News in brief 19/02/15

WRAP gives council £30,000 for food waste campaign

News in brief 19/02/15
South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) has been given £30,000 by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to trial campaign material encouraging food waste recycling.

The aim of the campaign is to find the best way to communicate the message, and initiatives will include sending leaflets and stickers to 37,000 homes and displaying messages on petrol pumps, buses and mobile billboards. 

Adverts will be included in local papers and magazines with posters also displayed in public areas. Specially-printed containers will be provided to restaurants, so residents will receive the message when ordering take away meals.

Brackley Town Football Club and Towcester Racecourse will offer their support by hosting campaign banners, while SNC recycling officers will also pass the message to children at school assemblies.

Campaign messages will include:

  • Food waste breaks down in landfill creating methane, a harmful greenhouse gas;
  • No amount too small. Start by recycling your teabags and coffee grounds; and
  • Food waste is recycled into energy to power our homes.

The success of the campaign, most of which will occur during the first two weeks of March, will be measured by monitoring food caddies before, during and after the promotion, with door-to-door research occurring following its completion.  Every house should have received some sort of communication by 11 March.

SNC has a recycling rate of around 60 per cent, and the increase in food recycling in the area would help to reduce waste management costs for the council. The food waste will be used to make electricity and fertilizer and reduce the need for landfill.

The campaign can be followed on the SNC website.


Christchurch street bins removed to encourage people to take litter home

Litter bins are to be removed from Christchurch Quay in Dorset from 1 March and replaced with signs asking people to take litter home with them to dispose using their kerbside recycling and waste service.

The trial scheme aims to encourage people to take litter home, increase recycling and decrease landfill waste, while saving the council an estimated £175,000 a year. For the duration of the trial, arrangements have been made for litter to be cleared on a regular basis.

Councillor Margaret Phipps, Portfolio Holder for the Environment at Christchurch Council, said: “It costs £175,000 a year to deal with litter in Christchurch, money which could be used for so many other uses. There is no reason why people should leave litter anywhere, but unfortunately there are some people who think it’s reasonable to leave their litter for somebody else to clear up.

“Removing litter bins is quite a radical approach to tackling the litter problem, and we will have to see if it works. If people bring picnics to the quay, how difficult is it for them to take the wrappers, empty bottles, et cetera home with them and dispose of them in their waste or recycling bins?”

More information on waste in Dorset can be found on the Dorset Waste Partnership’s website.


Veolia ‘academy’ for street cleaners

News in brief 19/02/15
Veolia has trialled a week-long academy scheme designed to help people struggling to find employment prepare for a career in the recycling and waste industry.

The seven-day course consisted of three days of pre-employment training in areas including customer service, teamwork and health and safety, two days of work experience in the field and a day of interview training. The week concluded with a job interview and the prospect of working for Veolia’s street cleansing operations.

In partnership with the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) and Westminster Kingsway College, Veolia took nine candidates through the ‘academy’, five of which secured positions within the Veolia Camden team. All five of the recruits had been unemployed for time periods from 18 months to 14 years.

Following this trial, Veolia hopes to continue working with the DWP and colleges to run this scheme in other areas.

Samantha Bradford, Interim Recruitment Manager for Veolia, commented: “We have suspected for a long time that the traditional recruiting method of CV and interview means that for some our roles we are missing the best candidates. I am hoping that we will be able replicate the success of this programme across our business and change the way that we recruit for these types of roles for the benefit of our management teams and job seekers alike.”

Teresa Davey, Street Cleansing Manager for Veolia in Camden added: “Through the academy programme, we get to see candidates in action and they get a chance to decide if the job is right for them. We always try to recruit locally and support the communities we operate in and in that respect alone this project has been a great success.”

Speaking about the opportunity, James Smith, 48, said: “I was unemployed for eight years before this opportunity came along. I’m dyslexic so I was a bit worried about spelling in the college, but there was someone there to help with that and it all went fine. My life was on hold being unemployed, you can’t save and you can’t plan anything. Now it’s worth getting up in the mornings and getting out there.”

More information on Veolia can be found on the firm’s website.


Up to £1,000 grants for green community projects

Community projects working to improve their local green space in central Scotland could be provided with one-off grants of up to £1,000, following the launch of the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) Community Project Fund 2016.

Using money raised through the carrier bag charge in Greggs stores, a £20,500 donation from the Greggs Foundation, and £20,000 from the CSGN Trust, the fund aims to increase community use of local green space, particularly within disadvantaged communities.

Over 40 grassroots projects will receive funding through the programme, such as conservation and educational schemes. These can range from developing a safe natural learning space for children and community gardens for local groups to tend, to biodiversity activities such as planting, or improvements to ponds and wetlands to protect local wildlife.

Woodland arts activities and feasibility projects can also apply for the funding, as well as any other new and innovative ideas that engage local communities.

Keith Geddes, Chair of CSGN, said: “The available grants can be used for a wide range of activities including outdoor learning, community growing and biodiversity. We’re also looking forward to hearing about other creative and innovative projects which capture the imagination of the local community and encourage people to use and enjoy their local green space.”

More information can be found on the CSGN Community Project Fund website.


Egbert Taylor appoints Marcus Davies for Sellers production role

News in brief 19/02/15
Marcus Davies is now General Manager at the Oldham site, which is where Sellers' range of products are manufactured
The Egbert Taylor Group has appointed Marcus Davies to the role of General Manager for Sellers’ manufacturing site in Oldham.

Davies joins the container-producing group from Crane Building Services & Utilities, where he was Gas Value Stream Manager. Egbert Taylor says that it hopes the appointment will add value to the Sellers brand and build on its commitment to new product development and expansion.

A certified Six Sigma Black Belt, an industry qualification which signifies sustained quality improvement across a business, Davies will be responsible for improving the Oldham site’s operational efficiency and implementing a robust production framework across its existing product portfolio and those earmarked for launch in 2016.

On his appointment, Davies commented: “The Oldham site is at an exciting stage in its lifecycle. Not only does it have a strong reputation for quality of build and an ability to produce one-off, bespoke units to suit the needs of multiple industries, but it also has the potential to be a leaner, more efficient and more profitable manufacturer.”

More information can be found on the Sellers website.