Recycling Blog

Blog for posts that are specifically about the Recycling Group activities
Published by Sam Page on 22 March 2012

TM has received this interesting message from a teacher in the USA:


My name is Sarah and I am a High School English teacher. Currently, my students are writing research papers on various environmental topics. They have been researching to find quality resources in order to write about the specific topics of their choice. In their research, they came across your web page and found it to be very helpful. Thank you for maintaining a great resource!

A group of my students have chosen to focus their research on recycling, and they found  this very informative article about it (on a site maintained by the African American Environmentalist Association) (http://www.aaenvironment.com/environmental-concerns-recycling.htm). They would like to suggest the article to you to add to your page as an additional resource because they think it would be helpful and of interest to the visitors of your site. Also, if you do find it to be useful and decide to add it as a resource, my students will be awarded extra credit (a little extra credit opportunity I give them).  

It would be very encouraging for my students to see their suggestion being used on your page; they have been putting a lot of effort into their research for this project so far. Please get back to me as soon as you can about this so that I can give them a verdict smiley  

Thank you so much for your time and consideration! 

Thanks guys - we are very grateful for this extremely useful information!

Published by Sam Page on 20 March 2012

Did you know that it takes up to 2, 000 times more energy to extract, purify, pack and transport one litre of bottled water, compared with treating and delivering one litre of tap water directly to your home?

....or that 1.5 million tonnes of plastic (requiring 8 billion litres of oil) is needed to produce bottles for the 89 billion litres of bottled water that the world consumes every year?

The majority of these bottles are never recycled. 

Britain's tap water is amongst the cleanest and safest in Europe and it is piped to our kitchens, offices and schools with minimum energy and zero road transport requirements. By drinking only tap water you can not only save money but also instantly cut your carbon emissions and reduce your impact on the environment.

Please ask for it in pubs and resturants and also encourage your children to use refillable bottles when they go to school:

School Bottle can print your child's name on her bottle, while Amazon and ebay sell a range of trendy aluminium bottles for teenagers.


Is this where our empty plastic bottles end up?

Published by Shirley Pryor on 14 March 2012

Now that Wiltshire Council has expanded the kerbside collections, it is consulting residents about their views on how and when they use the household recycling centre (in Salisbury Road) and any mini recycling sites. The link below enables you to have your say and also to add any other comments, so do take the opportunity to press for wider plastics recycling (numbers 4 and 5 for example, plastic bread bags) and any other items you would like to see recycled. The blue lidded bins have made a big difference to the volume of plastic and cardboard being recycled; now let's press for more! Link to survey

Published by Michelle Luck on 02 March 2012

For information and advice on composting, contact Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.There is a team of volunteer Compost Ambassadors who will help with compost queries.Call (01380 725670).The local Ambassadors will be confirmed shortly.

Published by RichPitts on 01 February 2012

Meeting at the Wellington Pub...


Shirley Prior, Michelle Luck, David Pocock, Derek Wolfe, Sam Page dropped in, Gina Cooke came with some great idea's and we had someonbe turn up to see what was going on!!! Fab..

Main item

We spent an hour with Simon Evans from Thames Water, who is working with Ark on the Care for the Kennet progam...

There are lots of goodies available... to help everyone save water and ENERGY...

More to follow on this when I get to finish this tomorrow... Or Anyone in the team can chip in

Cheers and Beers



Published by Sam Page on 17 January 2012

Can you imagine how many tonnes of plastic bags full of dog poo end up in land-fill?  Apparently, in the UK it is 1, 000 tonnes per day.

You can help your dog go green by collecting his poo in biodegradable bags and placing it into a 'Dog Poo Wormery'.  The special worms will turn the poo into compost which can be used to fertilise flowers and trees (but not vegetables because of the risk of Toxicara canis). You can purchase your Dog Poo Wormery from Earth Essentials here.

Earth Essentials is based in Transition Town Romsey.

Published by Shirley Pryor on 11 January 2012


It pays to keep checking the recycling information on plastic packaging, as it is constantly changing. I was pleasantly surprised to read “Recycle with carrier bags in larger stores” on the packaging film covering some vegetables from Waitrose. It doesn't apply to all, so do read the labels, but it is a good start and maybe gradually more items will be packaged in this type of film.

Every little helps!

Published by Shirley Pryor on 03 January 2012


Do you know where to recycle household batteries in Marlborough? Where possible, always try to use rechargeable batteries. However, if you need to dispose of used household batteries, you can taken them to Marlborough Household Recycling Centre on Salisbury Road Business Park. Or, if you find it more convenient, place them in the boxes in Waitrose (Customer Services) or WH Smith (counter at back of store)in Marlborough, from where they will be recycled.

