Our Round up Edition Newsletter

Welcome to the latest newsletter from the Eastern Midlands regional Waste Office. In this issue we are doing a roundup of what’s happened since our last edition. It has been a busy six months and here’s a short rundown, for more information on any of these please follow the embedded links or check out our website.

First and Foremost we here in The Eastern Midlands Regional Waste Office would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas & The Happiest of New Years


Annual Report 
Our 2015 / 2016 annual report can be downloaded here. The information in the report covers the period from, May 2015, when the plan was launched up to and including May 2016. The figures and statistics presented related to those which have been verified for 2014.
Green Christmas 
Christmas is traditionally a time of food, fun, gifts and happiness so it is no surprise that it has become a time of great consumption and a time of peak waste. We have put together a range of tips to help you be nice to the environment while still having a lovely Christmas season. Click here for our green Christmas tips on gifts, gift wrapping, decorations and food to have a Greener Christmas that can help cut your spending as well as your waste.
Your Green Christmas Tips & Tricks
TRiFOCAL London – Transforming City FOod hAbits for Life, is the latest initiative to be led by Resource London - the partnership between WRAP and LWARB - together with Groundwork London. The organisations bid for and won €3.2million from the European Commission to deliver the initiative in London, which will be a test bed for other European cities. Once it has been implemented in London it will then be rolled out to the all of the other European cities taking part:
  • Barcelona [Spain]
  • Brussels [Belgium]
  • Burgas [Bulgaria]
  • Dublin
  • Milan [Italy]
  • Oslo [Norway]
  • Växjö [Sweden]
The initiative aims to use innovative approaches to:
  • Prevent food waste by changing planning, shopping, storage and meal preparation behaviour
  • Promote healthy and sustainable eating by changing purchasing and preparation practices 
  • Recycle more unavoidable food waste
European Week of Waste Reduction

The European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) is a pan-European environmental initiative held in November each year that aims to promote actions that encourage and raise-awareness about sustainable resource and waste management. Everyone including public authorities, private companies, civil society and individuals can get involved by conducting a waste reduction activity and registering it as an action on the EWWR web site.

The Eastern-Midlands Waste Regional Office (EMWRO) was delighted to team up with Dublin City University (DCU) students on a social media campaign designed to encourage the use of reusable coffee cups on campus. The campaign dubbed KeepMeDCU, launched on Monday 21st November as part of European Week of Waste Reduction 2016 (EWWR) and will run until Friday 26th November. The campaign is one of just two EWWR waste prevention actions registered for Ireland.

The campaign aimed to reduce the volume of disposable cups used on the campus. It is estimated that 1 million disposable coffee cups are used each year in Ireland and that using just one disposable cup each day for a year creates about 11kg of waste. While some disposable cups can be recycled it is an costly and lengthily procedure which can only be carried out in a specialist processing plant, none of which we have in Ireland and there is only one in the UK and so these cups will all end up in landfill.  
At the KeepMeDCU launch 100 reusable travel mugs were given away free to students, most of who interacted with the social media campaign through likes, posting selfies and in one case doing a mannequin challenge! Coffee outlets on campus joined the effort by giving a cash discount to anyone using a reusable cup for the duration of EWWR.
Hazardous Waste Collections
Hazardous waste can be difficult and dangerous for householders to handle, store and dispose of. In addition, accessing information about the management of such waste presents a challenge for most people. The web site of each LA in the Region provides clear, accessible information about hazardous waste and the disposal of such substances. The LA’s in the Region provide frequent collections of household hazardous waste. Many local Civic Amenity (CA) Centres accept hazardous waste but where this service cannot be provided, LA’s in the EMR facilitate the organisation of hazardous waste collections free to householders in the area. During 2015, free hazardous waste collections for householders took place in Dun Laoghaire, Wicklow and Longford. In each case, the collections were intensively publicised to ensure maximum uptake of the service.
Up-cycle Challenge 2016 - WINNERS  
In our last newsletter we advertised this amazing initiative being carried out by FreeTrade Ireland and there was a massive uptake with more than 80 entries nationwide. It was a tough decision due to the quality of work and the display of enthusiasm from all of those who took the time to enter. All entries were scored on level of reuse, innovation, functionality, finish and sustainability and it was a very, very hard competition to judge because of all of the time and effort that the entrants put in. There may be an overall winner but we were blown away by the efforts and creativity that all entrants put into the competition.
Winner - Eastern Midlands region - The decision was made to have two winners in this region as it was too difficult to pick just one. First up we have an umbrella bag. After yet another umbrella broken in the wind, rendering the umbrella useless in the rain, Kathleen decided against shoving it in the bin alongside all of the other umbrellas dumped there. It was taken home, the broken spines removed and the material turned into a reusable bag!

The other joint winner, Robert, took some left over materials from the refurbishment of a bike. These are the pieces that would typically be left over and would be waste material as they might not be suitable for use on a renovated bike. He took a sheet of metal used in car repair, turned it into a tube. The speaker was placed inside and the housing was held in place by disc brakes, taken from a bike repair, at either end. A broken wheel was taken and two sections cut off to make a stand. 

