cent decrease in litter throughout these targeted locations.

According to the study, the interventions that proved most successful with Bournemouth residents were the glow-in-the-dark bins, which saw an 88 per cent reduction of glass bottle and aluminium can refuse, and ballot bins, where an average reduction of 73 per cent was recorded for cigarette butt litter.

Trewin Restorick, CEO and co-founder of Hubbub, commented: “We’re blown away by the results of this project. This is game changing for the way we tackle litter in our urban, green and coastal areas across the country.

“The results are conclusive – the key to reducing litter is to get robust localised data and use positive and playful messaging. The success of the glow in the dark bins shows that people are quite willing to put their litter in bins, they just need to be able to see them!”