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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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  1.  
    My Local Authority went from collecting mixed roadside recycling to separated and in the New Year have now invested in a lot of new trucks that that now have separate sections.

    My gut instinct suggests that surely it would be best to collect mixed waste at source in one vehicle and then sort at plant? Surely there must be some research done on this in terms of labour, time, carbon footprint etc? What is best practice? My Local authority doesn't even recycle polystyrene.... My guess is probably something like 40% only ever gets recycled anyway?

    Also why isn't more being done to reduce plastics and minimising packaging waste at a higher level? What needs to be done to encourage this?

    I know we can choose products with minimal waste but often there isn't a choice. I have seen a local 'zero waste' store pop up but in all honesty the prices are prohibitive and I'd rather just make sure I do my bit to recycle whether or not the Local Authority do this efficiently.

    What are your tips and hacks to minimise waste?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2019
     
    Agree, best to not use it in the first place, the world is changing very fast but the problem is huge.

    My LA recover 90% of their mixed recyclables but a local private waste company put everything through a machine (they only collect one waste stream But don’t allow food waste in that) and recover a higher percentage for recycling,
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2019
     
    Posted By: VictorianecoMy gut instinct suggests that surely it would be best to collect mixed waste at source in one vehicle and then sort at plant?

    I think your gut instinct is wrong. I recently read a document about the subject but can't find it now :( I think it was by WRAP. I don't believe there is a single right answer; it all depends on facilities at the kerb (staff and vehicles) and facilities at the recycling centre (staff and machinery) and which solution is most cost effective and has best results depends on the particulars in each area.
  2.  
    Well I guess separated by the public leads to issues in itself. If there's any incorrectly mixed waste my understanding is it all goes to landfill.

    Also the seems to be misunderstandings amongst the public, the Refuse collectors and the recycling plant as to what can and can't be recycled.

    I put out some plain glass shelves last week and they didn't take them. This week they did... Glass is glass surely

    So I think if it's done at a plant it's more efficient and whoever gets the contract to do it is held accountable?
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2019
     
    I guess you know better than WRAP then.
  3.  
    If you find the article, let me know πŸ‘Œ
  4.  
    Posted By: VictorianecoMy Local Authority went from collecting mixed roadside recycling to separated


    Them's the rules...
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/988/regulation/13
    "every waste collection authority must, when making arrangements for the collection of waste paper, metal, plastic or glass, ensure that those arrangements are by way of separate collection."


    I'm a bit dismayed how much waste packaging comes with my building materials - mineral wool, PIR boards, pipe lagging, all heavily wrapped in polythene film and some of them in cardboard as well, despite being water- and bash-resistant themselves.

    I recycle lots of polythene in the supermarket 'recycle your shopping bags' bin - normally I recycle bread bags and fruit bags in there if they're polythene - not sure if it's wise to put my construction packaging in though...

    Edit to add, specifically for England,
    "Government continues to support separate collection of dry materials as the default to achieve high quality recycling... However we also recognise that in some circumstances separate collection is not necessary to achieve high quality or is not technically, economically or environmentally practicable "
    https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/waste-and-recycling-making-recycling-collections-consistent-in-england/outcome/consistency-in-recycling-collections-in-england-executive-summary-and-government-response#government-response-to-consultation-on-consistency-in-household-and-business-recycling
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2019
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeen

    Them's the rules...
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/988/regulation/13
    "every waste collection authority must, when making arrangements for the collection of waste paper, metal, plastic or glass, ensure that those arrangements are by way of separate collection."


    Isnt that a separate collection from general waste? We have to separate our recyclables but our daughter has a single combined collection, separate from the general waste.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2019
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenThem's the rules...
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/988/regulation/13
    "every waste collection authority must, when making arrangements for the collection of waste paper, metal, plastic or glass, ensure that those arrangements are by way of separate collection."

    Hah! I wish it was that simple. AIUI, and again I'm going to plead that I haven't found the reference, councils are obliged to make kerbside collections of glass (specific types of glass, bacause all types of glass are NOT the same) but our council doesn't even do that. We have to take it to the dump (sorry, bottle bank or HWRC). There's some get-out in the regulations I believe. There's certainly no obligation to collect waste streams separately, lots of councils don't including, surprise, surprise, ours.

    Our council recently decided to stop recycling tetrapak type packaging. Costs too much, or something. They're pathetic.

    I'm a bit dismayed how much waste packaging comes with my building materials - mineral wool, PIR boards, pipe lagging, all heavily wrapped in polythene film and some of them in cardboard as well, despite being water- and bash-resistant themselves.

    PE - don't get me started. Supermarkets are supposed to collect it though I haven't yet found a local one that does. When I took ours to the local HWRC they told me to put it in the 'general' skip (i.e. landfill) where it would be incinerated. Our local councillor is a green - I don't know what else I (or he) can do.

    The problem with packaging of even robust products is that firms instruct people to reject deliveries with any surface damage. It's the equivalent of the wonky vegetables issue. You wouldn't accept a PIR board with the foil surface damaged, for example.

    Given my experience, I'd certainly put all LDPE (or PE-LD that confused my wife!) packaging in the pile for the supermarket recycling whenever I find one that actually does it.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 3rd 2019
     
    edit: in connection with that regulation, para 13 4(b) is the get-out, is it not? And also the next bit 14 2.
  5.  
    Them's the rules, I don't make the rules, and I don't enforce them! But VE's council seems to be following them :bigsmile:

    Also in the second link I put to the consultation above:

    "the government will seek to amend legislation to require all English local authorities to collect at least the following dry materials from 2023:

    glass bottles and containers – including drinks bottles, condiment bottles, jars
    paper and card – including newspaper, cardboard packaging, writing paper
    plastic bottles – including clear drinks containers, HDPE (milk containers), detergent, shampoo and cleaning products
    plastic pots tubs and trays
    steel and aluminium tins and cans"


    Edit: our council gives everyone a green crate to collect glass and other materials. They come round the towns to empty the crates, but in the country we are invited 'to bring the crate to the HWRC'.

    PE: try the one of the green supermarkets, or the orange one::
      Screenshot_20191103-214700.png
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