News in brief 17/02/17

Feedback welcomes new Executive Director

Food waste campaign charity Feedback has appointed Carina Millstone as its new Executive Director. Millstone, who will take over on 20 March 2017, will be replacing co-founder Niki Charalampopoulou, who will remain with Feedback in an advisory and ambassadorial capacity.

Millstone is the founder of The Orchard Project, a charity working with community groups in cities across the UK to plant and nurture community orchards and has been a Visiting Research Fellow at Tufts University's Global Development and Environment Institute, and is a Fellow of the Schumacher Institute.

Commenting on the role, Millstone, who has written a forthcoming book, Frugal Value, on the role of the private sector in sustainable consumption and production, said: “I am delighted to have been appointed the Executive Director of Feedback, the only global campaigning organisation dedicated to cutting out food waste at all levels of the supply chain.

“While agriculture continues to take a dangerous toll on our climate, biodiversity and water, a staggering one third of food produced globally is never eaten. At Feedback, we intend to put an end to this scandal, making sure all food is nourishment rather than waste – thus improving the environmental efficiency of food production and consumption and driving the shift to a global, sustainable food system that we so urgently require.”

Glen Tarman, Chair of Feedback, added: “In recent years, Feedback has played [a] major role in making food waste a highly salient issue on the public and political agenda. We are very excited to have Carina join us to bring her skills and experience as we set out now to catalyse action on the global food system at a new level, inspiring people to boldly challenge business and politicians to act faster and more decisively to end the massive social and environmental harm that food waste brings.”

More information about Feedback can be found on the charity’s website.

Hackney introduces more communal recycling after shutting down waste chutes

Hackney Council is to close 1950s era waste chutes on housing estates and provide hundreds of extra bins in a bid to encourage more recycling.

Waste chutes were built into many post-war blocks in the London borough to make it convenient for residents to dispose of their rubbish. At that time, says the council, households produced far less waste, with groceries not pre-packaged, milk coming in reusable bottles and waste generally smaller and lighter than much of our modern bulky waste.

The council says that the volume and type of waste that gets thrown down chutes these days also means they easily get blocked, and that it spends about £75,000 each year on unblocking chutes.

To solve the problem of blocked chutes and make it easier for residents to recycle more, the council has started closing down waste chutes and building new bin stores, with recycling and rubbish bins next to each other.

Already, 94 chute entrances have been blocked off at Milton Gardens Estate in Stoke Newington, and this year similar work will take place on Hoxton’s Geffyre Estate and Broadway House, near Broadway Market.

Councillor Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Transport and Parks, said: “We’ve seen a steady increase in recycling collected at the doorstep from houses and house conversions, but about half of our residents live on estates where there is a lot more to do to help people recycle more easily.

“Most estates were built long before recycling was available, so their 20th-century facilities don’t easily enable a 21st-century behaviour like recycling. Whilst chutes were a convenient way of disposing of small amounts of rubbish, they deter people from making the effort to recycle, and often get blocked, leading to rubbish being dumped on landings. These changes will enable residents to dispose of their waste and recycling at the same time, and the money saved from having to unblock chutes can be invested in supporting other services like cleaning, gardening and repairs.”

More information about waste and recycling in Hackney can be found on the council’s website.

Six Brighton fly-tippers caught in one night

Six fly-tippers have been fined after they were caught dumping commercial waste in separate incidents during a single night in Brighton.

Brighton & Hove City Council says that CCTV footage of the six cases of fly-tipping, all of which consisted of trade waste including building and plumbing material, has enabled the council to send the offenders fixed-penalty notices totalling more than £600.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, who chairs the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “We are using CCTV to help clear up hotspots and in areas where it would be hard to catch offenders who are dumping things at night. The technology shows the offence taking place and it makes it easier for our staff to detect where the waste has come from and issue fines.

“No community should have to live with fly-tipping. Our action aims to deter people from targeting locations and sending a tough message that there are no places to hide.”

If caught fly-tipping, Brighton Council warns that people can expect a fixed penalty of £300. Failure to pay can lead to prosecution, a criminal record and an unlimited fine. Businesses caught using council bins to dispose of their waste can also receive a fine of £100 and could face prosecution.

More information about Brighton & Hove City Council’s waste and recycling can be found on the council’s website.

DJB Recycling and Sheffield Wednesday announce partnership

Sheffield-based recycling company DJB Recycling Limited has announced a new two-year partnership with Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.

Sheffield Wednesday’s Richard Stanford and DJB Recycling’s Richard Webster
Through the partnership, the company will provide waste management to the football club, with recycling at the forefront of operations. The contract will cover all aspects of waste and recycling collections at the stadium, club megastore and the club’s Middlewood Road training facility.

DJB will be supplying more than 50 dedicated containers that will enable the club to segregate general waste, cardboard, paper and glass materials at source.

All materials will be separately collected and reprocessed at DJB Recycling and other local recycling facilities in the area, with the aim of enabling Sheffield Wednesday to achieve zero waste to landfill, which in turn will reduce the clubs carbon footprint.

Richard Webster, Business Development Manager at DJB Recycling, said: “It’s fantastic to forge a relationship with such a prestigious football club in Sheffield Wednesday. This partnership is a great addition to our customer base in the local area. We are looking forward to working closely with their operations team to implement a structured and reliable collection service, which maximises recycling materials.”

Operations manager at Sheffield Wednesday, Richard Stanford, added: “This partnership will improve the environment of the club and will enable us to create a safer, greener and friendlier space for our fans, staff, players and the local people – an essential part to the operational running of the club.”

DJB Recycling has a contract to manage the waste from Wembley Arena and provides a pay-as-you-throw system for a wholesale market at London’s New Covent Garden Market.

More information about DJB Recycling can be found on the company’s website.

50 top recyclers in Bexley rewarded

The new recycling rewards scheme for residents living in houses in the London Borough of Bexley has identified and rewarded the 50 top recyclers over the last three months.

The scheme encourages residents living in houses to take part in a variety of activities such as reporting their weekly recycling and taking textiles and electronics to local recycling banks, which helps the borough increase recycling rates and reduce the amount of waste sent for disposal.

The more recycling activities residents take part in, the more points they earn and, every month, the two top performing individuals are rewarded with £50 worth of vouchers. In addition, another 15 individuals win either £20 or £10 worth of vouchers. Winners can choose from a wide variety of vouchers covering M&S, Love2shop, Cineworld, iTunes and National Garden Gift Vouchers.

Bexley resident Emma Appleton won a £50 voucher in December and said: “I was delighted to find out that I’d won a voucher as we are big advocates of recycling as much as possible – so to be rewarded for doing it is fantastic. This scheme is a great idea to encourage people to recycle more.”

The scheme is funded through a grant won by London Borough of Bexley from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s recycling reward scheme, set up under Eric Pickles, which has the stated aim of helping local authorities drive behaviour change by rewarding residents for reducing and recycling their waste.

Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Environment and Leisure at London Borough of Bexley, Cllr Peter Craske, commented: “The majority of Bexley residents are regular recyclers but not everyone understands yet the value of recycling and reducing waste. That’s where this scheme comes in, as it’s informing residents of the most environmentally-friendly ways to dispose of their waste and rewarding them for making a positive impact.”

While popular with government departments, the efficacy of such incentive schemes has been questioned by many in the waste and recycling industry. Indeed, a report into the Rewards and Recognition Fund (run by the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs) found that the projects funded by the programme did not present good value for money and were too ‘resource intensive’.

More information about the rewards scheme in Bexley can be found on the council’s website.