Saltford Environment Group
Litter-free autumn at The Shallows, Saltford. © SEG
SEG Home > Less Waste (& Saltford Wombles)
Towns and villages around the country have found that a local Wombles group can be an enjoyable way of helping the community look after its own environment effectively and keep litter down to a minimum. Saltford Wombles were first set up in October 2014.
We hope you have noticed that the amount of litter spoiling Saltford is considerably less than it has been in the past. The existence of litter can attract more litter but the efforts by Saltford Wombles and others who share a common desire to keep Saltford clean and tidy does make a real difference. A big "thank you" to everyone who takes the trouble to pick up litter.
If the overwhelming majority of us living in Saltford see it as our individual responsibility to take ownership of the road we live in and neighbouring footpaths by clearing any litter we find, the job is done. Just spending 5-10 minutes each week to check for and clear litter or simply removing it when we see it can make all the difference. The feel good factor from removing rubbish on our streets provides its own reward! - see also the Street Volunteers initiative lower down this page.
Saltford Wombles will continue to target public areas with organised litter-picks and can lend litter-picking tools to anyone wishing to have a short blitz to clear an area - it's amazing how much ground one or two people can cover in just an hour. Involving our children can help them see and learn why dropping litter is so anti-social and thoughtless whilst instilling a sense of responsibility to help keep their local area clean.
The effect of litter is disproportionate to the small minority of people who drop it - but a shared determination by the community to keep Saltford clean will benefit us all.
Litter picks have been organised by SEG in partnership with the Parish Council that has generously provided financial assistance and also by 1st Saltford Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. Saltford School's "Green Team" have also got involved. Others including kayakers and Canoe Avon who regularly use the river in Saltford have carried out individual litter-picks too and these activities are a great community service for which SEG is very grateful for such support. Litter-picks organised by Saltford Wombles are announced on our home page.
Contacting Saltford Wombles
If you have spotted a litter problem area in Saltford, you are interested in getting involved with Saltford Wombles and/or would like to join our street volunteers scheme, please contact us. Saltford Wombles can provide, gloves, litter pickers, bin bags and high viz jackets. All ages welcome.
Litter picks organised by Saltford Wombles clear huge volumes of litter in targeted areas but what happens in between the organised litter picks? Many SEG members and other residents pick up litter outside their homes (but many do not) or carry plastic bags to collect litter when out walking on regular school runs or walking the dog and this all helps. Yet nevertheless litter dropped accumulates quite quickly but we can all help to supplement organised litter-picks.
The concept behind street volunteers (individuals or families) is an informal approach where people will regularly check for and clear litter on a street or street route such as a route that they regularly walk (we will update the list as more volunteers inform us that they are doing this):-
If your street or a street that you regularly walk along is not included and you would like to help keep it litter free, contact Julie Sampson (see below). Alternatively if you want to volunteer for a road that is already covered that's fine - the more the merrier and the cleaner your street remains for longer!
This is a shared responsibility we all have to keep our village clean from the scourge of litter. If you are covering a large stretch of street, we can lend you a litter picker. Some of our regular Wombles team find it helpful to carry a plastic a bag in their pocket. However, if you regularly walk the street that you are a street volunteer for, you will probably find only one or two items of fresh litter on each visit.
As William (top picture) showed in 2015, all the family can help. Dionne and Jane (middle picture) and other Canoe Avon members (bottom picture) about to commence the river litter pick held in April 2015, from the Avon County Rowing Club.
The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river
Other litter related information
According to the environmental charity 'Keep Britain Tidy', over 30 million tonnes of litter are collected from our streets every year and it costs society almost £1billion a year to clean the streets of England. Litter spoils our environment and can also be dangerous to wildlife. It is illegal to drop litter and offenders can be fined under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.
The website for Keep Britian Tidy has lots of information and advice on litter, dog-fouling, graffiti, fly-tipping, eco-schools, etc.
"90% of the resources we use in the UK ends up in landfill sites, as effluent, or air emissions"
Avoidable waste is avoidable pollution (to air, land and water) and depletes natural resources that existing and future generations will need to use on a renewable basis.
The waste hierarchy is something we can all apply in our homes and our places of education and work:
Only as a last resort should we dispose of the left over waste.
In addition to avoiding waste, litter dropped by thought-less individuals spoils our local environment and can put our wildlife at risk. We can all take responsibility for clearing away litter on the pavement areas outside our own homes, support the litter-picks arranged periodically in the village by Saltford Wombles, and report the illegal dumping of waste (see How to report fly-tipping & other pollution on right hand side of this page).