Winner - Connacht Ulster Region - Urs Harttuns created these children’s chairs by cutting these animal shapes out of cardboard boxes he sourced from a local bicycle store where they had been collected to be disposed of.   Once he had the shapes cut out he glued the layers together which created these sturdy seats.

Winner - Southern Region - Martin entered this beautiful Arbour seat. He made it as a gift for his wife with bits and pieces that were lying around the garden and shed. The two old doors used to make the sides of the seat were from a friend who had replaced the doors. The roof is made from the slats of a broken up shed which belonged his brother-in-law. The back panel and seat are made from wood that's been in shed for nearly ten years. It was then varnished and painted with paint and varnish that have been in the shed. Even the cap seal on the roof is a piece of an old unused plastic pipe.

Reuse Month - Some Highlights
REUSE MONTH was a campaign organised during the month of October by the Prevention Officers in each of the three Regional Waste Offices. The organisers cooperated with each other and a large number of other LA staff and other bodies to increase the awareness of REUSE in the public psyche. The launch was attended by the current Minister Denis Naughten. The campaign was "greened" by using digital material in as far as was possible. Throughout the month there were events held all over the region, below is just a sample, please check our website for a full list:
Fashion Shop and Pop up Shop - Dun Laoghaire
Reuse Month Expo; The Sharing Economy  - Civic Office 
Reuse Month Pledge - Launched at Electric Picnic - Various Locations
Re-imagining Workshops - Wicklow 
Charity Shop Workshops - Westmeath 

Cinema Advert - Nationwide.

The advert was viewed by almost 400,000 cinema goers in it's two week run, it featured some reuse ideas and advertised reuse organisations such as the Irish Charity Shops Association. Check it out Here
Repak Awards   
A big congratulations to Recycle IT for picking up the award for ‘Environmental Education and Awareness Initiatives’ and the SMILE Exchange for their winning of the @Waste Prevention Business Award’  at this year’s Packman Awards  in October.
The Pakman Awards was launched in 2015 by Repak to replace the Repak Recycling Awards and allow more accessibility to the awards for all organisations who demonstrate their sustainability and environmental efforts. The inaugural Pakman marked a significant change in the direction for Repak whose awards were previously only open to its members and recovery operators. Now all organisations who can demonstrate their environmental waste management practices and efforts can enter.
LAPN comprises many different projects on prevention issues that are being developed by individual and groups of local authorities. Every local authority is given the opportunity to get involved in at least one project, and many are involved in several, working as a team with others. In 2016 many local authorises decided to tackle the issue of disposable coffee cups and began this battle in the local authority offices. This was done by means of the introduction of Keep Cups which were distributed to staff members and they were encouraged to use the Keep Cup for their hot drinks both in and out of the office. Another major issue being tackled was the segregation of waste during festival and Christmas markets. In Cork City for example, new bins were placed around the Christmas markets along with a clever advertising campaign to encourage the public to use the correct bins. 
Local Authority Waste Audit 
Leading by example through the reduction of waste in the LA buildings in the Region is an important policy action within the Region’s WMP. A baseline of the waste produced by the 12 LA’s was established for 2015. This baseline will serve as the basis to measure waste prevention within LA’s over the lifetime of the plan. In year 1 the EMRWMO will focus on maximising use of the 3 bin system. There will be presentations, demonstrations and a poster campaign in order to educate and achieve success. Waste arisings in each of LA will be monitored and this will allow for the identification of areas which may need more education.
Rediscovery Centre Boiler House Project 
Ballymun’s boiler house, which had been earmarked for demolition as part of the Ballymun Regeneration Project, is set for a green revamp. This is thanks to a successful €3.6M application from the Rediscovery Centre and Dublin City Council to the EU’s LIFE+ environment fund.
The funding will transform the Boiler House into a national waste reuse and education centre and will see the Rediscovery Centre provide education and training programmes in sustainable development in the retrofitted Boiler House. Work is expected to begin before the end of 2014 and will be facilitated by co-funding from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

The test-bed afforded through the Boiler house project is unique given that it presents the ultimate challenge:  to redesign and retrofit a building, originally constructed to dissipate heat and associated with an inefficient district heating scheme, to best practice energy management standards incorporating innovative and experimental technologies and platforms that have the potential to educate and influence the behaviour of its visitors and to be applied at a European Community level. The activities of the proposed centre are core to ambitions set out in national waste and sustainability policies and will encourage eco-innovation, environmental best practice and the creation of green sector jobs. The completion of this project would result in the preservation of an iconic and historical building, the provision of necessary waste infrastructure for the region and the creation of local employment.
Before The Flood - A must see! 
From Academy Award-winning film-maker Fisher Stevens and Academy Award-winning actor, environmental activist, and U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio, Before the Flood presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet.
Copyright © 2016 Eastern-Midlands Waste Regional Office, All rights reserved.

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