Blinkey Blimey, it's all going on in the world of waste.
As Cornwall comes to the end of its Zero Waste Challenge on Monday, Norfolk will be waking up to the start of its own Waste Free Week.
And this is going to be a real fun week for the county, not just because of the challenge but because there is a gaggle of brand new bloggers on the block ready to blog the week away.
Waste professionals from across the county have already been exercising their words of wisdom in preparation for taking up the waste free challenge themselves, under the full spotlight of the public. Norwich's Freecycle moderator is also blogging about her rubbish too.
So ladies and gentlemen, without further ado (and at risk of sounding like Our Graham, on Blind Date) let's welcome them on stage...
Please give it up for Bin Diver Kate, the super duper Kate MacFarland, who gave my wheelie bin the kick up the backside it needed when she worked at St Edmundsbury Borough Council and had the strength to answer all my questions during Zero Waste Week. I'm not sure if I scared her away, but having sorted out Bury's rubbish she scuttled over the border and is now happily settled at Norfolk County Council. So please go and cheer her on (and ask her all the questions you like) at wastefreekate.blogspot.com.
Please also welcome Alex Bone, a Senior Environment Officer at South Norfolk District Council. Alex has been getting into her stride sorting out her makeup, batteries and Tetra Paks. She's a lateral thinker and as she lives in a flat, she's been wondering what to do with her vegetable peelings. But guess what, she's managed to line up some friends to take her compostables. Now that's creative thinking. You can find out all about the goings on over at her blog wastefreealex.blogspot.com.
Next please give a big round of applause to Martin Mahony, who has recently joined Breckland District Council as Environmental Awareness Support Officer. He's been getting prepared by hunting down packaging-free goodies to take into work and fully recommends voting with your feet to reduce the amount of packaging that ends up in the bin. To find out more about what he's got to say on the subject, pop over to wastefreemartin.blogspot.com.
And last but not least, say a huge hello to Katy, a moderator for Norwich's Freecycle network. She's a good friend of Alex and has accepted the challenge not just to reduce her family's rubbish this week, but to blog about it too. She's already been flexing her rubbish reducing muscles and has been cycling to her local shops. She knows plastics will be a problem so she's trying to avoid them (even though a few have crept in) and go to the Norwich Beer Festival instead. Apparently she's off to a party too. So to find out the latest waste reducing gossip, pop over to aiming-low.blogspot.com.
With the extra news from Defra that Kings Lynn has been selected as one of its six Zero Waste Places*, it sounds like there's a big waste-free party happening in Norfolk this week. Not only have they got a good recycling rating but I think they have also broken the record for the most number of zero waste bloggers in any given county. It may not be up to the Guinness Book of Records standards, but it certainly meets the Rubbish Diet criteria and if any other county can beat that, then I'd like to know!
As it's half-term this week, you can guarantee that I will once again be more random than ever, but at least you've got some new bloggers to follow as they declare war on waste. I've updated my sidebar, so you can follow their progress more easily.
And if you haven't done so already, please pop over to see how John Rolls has been getting on with his Zero Waste challenge in Cornwall. While you're there, don't forget to give the staff a pat on the back at the Rezolve Kernow office. They took the challenge into the workplace and ditched the bags of rubbish for bags of fun and discovered a whole new way of bonding through home-made cakes.
So if there are any management consultants looking in, forget raft building, zero waste is the way to go.
*The Zero Waste places announced by Defra last week are:
- The London Borough of Brent, which will develop 20 Green Zones across the borough by September 2009, which will involve establishing Green Teams of residents and developing a GIS-based map of the borough showing green ‘threads’ growing through the borough to track the progress of the initiative.
- Shenley Church End in Milton Keynes will see the area of nearly 1500 homes, two schools and a number of high street businesses aim to cut waste and litter right across the area
- Kings Lynn in Norfolk will achieve zero waste as far as possible within the historic area of the Tuesday Market, which is home to businesses and homes, as well being a tourist hotspot and the focus of many civic events.
- The London Borough of Lewisham will run an Eco Street initiative, where around 100 properties will be targeted through a range of measures including specialist advice and support to cut waste.
- Peterborough will run a Zero Waste City Centre initiative, which will focus on Cathedral Square and the three streets leading from it (Bridge Street, Cowgate and Long Causeway), including the Queensgate Shopping Centre, encompassing more than 200 retailers and offices, including the Town Hall and council offices.
- The West Midlands will create a Zero Waste Region, focusing on businesses and organisation that produce a large quantity of waste, identifying region-wide waste infrastructure needs, improving co-operation and cutting business waste right across the region.
More info can be found at: www.defra.gov.uk/news/2008/081021a.htm