Upcycling Craft Group
"Upcycling" is about converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better use, quality or for improved environmental value.
SEG's Upcycling Craft Group meets in the evening on a regular monthly basis between 7pm and 9pm on the third Thursday of the month, except in August and December or at Easter when we take a break, at Signs of Saltford, 559 Bath Road. If you wish to attend (admission is free and the workshops are fun), do contact the organisers to confirm - Tel: 01225 874037.
First launched in February 2013, our Upcycling Craft Group is for everyone, Mums, Dads, children or neighbours - give it a go, you never know what hidden talent you may find. Sharing our experiences and learning together can be a great way of meeting like-minded people in Saltford with the added bonus of taking home a smile and something unique made by you.
Less Waste at home
With all waste, someone somewhere pays for it!
How we create, re-use, recycle and dispose of waste in or from our homes can make a significant impact on the environment. Much of the waste that goes from Saltford to landfill is avoidable waste; we just need to occasionally stop and re-think about the amount of waste we create from our homes.
If we can encourage all members of our households to be less wasteful by applying the waste hierarchy (see above) we can save money, resources and help reduce the size of Saltford's ecological footprint on the planet.
There are a some tips on the right-hand side of this page on how we can reduce waste. Some are more obvious than others and if you have a useful suggestion for reducing waste that we can share let our Website Managing Editor know.
Advice for householders
These websites provide useful information:
Badgers or foxes raiding your food waste recycling bin?
If you find badgers are sniffing out the food in your food waste recycling bin and tumbling it around until it comes open and spills the food scraps, this solution may interest you.
Fed up with the mess that needed to be cleared up after night-time raids by badgers - especially when chicken bones were present as the smell seems irresistible to badgers - our editor drilled a small hole through the lip of the lid and the container beneath, being careful not to drill into the bin cavity itself, so that garden wire could be used to secure the lid.
The picture on the left shows the bin (with chicken bones inside) that has been tumbled round the garden and ended up in a flower bed (hence the mud); but it stayed shut! A close-up of the wire fastening is shown on the right.
Less Waste at the workplace
Waste: Any cost which does not
The cost of waste is not just the cost of getting rid of it but also the value of what you are disposing of (raw materials, manufacturing & processing time, energy, transportation etc).
Resource efficiency through reducing unnecessary waste lies at the heart of a successful business. Thiis is particularly true during times of economic downturn and with rising concerns over global competition for scarce resources and security of energy supplies and the issues of demand versus supply against a background of unrestrained worldwide population growth and climate change.
Many businesses have made good progress on becoming more sustainable by addressing pollution issues, energy efficiency (see our energy page for advice on energy efficiency), cleaner technologies and waste minimisation. Business needs to become more "eco" efficient by creating more value with less resource use whilst also adapting to climate change impacts by becoming more resilient to the effects of adverse weather (flooding and heatwaves) and taking advantage of new market opportunities that a changing climate will bring.
Most small businesses are relatively efficient in how they use resources and constantly seek to create the minimum of waste. That is because the owner/manager maintains a close watch on running costs, whether that is the cost of raw materials and pre-manufactured parts or stock, or the ever rising cost of waste disposal.
However, there is no room for complacency and getting advice from a 'fresh pair of eyes' or learning from the experience of others who have found new or better ways of doing things can help you identify where your business could reduce waste and save money.
Businesses have a duty of care to make sure they handle and dispose of hazardous waste safely and adhere to the regulations that exist to protect human health and the environment. You can contact the Environment Agency if you have any questions about business and commercial waste on 03708 506 506 (web link: www.gov.uk/.../environment-agency).
Advice for businesses
The Government's WRAP initiative (Waste & Resources Action Programme) (www.wrap.org.uk, telephone: 0808 100 2040) is a useful source of environmental management guides and/or case studies on benchmarking, waste minimisation, clean technology, and examples of best practice etc.
For sources of local energy/environmental solutions, expertise and support etc. Business West provides a local access point for business (tel: 01275 373 373).
These websites also provide useful information:
© Saltford Environment Group
Beauty dies where litter lies
How to report illegal dumping (fly-tipping) of waste & other pollution
Some waste reduction tips:
Re-use shopping bags
Use (and re-use) recycled paper
Think before you throw
Print just what you need
Get those food portions right & watch the 'use-by' dates
Compost what you can
Fix that dripping tap!
Don't use your loo as a dustbin!
Turn the tap off whilst you brush your teeth
Use a bucket
A brown lawn is just fine
Don't waste the water from your veg
Recycle your waste
Scoop that Poop!