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Saltford Environment Group
  towards a sustainable future for our village

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Litter-free autumn at The Shallows, Saltford. SEG

SEG Home > Less Waste

'Saltford Wombles'

(See lower down for how to Contact 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 was first set up in October 2014 by Julie Sampson with administrative, publicity and financial assistance from SEG.

Saltford Wombles is independent of SEG. Significant amounts of litter have been cleared from Saltford during organised litter picks and when individual Wombles pick litter at other times. 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.

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!

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 benefits us all.

Litter picks have been organised by Saltford Wombles in partnership with the Parish Council that has generously provided financial assistance and also by 1st Saltford Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. SEG does and can provide ad hoc financial assistance to the Wombles when this is helpful. 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. Litter-picks organised by Saltford Wombles are announced in SCAN and on social media.

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Saltford Wombles tackling the Bath Road A4, a litter hotspot, 25.3.2018.

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Saltford School's enthusiastic Green Team led by
Miss Jupp (second left) after clearing litter, 25.2.2016.

Litter picks organised by Saltford Wombles clear huge volumes of litter in targeted areas but what happens in between the organised litter picks? Wombles, 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.

Street volunteers (individuals or families) can be an informal approach where people will regularly check for and clear litter on a street where they live and/or a street route such as a route that they regularly walk. A growing number of streets have street volunteers.

This is a shared responsibility all residents have to keep our village clean from the scourge of litter. If you are covering a large stretch of street, the Wombles can provide you with a litter picker. Some of the 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.


Contact 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 the Saltford Wombles street volunteers scheme, please contact Barbara Turner by email to saltfordwombles@gmail.com.

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As William (top picture) showed in 2015, all the family can help. Canoe Avon members (bottom picture) about to commence the river litter pick held in April 2015, from the Avon County Rowing Club.

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Pictured here is Saltford Wombles founder Julie Sampson having received a Saltford Achievement Award from Saltford Parish Council in April 2019. Julie founded Saltford Wombles in 2014.


The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river
- Ross Perot

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Other litter related information

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Beauty dies where litter lies

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.

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How to report illegal dumping (fly-tipping) of waste & other pollution

Fly-tipping can occur on private or public land including roadsides, waterways, railways or lay-bys. The Council is responsible for clearing up fly-tipped waste on public land. If waste is dumped on private land it's the responsibility of the land-owner to clean it up. If someone is prosecuted for fly-tipping on your private land, the courts can award costs to cover the clear-up.

To report illegal dumping of waste or other pollution incidents such as pest nuisances, dog fouling of public areas that is not picked up by the dog's owner, noise, etc. contact:

(B&NES) Council Connect Tel: 01225 39 40 41
 
or report via the internet:
Fix My Street (www.fixmystreet.com)
(N.B. B&NES Council has an alternative web address for this service: fix.bathnes.gov.uk)
 
or by email:
councilconnect@bathnes.gov.uk

Hazardous waste: To report dumping of hazardous waste such as asbestos, containers of powders, chemicals and paints, or similar pollution to water or land including oil or other harmful fluids appearing in the local river, call:

   Environment Agency Hotline 0800 80 70 60

Report waste crime anonymously - you can report waste crime, such as the dumping of large amounts of waste illegally, anonymously online to Crimestoppers (link) or by using the Crimestoppers 24 hour telephone reporting service:- 0800 555 111

Noise: The B&NES Council Environmental Protection Team can be reached on tel: 01225 477551 (out-of-hours logging service tel: 01225 477477) or by email to environmental_protection@bathnes.gov.uk. If the noise is happening out of office hours, then please contact them the next working day on Tel 01225 477551 in order to speak to an Environmental Health Officer about your concerns.

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Less Waste at home & the workplace

"90% of the resources we use in the UK ends up in landfill sites, as effluent, or air emissions"
Environment Agency (1998)

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. Plastic waste also poisons wildlife and persists permanently in the environment as it breaks down into smaller and smaller particles.

The waste hierarchy is something we can all apply in our homes and our places of education and work:

  • First reduce the amount of waste we all produce (esp. plastics!)
  • Second reuse as much as possible
  • Third recycle
  • Fourth we should recover as much value as we can from what is left.

Only as a last resort should we dispose of the left over waste.

Here we look at waste in the home and, further down the page, in the workplace:-

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 higher up 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:

  • Plastics - B&NES Council information and advice on recycling plastic etc.: plastics
  • B&NES Council for information and advice on waste and recycling, garden waste and compost etc.: rubbish-and-recycling
  • "Love food, hate waste" from WRAP to help you waste less and save money: lovefoodhatewaste

Badgers or foxes raiding your food waste recycling bin?

photograph photograph 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.

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Less Waste at the workplace

Waste: Any cost which does not
produce value to our customers

Interface Inc.

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 (gov.uk web link: 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 links to websites also provide useful information:


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Saltford Environment Group
W3C compliant website


<< Saltford Wombles

<< How to report illegal dumping (fly-tipping) of waste & other pollution

<< Less Waste at home & the workplace
(- incl. 'Waste Hierarchy')


Some waste reduction tips:


Re-use shopping bags
- just 8.7 checkout bags contain enough embodied petroleum energy to drive a car 1 kilometre - Ecohouse, Australia (2007)


Avoid single-use plastics!
- these can become a pollution nightmare and disastrous for wildlife. Avoid single-use "disposable" coffee cups.


Avoid packaging!
- unnecessary packaging wastes energy and money - and creates more waste.


Use (and re-use) recycled paper
- producing recycled paper uses up to 70% less energy than virgin paper (as well as using far less water) - Global Action Plan (2011)


Think before you throw
- increasingly more of our waste can be recycled by B&NES so make sure you know what can or can't be recycled


Print just what you need
- only print when you really have to and instead read your emails, e-newletters etc. on the screen


Get those food portions right & watch the 'use-by' dates
- the world wastes between 30% and 40% of the 4 billion tonnes of food it produces each year - Institution of Mechanical Engineers (2013)


Compost what you can
- maintaining a compost heap is good for your garden and putting kitchen food scraps in the special food recycling bin reduces waste going to landfill


Fix that dripping tap!
- a dripping tap wastes at least 5,500 litres of water a year (enough to fill a paddling pool every week for the whole summer), so fix that washer


Don't use your loo as a dustbin!
- every time you flush you use about 5 litres, so use the bin instead - and don't flush wet wipes, so called "flushable" wipes (they're not!), cotton buds, sanitary products etc. down the loo as these often cause blockages


Turn the tap off whilst you brush your teeth
- toothpaste works better when its dry, so you only need to rinse at the end (or use a glass of water rather than a running tap)


Use a bucket
- use a bucket when washing the car; hoses can use around 10 litres a minute


A brown lawn is just fine
- if your lawn goes brown during a very dry spell, that doesn't matter; it will revive once it rains again and will be stronger and more drought resistant


Don't waste the water from your veg
- water used to boil veg can be used for gravy or soup, or once cool can add nutrients to your pot plants


Recycle your waste
- if every household in the UK recycled one electrical or electronic item, 73,000 tonnes could be diverted from landfill, or over 65,000 tonnes of CO2 - the same as 9,500 flights - Defra (2009)


Refills rock!
- washing powders, liquids, salts, coffee etc.


Scoop that Poop!
- be a responsible dog/cat owner. Proper disposal of pet waste reduces health risks for pets and people, especially children!