Stapleford environmental news from the 2G3S group
Wednesday 6 April, 7.45 for 8pm, talk on Zoom or in person at the Johnson Hall, Stapleford. The talk will be called “Improving Rivers for Wild Brown Trout”. It will look at what can be done to increase the habitat potential of Cambridge’s local rivers and beyond, focussing on the Granta, the Shep and Mimram, and more. There will be a 45-minute presentation from Rob Mungovan, Conservation Officer East Anglia and Central at The Wild Trout Trust, followed by a discussion. Book a place by emailing us.
Saturday 23 April, 2-4pm, Nature Walk along Bury Farm track.
Monday 25 April, 10am, meet at Stapleford Pavilion for a Social Cycle Ride.
Wednesday 9 May, 8pm, planning meeting.
We will be having a number of cycle rides and nature walks through the spring and summer.
21 May – Magog Downs
18 June – Stapleford Parish Pit
16 July – Jenny’s Path
20 August – Nine Wells Local Nature Reserve
17 September – Wale Field and woodland path, Little Shelford
15 October – Dernford Lake
Sturdy footwear is advised and appropriate outdoor wear. Note these walks are intended to raise awareness of our local wildlife sites and open to all, though you attend at your own risk.
Our waste collection service run by SCDC has one of the highest recycling rates in the country, but I know people get confused as to exactly what to recycle, and how. We’ve probably all been guilty of putting items in the blue bin, hoping they will get picked up by the recycling fairies – so-called “wishful recycling”. This can unfortunately contaminate other waste such that a whole batch cannot be recycled. Here’s a round-up of what SCDC can accept, and how to bin it for maximum recycling potential. Next month we’ll have information about the local specialist recycling services eg for crisp packets, toothpaste tubes, pens, duvets and pillows, and water filters.
What goes in my blue bin?
Paper; newspapers; magazines and envelopes; cardboard; cartons (eg Tetra Pak fruit juice cartons); plastic bags and film wrapping; plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays (excluding any black plastic which cannot currently be recycled); food and drinks cans; empty aerosols; greetings cards; wrapping paper (no metallic plastic); tinfoil and foil trays; biscuit and sweet tins; glass jars and bottles; shredded paper (must be bagged in a paper or clear plastic bag); metal tubes eg tomato puree.
Containers should be rinsed clean and dry. Squash plastic bottles and cans. Put tops/lids/spray triggers back on to jars and bottles so they don’t get lost during the recycling process, they will get found by hand sorting. Separate plastic wrappers from paper catalogues and so on, likewise for plastic windows that form part of a cardboard box. Batteries must not be put inside the blue bin but are collected for recycling: put batteries including AA and AAA cells, button batteries, size C and D and any laptop or mobile battery in a clear plastic bag and tie to your blue bin lid.
DO NOT PUT IN: black plastic food trays; metallic plastic wrapping paper or food wrapping like crisp packets; food; liquids; nappies; clothes, textiles or shoes (take to charity shops or clothing banks); expanded polystyrene or Styrofoam; foam/sponge; non-packaging hard plastic, eg toys and bowls; flat glass or mirrors; Pyrex; kitchen paper and tissues; dirty packaging; paint tins; baby food pouches; blister packs for pills; “compostable” cups or corn starch “plastic” wrapping (put into black bin or compost them yourself); plastic corks; paper with a plastic liner eg instant porridge sachets; trigger pumps with a metal spring in; fruit/veg nets; receipts; plastic toothpaste tubes.
More information at scambs.gov.uk/recycling-and-bins/.
If you are interested in green matters and the environment at all levels (individual, local, national, international), send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for our newsletter, or to get more information about our meetings. Also see our Facebook page or website.
Posted March 7 2022
Stapleford environment news
2G3S January 2022 update
It’s the new year again, and we have often in these articles given tips for how you can do things to help the environment. How about some green resolutions this year?
