This month’s theme as part of the C-Side Challenge, is to talk Rubbish. If you recall the bin strikes, the seagull ripped bin bags strewn across the city revealed just how much Rubbish there is to talk about.
Stats say that there is around 600 million tonnes of products and materials enter the UK economy each year BUT only 115 million tonnes of this gets recycled. Food facts show that we throw away more than 7 million tonnes of food and drink EVERY year from our homes – most of which could have been safely consumed.
As a One Planet Living City the long term aim is “Reducing waste, reusing where possible, and ultimately sending zero waste to landfill”. But how do we achieve Zero Waste? Zero Waste is a philosophy and design principle that no longer takes the cradle to grave approach, but instead a cradle to cradle or circular economy approach. This includes ‘recycling’ but goes beyond recycling to address the vast flow of resources and waste through human society.
Zero Waste maximizes recycling, minimizes waste, reduces consumption and ensures that products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back into nature or the marketplace. There are some great examples of what people are doing across Brighton and Hove to achieve just this.
Designed by Duncan Baker Brown and with permanent planning permission to remain as a Community Sustainability Centre on Brighton University campus, the materials for the build were sourced locally by Freegle. Discarded construction materials and other unwanted stuff (so called ‘waste': stuff that is not currently recyclable or reusable) was also collected locally from all sectors.
The project has created a model for affordable, good-looking, well-designed housing that can be made from waste. It has involved students, schools, residents, businesses and other community groups and organisations and the waste to evolve a truly lowcarb project.
Magpie Recycling began life in 1990 at Hanover Community Centre. Three volunteers collected drink cans and glass, plus office paper from a small number of local residents and businesses, including the Universities. Since then Magpie has expanded its range of commercial services to include kerbside advice consultation, a Manufacturing Workshop for electric powered converted milk floats as well as a Furniture Project, where Magpie collect donated furniture free of charge and sell it on at cost to those on low incomes at Shabitat.
New Laines based restaurant Silo, is designed from back to front, always with the bin in mind. The production of waste has been eliminated by simply choosing to trade directly with farmers, using re-usable delivery vessels and choosing local ingredients that themselves generated no waste. The compost machine set inside Silo, turns all of scraps and trimmings directly into a compost used to produce more food… Closing the loop.