Pillaton WI Report - July 2011

Recycling

Did you know that recycling aluminium cans saves 90% of the energy required to manufacture new ones? Or that recycled newspapers are turned back into our favourite dailies within two weeks? Or that most of the glass collected from our doorsteps locally ends up in our Cornish roads?

No? Me neither, so I learned a great deal from the presentation by our guest speaker at Pillaton WI’s July meeting: Sue Reeve, Waste Minimisation Officer for Cornwall County Council.

Sue began by testing our knowledge with ten questions about waste and recycling. Member Alison Downing, with most correct answers, was the lucky winner of the prize, a fetching tee shirt emblazoned with a “Recycle” logo.

Sue then gave an informal presentation, lead by members’ questions. Some of these were challenging, but Sue’s reasoned and informed responses helped our understanding of the waste disposal processes in our home county. Some of the facts are uncomfortable, for example, the one landfill site in Cornwall has a remaining capacity of only four years, with the alternatives being an incinerator somewhere in the county or all the rubbish being shipped off to Sweden. (Apparently, the Swedes are well equipped with incinerators and harness the energy from the burning waste to heat their homes – in the face of rising energy costs, this sounds like good sense!)

The biggest grumble from the floor was about Cornwall’s very limited recycling of plastics. Sue explained that bottles use a higher grade plastic which is cheap and easy to recycle, whereas some of the other plastic packaging has polystyrene mixed with it, making it difficult to reuse.

Hopefully, better informed following Sue’s talk, we will all be better recyclers in the future, but we also need to remember to reduce waste in the first place.

Finally, another sobering statistic from Sue: 660,000 edible eggs are ditched in the UK on a daily basis. How dreadful is that?

The brief business meeting reminded members that Pillaton WI’s summer outing to St Austell Brewery will be on 25 July and all monies must be paid by 18 July. Bulb orders to Jan Simms, please, by the end of July. Trish Bobbin volunteered to carry Pillaton WI’s banner at the forthcoming WI Garden Party at Port Eliot, which several members will be attending. County business included a number of forthcoming events and activities which members are invited to put their names down for, including the Double Duchy Day on 13 September; Autumn Fashion Shows at Kernow Mill on 6 October and the Annual Council Meeting on 19 October.

We meet again after our summer recess on September 12, when the topic will be “Willow Work”.

Pillaton WI is a friendly group and welcomes new members. Come along and meet us! If you would like to know more about Pillaton WI, please contact me on 351289.

Ann Henderson

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Last updated: 12 July 2011 Contact Us