1.Start the journey
The journey to sustainable living starts with a simple change. Try calculating your carbon footprint to identify where you can make changes that are easy or will have the biggest impact to start with. Cambridge Carbon Footprint (CCF) have a calculator.
2.Look after your health and the planet in the kitchen
Global food systems account for 1/3 of total greenhouse emissions and the way food is produced and transported can impact negatively on nature eg damaging the soil and biodiversity. Small changes can make a big difference to the environment and our health; consider reducing your meat and dairy intake: ‘red meat’s a treat’, or have a ‘meat free Monday’. Where possible consider buying locally produced, seasonal, unprocessed and organic food; use up leftovers. Find lots of good ideas and tasty recipes from Cambridge Sustainable Food. Sign up to Veganuary.
3.Reduce energy use in the home and save money
Simple changes such as remembering to put a lid on saucepans, turning off electrical items (not just using standby) and turning down the thermostat to the WHO recommended 18°C are free and easy habits to make. For lots of great ideas for personalised home energy advice look up CCF.
4.Use active or public transport where you can
Replacing short car journeys with walking or cycling benefits our own health, saves fuel and money, and improves air quality. How about replacing one car journey a week, or 10% a year, with cycling, walking or taking public transport?
5.Reduce, reuse, recycle
In that order! Everything we buy has an energy and resource cost at each stage of its production, transportation and disposal. The more affluent society has become, the more we consume, which means that each year we use up more of the planet’s resources than can be replenished. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date each year when our demand for resources exceeds what the planet can regenerate in that year. In 1987 the date was 23 October; in 2021 it fell on July 29.
So buy less stuff! Do you really need it? If so, can you get it secondhand or borrow/share? Think when buying something about whether it can be used lots of times and repaired. Even recycling has an energy cost so should be seen as a last resort. Make your own compost, reduce food waste and support the circular economy. Watch ‘The Story of Stuff’ film online for some inspiration.
6.Help wildlife where you live
One third of all major food crops worldwide are dependent on pollinators. Did you know that in the UK urban gardens total more hectares of land than all the nature reserves added together? If we all gardened for wildlife, just imagine what positive impact we would have, then add in all the land in verges, roundabouts etc. Native plants are best for native wildlife. Check out the RHS website for lists of pollinator-friendly plants for your garden/window box and other top tips, and The Wildlife Trusts for ideas on how to garden for wildlife. Simple ideas from mowing your lawn less to using rainwater make a big difference to the life in your garden. If you can plant a tree in your garden use the Woodland Trust’s guide to choosing one, if not consider sponsoring a tree in your community or with the National Trust.
Only 1% of the water on our planet is fresh, salt-free and available to us in streams and underground reserves. It is essential to life. We only drink around 5% of the water we use, the other 95% goes down the drain from showers, taps, laundries and toilets or into the garden. To get clean drinking water to our taps costs energy to extract it, pipe it, clean it and then pipe it and clean it again (hopefully!) before it heads back to the rivers. In Cambridgeshire the water is taken from the chalk aquifer, the ever-increasing demand for which is so high that not enough is left to flow down our rare and important chalk streams, causing them to dry up, which harms local biodiversity. Wash your clothes less often, flush your toilet less, have shorter showers, install rainwater butts. Check out Anglian Water’s Love Every Drop campaign for more ideas.
8.Consider green finance
How do you know that your money is not being used to fund industries you don’t agree with? Consider switching your current account to an ‘ethical’ bank or join a campaign to green your pension. Two websites with food for thought and ideas: Make my Money Matter and Tiny Eco Home Life.
Greenpeace have produced an attractive Guide To Life that is full of lots of tips and ideas too. Even if you don’t think you alone can make a difference, everyone’s little steps add up. From international agreements, to Government policies and investment, to local councils’ policies, to us individuals, we all need to do our bit.
