A truly fascinating and educational morning was spent by 14 Transition Town Hastings folk at the Hollingdean Materials Recovery Facility in Brighton last week.
We found out they don’t actually recycle Hastings and Rother recycling waste – it goes to Crayford in Kent!
Before the sorting begins
We did get to see how they process all of Brighton’s recycling, as well as fly tipping and commercial waste and learn about what they do and don’t recycle.
They employ a team of people to sort waste as well as relying on machinery to filter out paper, steel and aluminium. Machines suck up paper and steel cans get pulled away by magnets. They mostly sell on paper, steel and aluminium made into large bails and sometimes shipped to China!
According to our guide at Hollingdean many food companies are reluctant to use recycled plastics because of fears that people will not buy their products (like plastic milk bottles that look slightly grey).
Non recyclables collected at Hollingdean end up in the Newhaven Incinerator down the road where energy is generated and fed into the National Grid.
Also at Hollingdean and other Veolia sites they are working with a new (and secret) technology to recycle coffee cups.
We think every school pupil in the country should visit these sites to find out what really happens to our waste.
Following the Community Energy Fortnight speaker event, the relaunched transition community energy group met on 6th July at the White Rock Hotel. The meeting was on an appropriately beautiful sunny day in the White Rock hotel which overlooks the sea and generates some of its power with solar panels on the roof. In this spot, we couldn’t help but be inspired by the potential we have locally to use the energy of the sun, sea and wind to power our town.
The group concentrated on visioning what we would love to see in our local area, with ideas ranging from becoming ‘Silicon Seaside’ and encourage cutting edge renewable energy tech innovation to the local area, to becoming the first seaside town with a pier powered on renewable energy. Please take a look at the minutes to read the full list of ideas. We would love to hear your thoughts, feedback or any useful contacts. Even better we’d love to hear them in person at the next meeting!
The next meeting will be held on Thursday 10th August, 7:30pm – 9pm at the White Rock Hotel where we will be voting on our ideas and selecting a few to start progressing. The meeting is open to anyone that would like to get involved in community energy, or just learn a bit more. More ideas can be added to the list so please get in contact if you’d like to add anything and come along to the meeting. If you are thinking about getting involved then please do! This is an exciting time in the world of community energy and there’s so much potential in Hastings and St Leonards for interesting projects which really make a difference.
Energise Sussex Coast is bidding to bag a massive cash boost for it’s ‘Science Lab on the Beach’ project from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.
Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local community projects.
Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.
Energise Sussex Coast is one of the groups on the shortlist.
The Science Lab on the Beach will feature solar powered family activities, solar panel making, solar powered boat building for children, an energy quiz and more. We want to give local residents a taste of the amazing potential that sunny Hastings holds for changing the way we power our local area through more locally owned, community benefit renewable energy and greater household energy efficiency.
Richard Watson, Chief Executive of Energise Sussex Coast said:
“Hastings is one of the sunniest places in UK and we want every child in the town to be able to come to our science lab on the beach to have fun and find out how the sun can help us generate clean energy for the future.”
Voting is open in the following local stores throughout July and August:
Tesco Express, Battle Hill, Battle, TN33 0BN
Tesco Express, Fernside Ave, St Leonards, TN38 0UU
Tescos Extra, Church Wood Drive, TN38 9RB
Tesco Express, Lacuna Place, Hastings, TN34 1BP
Tesco Express, Little Ridge Ave, Hastings, TN37 7LR
Tesco Express, Old London Road, Ore, TN35 5BH
Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.
Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for July and August. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”
Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp
Watch this film by Keith Rodway documenting an awareness-raising day for Hastings Greenway and sustainable transport in the town. It features interviews with key players in the campaign to build a safe route for cyclists and walkers from Ore to the town centre.
Join Energise Sussex Coast and other Community Energy groups across East Sussex for presentations and discussions about the potential for renewable and community owned energy. Hastings, being one of the sunniest places in the UK, gives us a real opportunity to create our own energy through solar pv. Come along and join the discussion on Wed 28th June, 7-9.30pm at The Palace, White Rock.