Published by Sam Page on 02 January 2012

We are each currently wasting 100 kg of food, every year. Food waste that ends up in landfill is responsible for the production of methane, a toxic greenhouse gas, which is 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.  

In an effort to reduce the amount of food waste going to landfill, Wiltshire Council has teamed up with Green Cone to offer subsidised food waste digesters to all Wiltshire's Residents.

They are offering two different types of food waste digesters:

food digester food digester The Green Cone that sits in a hole in a part the garden that receives full sunshine in Summer and Winter. This system does not produce compost.

The Green Johanna that is situated in the shade above ground and produces compost when garden waste is added to the mixture.

Both digesters are rat proof and take ALL cooked and uncooked food waste including meat, fish, bones, dairy products, vegetables and fruit.  

You can judge which system is best for you and your family by watching the video here.


These digesters are each being sold by Wiltshire Council for around 20% of the normal price here.


If you don't have a garden, you can order an indoor Wormery here

According to a survey conducted by Wiltshire Council in 2010, 77.4% of Marlborough residents said they were likely to use a waste food digester, compared with only 58.6% in Trowbridge!

Published by Shirley Pryor on 15 December 2011


On 24 Nov, 5 of us visited Hills Waste Solutions at Compton Bassett for an interesting and informative tour, conducted by Henry Newbery and John Chapman. We were shown how materials are sorted and prepared for onward transport and how landfill is managed.

The site takes in materials from the Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) and kerbside collections, as well as household refuse. Apart from green waste, which is composted on-site, recycling is sent elsewhere. Hills employs 150 people, both on the site and making collections. Wilts Council pays £56 per tonne of landfill waste, so greater recycling could also help to keep down council tax. Less waste means a longer life for the landfill site too

Some sorting is done by hand, e g cans, to redirect large biscuit tins and other items that have crept in, such as glass and plastic. Cans are then sorted mechanically into steel and aluminium, then crushed, baled (32,000/bale) and sent to be melted down. Aluminium foil is sorted and baled with cans.Glass is sent to Yorks for crushing and used in new bottles or in road building. Paper (1300 tonnes per month) goes to Kent where it is pulped and turned into newsprint, with a possible turn-around time of 7 days. Textiles to Devizes Textiles: good quality go to people in need; even poor quality can be used as rags to make items such as carpet underlay. Cardboard will be made into corrugated card for boxes. Plastics (types1, 2, 3) are crushed and baled (15000/bale; 130 bales/month) before dispatch. They will be turned into granules and used for drainpipes, low-grade food packaging, fleece jackets. Electrical goods are sent to a salvage company to be dismantled. Most wood is contaminated with glues and chemicals and is sent to a special incinerator. A machine removes nails and screws. Clean wood will be chipped and used for particle board or fuel pellets. Plasterboard has to be dismantled and plaster turned back into gypsum, paper recycled. Garden waste, after shredding, takes 12 weeks to become usable soil improver. It is stacked in huge rows, turned each week and its temperature monitored daily. 

Landfill is divided into cells of 220,000 cubic metres, each currently taking 12-18 months to fill. When the cell is dug, the sand layer is washed and sold to the building trade and the clay reserved for capping the cell after it is full. The base and sides are lined to prevent any escape of contamination; used tyres (instead of quarried stone) form a drainage layer and tipped waste is covered with compost and shredded wood each day. Leachate is pumped out and treated and surface water from the site run through reed beds to clean. Complete sealing of a cell prevents escape of contamination and this is monitored. Methane is collected, converted to electricity, then sold to National Grid. A proportion of household waste is sent to an incinerator in Slough, where the energy obtained is fed into National Grid.


Can we do more to help?

Cardboard: Flatten so takes up less space; can add shredded paper, brown paper bags, office paper.

Plastic bottles: Flatten and replace lid, so that more can fit in lorries, reducing journeys.

Textiles: Tie shoes together (if they go to someone in need, no use if one has been lost). No pillows or duvets.

Green waste: No kitchen waste because temperature in composting process would need to be higher to kill off pathogens.

Paper: Avoid contaminating with cardboard, dyed paper, large quantities of office paper. Remove windows from envelopes. Phone directories and Yellow Pages are OK to add.

Glass: If using HRC bins, all colours other than clear, brown or green, go in the green container. Lids and labels get separated in crushing and sieving process.

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