Dates for your diary
10 January - Planning meeting
7 February - Talk by Camlets (LETS scheme, runs like a timebank, where people swap services)
12 February afternoon - Repair Café at Great Shelford Free Church
If you are interested in green matters and the environment at all levels (individual, local, national, international), send an email to email@example.com to sign up for our newsletter, or to get a Zoom link to join in our meetings. Also see our Facebook page or website.
Posted Dec 20 2021
Stapleford environmental news
Tackling Climate Change and Biodiversity at a Local Level
Monday 6 September Talk by Pippa Heylings Chair of SCDC Climate and Environment Advisory Committee Member of national cross-party Climate Change Task Force for COP 26 7.30 pm Cox’s Close Community Centre, Stapleford (and by zoom)
We have all been scared by recent fires, floods and heat waves throughout the world, and by the message of the first part of the sixth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released on 9 August.
Pippa will lead a discussion on how we can respond locally, both as individuals and at a local authority level, especially in the run-up to the global climate summit COP 26 being hosted by the UK later this year. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be sent the zoom link, or just turn up on the day.
Posted Aug 22 21
The Great Big Green Week, 18 – 26 September
The Great Big Green Week is a national week of activities promoting action on climate change. For more details, see here. To support this locally we are arranging various events including: • Litter picks in the local area weekend of 25/26 September. Litter picking can be fun - all hands on deck! Bags and grabsticks will be provided. Bring your own gardening gloves to protect your hands, and wear something green if you can. If you have noticed a particularly littered locality in the area, let us know and we will try and get there.
Fruit and Veg Swap weekend of 18/19 September.
A virtual interactive talk on climate change and climate justice to support developing countries towards zero carbon. Led by Katie Williams. We are still finalising details of these events - contact us by email or on our Facebook page.
Posted Aug 22 21
Film: The Sequel: What will follow our troubled civilisation? Thursday 4 November, 7.30 pm. Venue details to follow (see website)
This optimistic film imagines a thriving, resilient civilization after the collapse of our current economies, drawing on the inspirational work of David Fleming, grandfather of the global Transition Towns movement. It is based on his posthumously published lifework "Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It”. Opening with a powerful 'deep time' perspective, from the beginning of the Earth to our present moment, the film recognises the fundamental unsustainability of today's society and dares to ask the big question: What will follow?
Can we develop diverse, convivial and satisfying lives without economic growth? We encounter extraordinary projects and people from four continents, with contributions from Kate Raworth, Roger Scruton, Stephan Harding , Helena Norberg-Hodge, Rob Hopkins, Jonathon Porritt and Peter Buffett.
Posted Aug 22 21
News from Great Shelford Library
The Friends of Great Shelford Library are funding the purchase of a range of books on climate change and the natural world. Over the next year, we will be buying an eclectic mix including books by Mike Berners Lee, David Fleming*, and biologist E. O. Wilson; books on green growing, and "greenwash"; titles from the Penguin "Green Ideas" series; "spotter's guides" for people who want to explore local wildlife; and a range of children's books for younger readers. It will take a while to source and put the books on the shelves, but by autumn we hope to be ready to roll out the first books in a new display. Helen Harwood
Posted Aug 22 21
A plug for recycling electrical waste
New collection banks to help Greater Cambridge residents recycle more small electrical appliances have been set up in four housing developments.
The banks for old electrical items are being maintained by the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Service – a partnership between South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridge City Councils.
Electrical items can’t be put into residents’ recycling bins, and households across Cambridgeshire throw an average of 2.6kg of them away in their black bins each year. In Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire this adds up to around 320 tonnes of e-waste which should have been recycled.
The new banks have been installed at Glebe Farm Drive, Hawkey Road, Osprey Drive and Fawcett Road on the Glebe Farm, Aura, Trumpington Meadows and Abode developments and are suitable for most small items which have a plug or a battery, including phones, toys, kettles and many more. The banks aren’t suitable for TVs, computers including laptops or large appliances such as lawnmowers though – and all these should be taken to a Household Recycling Centre.
