- Hardware shops are selling more screws, nuts, nails, hooks etc singly than in packs. Used envelopes or a screw of paper is used for packaging. They are also selling new parts for appliances to help customers with repairs, where these are not available they are checking local recycling centres and on-line exchanges.
- General sales of basic cleaning materials such as sugar soap for dirty paintwork, bicarbonate of soda for cleaning ovens and vinegar for sparkling windows make a comeback as prices of oil based products rise and many people cut back on having large collections of specific modern cleaning products. Some hardware shops put up lists of tips and basic solutions they sell that can do a variety of household cleaning and polishing jobs
- Street Sales are booming as people save petrol on going to Car Boot Sales and get together as neighbours selling unwanted goods and teas. Complaining neighbour Annie Nooks, was won around by discovering an old photo of the street on her neighbour’s stall. “I’m sure that’s me when I was 3 with my Mother waiting for the Trolley Bus” she said with delight. She was quick to check the other stalls for similar finds.
- Responding to customer comments and concerns about rising oil prices, 3 major supermarket chains replace all single-use plastic packaging with paper bags. Totnes Recycled Paper Company is quick to react and wins a contract to supply fruit and veg. bags to all South Devon branches of the Co-op under their buy local scheme.
- An enterprising group of local students have set themselves up as ‘Business Waste Auditors’. They will visit companies and identify resource efficiency measures, waste savings and advise on ‘Green’ procurement.
- Community groups are delighted with the announcement that the deal for SHDC to send locally produced waste for incineration is off. “Our Keep Waste Local campaign has finally been heard,” says Emily Brown, adding, “ We can make money and produce energy out of this waste with anaerobic digestion.”
- The Small Farmers Association and National Farmers Union meet to discuss a series of proposals to prepare farmers and farms for local anaerobic digestion (AD) systems. Initially they will set up an effluent collection scheme, but hope to pipe effluents to very local digesters as they become available. Research into recovery of heavy metals and other potential pollutants and systems for returning digestates to the land will be funded by the NFU.
- Based on a social enterprise scheme, Totnes Recycled Paper Company is set up; a recycling plant producing a number of paper products including Totnes Toilet Tissue is set up at Babbage Road next to the Recycling centre. 3 jobs are being created with plans for 2 more specialist positions making hand made artist quality papers. The Totnes Times is interested in their ideas for printed media.
- Community groups are meeting with the new Rationing Officer to discuss ways to help their members deal with reduced availability of goods and rationing measures.
Policy Makers & Service Providers
- SHDC announces that waste in South Hams has stabilised at 2008 levels ahead of target. “55% recycling rates for municipal waste and 75% for demolition waste are already being achieved and we are well on the way to reducing further.”
- SHDC is to pilot Council tax incentives to residents who are willing to have their waste collected at group facilities instead of individual households each having a collection. The overall pan is based on the Italian model where small areas of each neighbourhood are taken over for mini waste and recycling collection areas. The Council propose to “make these areas state of the art local community facilities which people enjoy going to”. 3 streets in Totnes, 2 in Dartington and 2 in South Brent put themselves forward for the trail and all the residents involved will get a 20% reduction Council tax for 2 years while the trial is on.
- South West Water announces new AD units are to be installed to deal with biodegreadable waste and human and animal effluents at Staverton, Diptford, Dartington, Marldon and South Brent. These will produce methane for fuel, local heating, which can be piped to local buildings and horticulture units as appropriate. The digestate will be spread locally and monitored. The Totnes Times runs the news on its front page “Where’s there’s muck there’s money”.
- UK Government announces changes in VAT “to promote reuse and repair”. DIY, repair goods, spare parts and goods made entirely from recycled materials are to be VAT exempt. VAT on certain luxury goods is to be increased to balance the current budgets.
- SHDC issues a small booklet to all households with information about reuse, repair and recycling and basic cleaning products. It’s impressive and other Local Council’s reuse the work for their own booklets.
- A major rise in the price of paper pulp results in envelopes being reused in all Government and public offices.
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