Monday, 22 June 2009

Day 1: Welcome to The Lounge

Welcome to Day 1 of Recycle Week, the national campaign that raises awareness of making better use of our resources.

It's promising to be a fun-packed week.

Anything can happen and indeed it already has.

And it starts with one of my favourite hotspots in Bury St Edmunds, The Lounge in Hatter Street, a cafe that regularly doubles up as an art gallery.

As well as artwork, I can often be found hanging around there myself, with my laptop, particularly on Market Days. It means I can get on with writing AND do the shopping. And it just goes to show sorting out the rubbish isn't all work and no play. I do get plenty of time off for "good behaviour"you know.

And should Almost Mr Average call and check what I'm up to, I can always say "busy working in the lounge darling", in the same way as men who frequent pubs that are cleverly called The Office can circumnavigate the truth by actually telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Now one of the great things about The Lounge is the wonderful range of newspapers they have for customers to read. Something to appeal to all appetites including the full range of broadsheets and the Daily Mail. And it's a service that I take for granted, a free catch-up on the news over a refreshing pot of tea.

So this is where I'd settled yesterday afternoon, a quick half-hour to type up the day's blogpost and an opportunity to rest my back, which during a walk around Bury St Edmunds, was getting more and more painful as a result of a trapped nerve.

Time soon rushed by and before I knew it, it was time to go...

...but not before grabbing a Sunday supplement that had caught my eye.

It was 4pm and the cafe was in fact closing. So being an opportunist, I asked an assistant if I could take it.

To which she replied,

"Take them all if you like, they'll only go in the rubbish bin!"

What, the rubbish bin! That pile of papers, ending up in landfill!

That's what I'd call a waste of resource.

Fortunately the owner was there, a very nice lady who has just recently taken over the business. We had a light-hearted chat. She is indeed concerned about the amount of waste the cafe generates, including glass bottles as well newspapers. Being the owner of another local business she has already spoken with our local council regarding logistics of managing trade-based recycling.

Now I'd love to get my head around the complexities of how a small business manages the issue of recycling, so we happily swapped contact details.

But in the meantime, there was a small issue of the newspapers.

For goodness sake, IT'S RECYCLE WEEK. And I've got my pledge to follow, my commitment to helping my community waste less.

Could I really see all those papers going in the bin, when there's an opportunity to recycle them?


I know it should be classed as Trade Waste, but not if they were free to take home and I read them first.

Now there was an idea. If I could do it, so could others!

So before I left, I asked if they'd mind folk dropping in to collect a free paper at the end of each day. It might be old news to some, but for many it is the first opportunity to catch up with the main stories as they go home from work.

And everybody nodded their heads in agreement. It seemed a great idea if we could get it to work.

So it's official. If you live or work in Bury St Edmunds and you want a freebie paper, whether it's for reading, reusing or converting into briquettes for your fire, pop into The Lounge at 2 Hatter Street for your copy to take away.

You have to time it right mind. You might get a slap on the wrist if it's lunchtime, but if it's 5pm in the week or 4pm on a Sunday, you'll be welcomed with a "thanks for saving it from landfill" kind of smile.

I guess it's not a bad start to Recycle Week. And if there's any moral to the story, I suppose it's "Be careful what you ask for... because you might just get more than you anticipated."

There is another advantage though. That damned trapped nerve still hasn't gone and I am still in pain. Despite a morning of radio interviews, I am worried I could be stuck here all day.

With a pile of reading like the one you see before me, at least I won't get bored.

So please pop by later to see if I ever leave the house today. I'm taking some painkillers, so there's still hope. If not, at least you can keep me company and see what I manage to achieve during Recycle Week, from the confines of my living room.

And should Almost Mr Average ask where I am, at last I can tell him the truth... the whole truth and nothing but the truth...

"Honey I'm working in the lounge...that's right, our lounge, the one in Moreton Hall."



Mrs Green said...

Ohhhh, I took a sharp intake of breath when I heard the 'bin' word Mrs A. Thankfully you saved the newspapers from their fate - well done and let's hope others utilise the free papers too.

Our neighbour passes her papers on to us; it's great!

Enjoy the rest of your day and I hope the back eases.

John costigane said...

Hi Mrs A,

That is an ace example of community type action, where a waste situation is resolved to a reuse/recycling situation. There is a general lack of knowledge about recycling, and its value.

The Tetrapak issue is important due to the massive amounts sold, especially in supermarkets. A successful scheme locally will benefit other areas. Best of luck with that problem.


Hi Mrs G - I know, I know. These days "the bin" feels like a ghoul sneaking out from the darkness. It's a great move, which I now hope they will publicise around their customers. It'd be a shame to see all that paper put to waste. :-D

Hi John - Thank you. It's interesting how Recycle Week opens up the opportunity to talk woth others on a different level, whereas at other times it might feel odd that you're poking your nose in.

I'll be featuring some more news on the cartons later this week, with hopefully some really exciting stuff to share. :-D

Layla said...

WOW, this is really exciting!! :)

I'd LOVE to have free papers too, if I were living anywhere near you, I'd be off in a second!! :)

So do mention it to your friends & in the library etc..? (maybe the church group or any charity org might be interested or know other people who might appreciate this..? also people who are already retired - they have 'pensioners clubs' here - might be interested!! especially if they have low pensions!)

It's really awesome of the Lounge to offer this, & if I ever do come to those parts I'll make sure to visit them for sure!! :)


Hi Layla - it's great isn't it. I too would be straight in there if I worked or lived in town!

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