The unwanted small appliances will be sorted for re-use and recycling by specialist company Wiser Recycling. Items that are undamaged, uncontaminated and repairable may be suitable for re-use within the UK. Wiser Recycling comprehensively tests the refurbished small appliances to ensure that they are safe and functional. Items that are unsuitable for re-use will get dismantled into their component parts. Many of those components are also suitable for re-use. For example, screens from broken monitors or power units from laptops. Items that fail the re-use screening are sent to local and national specialist operators who will recycle them into new substances or products.
Recycling e-waste is becoming more and more important as global stocks of materials like silver and lithium which are essential for components in mobile phones and other appliances are under pressure from increasing demand.
A grenade, toilet seat and disco lights are on a list of items that people across Greater Cambridge have wrongly put into their blue bins for recycling.
At the start of national Recycle Week, South Cambridgeshire District and Cambridge City Councils have released a list of the strangest things found inside residents’ blue bins.
The list also includes a decorator’s paint tray and rollers (both covered in paint), metal tape measures, wellies, bricks and a games console controller. None of these things can be recycled via the blue bin and led to recycling being rejected at the Waste Management Park where recycling and waste is sorted. Recent finds that have wrongly ended-up in the recycling plant also include car brake discs, a clothes horse, bowling ball, gas cylinders and lots of cuddly toys. All have come from the recycling wheelie bins of residents.
During Recycle Week this week, residents are being reminded that “it’s in our own hands” to decide how much to recycle and take action to protect the environment. Recycling that people across South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge City put into the blue bin gets sent off to re-processors to be turned into new products, with the Councils receiving valuable income for each tonne. In addition to ensuring less ends up in landfill, this provides additional income to help pay for vital frontline services.
Getting recycling right
Latest research from Recycle Now reveals that more than 60% of UK households are now recycling more than they were a year ago because of environmental concerns.
The research shows that more and more UK households are recycling plastic drinks bottles, cleaning product, toiletry and shampoo bottles, amongst other items including glass jars and bottles and tin cans. Nearly a third of these people cite environmental concerns as the main reason for doing more and others attribute it to an increased awareness of what can be recycled. Whilst the research showed an increase in recycling, it also showed that UK households sometimes incorrectly put items like nappies, wipes and clothing in the blue bin.
Putting the wrong items in your recycling can mean your blue bin doesn’t get collected, causing an inconvenience. Worse still, it could mean that an entire bin lorry load of recycling gets rejected and ends up heading for landfill.
Here are some products that you may not have known you can recycle in your blue bin:
Clean tin foil. Save up small bits until you can scrunch into a tennis ball size. This keeps it all together as it passes through the recycling plant.
Aerosol cans. Ensure they are empty and don’t crush them. Metal like this is extremely valuable to re-processors and can be recycled endlessly.
Plastic bottles from toiletries and cleaning products – including bleach, shampoo, nail varnish remover, etc.
Cartons, e.g. Tetrapak cartons from juice, soya milk, etc.
Here are some products that definitely shouldn’t go in your blue bin:
Food and liquid remains. A quick rinse or a wipe is usually enough to make your recycling clean. A tip for jars is to half fill with washing-up water, screw the lid on, shake, and empty. Any leftover chemicals or oil should be taken to a Household Recycling Centre.
Batteries. If damaged or crushed, batteries can catch alight and cause fires in the back of bin lorries or at the waste management park. Please put them in a clear bag and attach the bag to your blue bin so they can be disposed of safely
Clothing and textiles. Take these to a clothing bank or charity shop. Even clean worn-out clothes have value and can be recycled this way for other purposes.
Nappies, wipes, sanitary items, kitchen paper and tissues. These are all too dirty and low-quality to be recycled.
Black sacks, even if they contain recycling. Put recyclables in the blue bin loose.