Given the increasing concern that there is internationally about our access to energy and the environmental impact of certain raw materials, it was with great interest that a group from Transition Town Hastings visited Dungeness B Power Station run by EDF on 19th May. EDF operates two types of reactors in the UK. One type is Pressurised Water Reactor, the other, such as Dungeness B & most of the UK reactors, are Advanced Gas – cooled reactors. It is sited next to Dungeness A, which is in the process of being decommissioned. Spent fuel rods are transported by rail to Sellafield for storage.
Security was reassuringly rigorous, both before we were accepted on the tour and during our time going around the plant, including the opportunity to meet armed specialist police assigned to the facility. Health and Safety requirements were also strictly adhered to and great care was taken to ensure our safety as we toured around. We were also treated to a celebratory cake as Alison, who organised the trip was the 20,000 visitor.
The Interactive Visitor’s Centre, where we initially met, was very informative. The session was started with a talk, supported by a power point adapted from the Eco Schools website, to highlight the need for the efficient use of resources in all areas of life including the need to “reuse/recycle” and save water and energy resources by using these effectively. There was an explanation of the production of nuclear energy and the running of a plant. There was also a section where the environmental impact, land resources needed and CO2 footprint of a range of energy sources including renewables were compared. The main message was that in the UK, in our particular circumstances, that a mixture of methods both renewable and nuclear was the most beneficial. There is not, however, a clear solution at present to the problem of the final storage of all levels of nuclear waste. (it is possible to find very informative presentations about all these issues on the Eco Schools website)
During the tour we received a very informative presentation regarding the production of nuclear energy and questions were answered, as far as we could judge, thoroughly and honestly.
After the tour, the opinion was that we could thoroughly recommend taking the opportunity to tour the facility.
We are inviting all local residents to come along to a lunch picnic at Warrior Square Gardens on June 18th (1-4pm). We’re taking part in the UK’s annual get together organised by the Eden Project and Great Get Together (In celebration of Jo Cox’s belief that we have more in common).
Hastings is well known for its passionate support of the environment, and for addressing the impact of climate change. We realise we are an important part of the solution – lead by example and show others what is possible. Transition Towns are now a global initiative encouraging communities to address the challenges they face by starting locally.
Transition Town Hastings was originally started in 2006, and gathered pace in 2015 when frustrations about an issue no government seemed to be taking seriously came to a head. The Transition Network or Movement offered a productive, all inclusive, a-political approach.
Over the last two and a half years, TTH has run numerous events to raise awareness of the issues. There was an initial Vision Day, on which the public were invited to come along and share their vision for a healthier, more sustainable Hastings. We’ve hosted a number of well attended ‘Pot Luck Dinners’ and shown many inspiring films including ‘Inhabit’ – an introduction to Permaculture which included a Q&A with the director Costa Boutsikaris, and ‘Demain/Tomorrow’ – a story presenting positive solutions to our ecological, economical and social crisis. We have also hosted inspiring guest speakers such as Jeremy Leggett (founder of Solar Aid), Pop-ups at St Leonards Festival, several swap shops and much more.
TTH started a Community Garden at St Leonards Warrior Square Train Station (North Side) which produced its first harvest last year. Feel free to come along to a gardening session (every weekend) to get involved, find out more or pick something for your dinner! There are many exciting plans for this year: the garden will be part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival which runs from 20th May – 4th June and on Sunday 4th June the station community garden will host ‘A Day to Clear Your Head and Clear Your Shed’ from 11-3pm. Donate an old rake or bring something unusual to plant something in. There will be music too.
TTH are also developing a project to tackle polystyrene take-away food packaging and the use of disposable plastic cups given out by local pubs during public holidays and events. We often see these littered on the seafront or on the beach, and when they get into the sea, they cause huge damage to marine life. We’d like to help local businesses come up with a solution.
All TTH projects rely on volunteers. We need a constant flow of people in order to keep these projects moving, so if you want to be a part of something special, either to volunteer on the current projects, fundraise or set up a project of your own please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Equally if you’d like to learn more about any of the above please visit our website www.transitiontownhastings.org.uk or email us at email@example.com
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