How the 4 Rs could beat our packaging problems

In a sensible world, the household products we buy would come in re-useable and/or refillable and/or returnable containers. Going for these 4 Rs – Refusing, Reusing, Reducing and Recycling – would help slow down the speed at which we’re filling our plastic recycling sacks and have a positive effect on our environment. Read more…

Milton Keynes waste resources

We are fortunate to have lots of good local examples to help us quit consuming single-use plastic in Milton Keynes. Here’s what happens to our waste…

MK Council’s Waste Recovery Park locates recycled items, and food and garden waste are composted into a low grade compost-like output. The non-recyclable items then go into an advanced thermal treatment which turns them into a fuel suitable to generate steam. This in turn drives a turbine, which creates electricity to feed into the national grid.

Food and Garden Waste

We throw away roughly 14 million tonnes of food waste per year in the UK, valued at around £14 billion.

Clearly, we need to do better, especially in a world where many people are suffering from lack of healthy food. We can take more care to avoid letting food perish, watching use-by dates and using food in rotation. We can buy less, more often.

We can rethink our attitude to our gardens, “rewilding” areas, helping wildlife and being more tolerant of weeds and long grass, hence creating less garden waste.

But in the end, we need to deal with the residue skilfully. We can get a compost bin and use the compost in our gardens. Another, more commercial, way to do this is to place the bulk waste with some water in a sealed vessel and let it decompose. It gives off useful gases (“biogas”) that can be collected and burned to create energy, with the residual slurry being used as fertiliser on farms.

Here’s an interesting article looking at the techniques of creating biogas on a smaller, local scale:-

There are two communities cited in the article who are taking this further …




Both are well worth taking a look. Enjoy !