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Isle of Bute becomes a Zero Waste island



Scotland’s second Zero Waste Town was launched today thanks to the financial and practical backing of a national waste reduction campaign led by Zero Waste Scotland.

The Isle of Bute is the second part of Scotland so far to join the Zero Waste Towns initiative, which harnesses the efforts of residents and businesses to reduce waste, recycle more, and use resources – such as waste electrical equipment – efficiently. Fyne Futures Ltd, a charity committed to environmental sustainability on the Isle of Bute, will receive support worth £200,000 to implement the initiative locally via a series of projects over the next two years.

Last year, Dunbar in East Lothian became Scotland’s first Zero Waste Town. Both Dunbar and Bute join a growing network of Zero Waste municipalities throughout Europe and across the world, including towns in Holland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Slovenia and Romania.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “The Zero Waste Towns initiative recognises the crucial role that communities play in changing people’s behaviour to reduce and prevent waste. Both Zero Waste Scotland and our partners at the Scottish Government are committed to promoting community-level action in as many towns in Scotland as possible in order to meet our target recycling rate of 70 per cent and reduce waste by 15 per cent in Scotland by 2025.

“As part of this intensive approach, our first priority on Bute will be to inspire, educate and empower communities with the knowledge and skills to prevent waste, increase resource efficiency and thus reduce landfill costs and create jobs. We will also look at the impact and outcomes of each project to help us make the most of similar future projects within other Scottish communities.”

The project will be coordinated by local social enterprise organisation Fyne Futures, which will work closely with Zero Waste Scotland, Argyll & Bute Council, local groups, businesses and residents to coordinate a comprehensive approach to transforming attitudes to waste in the town.

A number of community-led initiatives will be introduced, including:

  • The launch of an enhanced recycling collection trial in the Bush/Serpentine area, to deliver recycling kits to over 500 households with the objective of increasing the current 40% participation rate to 90%.  A larger variation of plastic types will be accepted and kerbside textile collection will be offered;
  • The introduction of a pilot food waste collection service with up to 50 households and a training hub for food composting;
  • Additional recycling facilities;
  • The launch of a community engagement programme to raise awareness of the multiple benefits of waste prevention and increase volunteers;
  • The launch of a programme aimed at local businesses to help them to make changes necessary to prevent waste and increase resource efficiency;
  • A project to set up the facilities needed to launch a collection and re-use service for used and waste electrical equipment (UEEE and WEEE)
  • Increasing the quantity and quality of the recyclable goods collected, including biodegradable waste

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Becoming a member of the Zero Waste Towns initiative represents a crucial milestone for recycling and re-use on the Isle of Bute. Not only will it receive much-deserved recognition among a network of similar, forward-thinking Zero Waste towns and municipalities throughout Europe – the financial support will enable residents to deliver a range of initiatives that are firsts, anywhere in Scotland.

“I also look forward to seeing Bute residents supporting new services like the kerbside recycling collection service, for example, which will result in a considerable reduction in the volume – and therefore cost – of the waste produced on Bute from going to landfill.”

Reeni Kennedy-Boyle, General Manager of Fyne Futures Ltd, said: “We’ve had a hugely positive response to this project from a wide range of organisations, businesses and individuals throughout the community. We’re very excited that we’ll be receiving a range of brand new services and leading the way as one of the first Zero Waste islands, perhaps in the world.

“To have the whole Island of Bute as one of two Zero Waste Towns so far demonstrates the entire community’s firm commitment to making real progress in re-using, recycling and becoming generally more environmentally-aware. This innovative programme will help everyone on the island to recycle more, send less to landfill and use our precious resources more efficiently. I wish everyone involved in this initiative the best of luck and I hope it will create valuable experiences that other communities around Scotland can benefit from as we strive to make Scotland a zero waste country.

“The journey towards becoming a Zero Waste Town will be a great way to bring the community together as we work to achieve a shared goal. We have lots to learn from the pilot project in Dunbar and great examples of best practice which we can recreate on Bute. We look forward to working together to lead the way in eliminating waste.”

The Isle of Bute was selected for the pilot project following submissions from across Scotland after an open call for interested communities in 2013.


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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