Archive for October, 2010

French regulators approve increased release into the English Channel of radioactive tritium from Flamanville nuclear power plants

October 31st, 2010 by Anne Sandwith

Flamanville tritium levels barely detectable’ reports The Guernsey Press (30 October 2010) quoting a press release from Valerie Cameron, Guernsey’s Director of Environmental Health and Pollution Regulation.

Channel Island residents heard via the media that EdF, the French operators of the nuclear power plants on the Normandy coast, had been granted permission by French regulators to increase the level of radioactive tritium discharge into the sea and air, rather than via the ‘hot line’ which the former Civil Defence Committee claimed existed to notify the Guernsey public promptly about matters of nuclear concern.

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St Helier Parish food waste produces wonderful compost

October 30th, 2010 by Richard Lord

Tony Andrews of the Parish of St Helier Municipal Services removes the food waste bin from the shredder (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

compostable bags used to collect food waste didn't work as hoped with the Rocket composter (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Food waste is collected from St Helier households in certain districts on a voluntary basis.

Initially the participating households were provided with biodegradable bags and a caddy for the kitchen, and to put out on the street for collection.

Early trials showed that the biodegradable bags got caught in the blades of the shredder so households were asked to wrap their food waste in newspaper and place it in the caddy.

The blades of the food waste shredder at the St Helier Municipal Services Depot (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Food waste is composted together with green waste. The green waste includes pieces of wood from cut branches and twigs, which balances the carbon and nitrogen in the mixture.

The opening of the Rocket composter showing where the food and green waste enters the machine and the auger (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

An accelerant is added to the mixture in the Rocket Composter, which allows good quality compost to be produced in about three weeks.

Rocket Composters are not large machines.

They are ideally suited to handle the volume of food waste from a supermarket, a school or a small housing estate.

Larger in-vessel composters are available from other manufacturers to handle the volume of food waste produced by a community.

Tony Andrews takes a shovel to the excellent quality compost produced by the Rocket Composter (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

A shovel of high quality compost made from food and green waste in the Rocket Composter by St Helier Municipal Services (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

The compost is used on St Helier’s parks and gardens.  The compost bin at St Helier Municipal Services Depot has an open bottom, which allows worms and wood lice to colonise the high quality compost.

The Parish of St Helier's new garbage truck that also collects recyclates (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Making plastic waste into durable and practical furniture

October 29th, 2010 by Richard Lord

All over the world creative people are coming up with ways of dealing with the millions of tons of plastic thrown away each year.

In Chile, creative designer Rodrigo Alonso, has devised a way of using hard-to-recycle plastic from electronic devices, toys, drink trays, and stadium seats etc. to produce functional and durable furniture.

The raw material for creative furniture and other practical objects (click to expand)

The hard plastic waste, which is difficult to separate and recycle, is chipped and placed in a polyhedron mould where it is slowly and evenly heated using a rotational moulding technique.

Chipped hard plastic - the raw material for the rotational moulding technique (click image to expand)

This slow and even heating melts and distributes the scrap plastic pieces to produce a solid form such as a plastic rubbish bin or a plastic seat, which is practical and durable.

The rotational mould being evenely heated to melt and distribute the plastic (click image to expand)

The flat faces of the moulds are designed for simplicity, to use less energy, and use less materials to reduce cost.  The moulds are irregular polyhedrons with irregular polygon faces.

The rotational moulding technique is used to make furniture for the urban environment – the shopping mall, an outside terrace or the home.

The final reformed plastic product is entirely sustainable because when the product reaches the end of its life it can be re-crushed and remoulded to form a new object.  This illustrates the Cradle to Cradle concept expressed by William McDonough and Michael Braungart.

The line of durable furniture and rubbish bins made from plastic scrap is currently being sold by Fahneu.

Plastic rubbish bins made from plastic rubbish (click image to expand)

Cristobal Murillo Donoso, CEO of Müsuc, the company that produces Rodrigo Alonso’s designs, sits on a plastic stool created from plastic rubbish (click image to expand)

Making plastic rubbish into durable, conceptual and beautiful pieces of furniture (click image to expand)

For more information contact Cristóbal Murillo Donoso on tel +56 2 8955094 or visit the Müsuc website.

Children to make bug-friendly ‘bug catcher’ out of recycled materials at The Gallery on 13 November 2010

October 29th, 2010 by Alice Carre

Children are invited to The Gallery on Saturday 13 November 2010 between 10.30 am and 12.30 pm to explore their creativity and their curiosity.  Using recycled materials they will learn to make an insect-friendly “bug catcher.”

The insect friendly ‘bug catcher’ will allow children to know their small insect friends a little better before releasing them safely back into the wild.  Perfect for the budding David Attenborough!

Cost £15.00

Venue: The Gallery, 9-11 Mansell Street, St Peter Port GY1 1HP

Tel: 01481 713135

mob: 07781 107065

Email: doodle(at)

PSD provides excuses for reducing recycling targets

October 29th, 2010 by Richard Lord

In the Billet D’Etat XXIV for December 2010 the States of Guernsey Public Services Department admits that it will fail to meet the 50% recycling target for household and commercial waste as mandated by the States of Deliberation in 2007.

The Public Services Department project that by the end of 2010 household recycling of dry recyclables such as paper, cardboard, glass, tins and cans, PET and HDPE plastic, and juice and milk cartons will reach 36.1%.  If ‘green’ garden waste is included, as the recycling figures do in the UK, then the Public Services Department projects that the rate of household recycling for 2010 will reach 44.4 %.  However, food waste is the largest component of household waste by weight.  Each home owner can compost their own food waste but currently there is no household collection of food waste.  The Integrated Skills report produced in July 2008 estimated that households produced over 5200 tonnes of  food waste per year.  However, the total amount of food waste composted (and recycled) by home owners is unknown.

The rate of commercial recycling cannot be calculated until early 2011.

PSD states that net expenditure on States funded recycling and associated services was £1.25 million in 2009.  The department also calculates that at current levels, achieving a 50% recycling rate for both household and commercial waste streams would result in about 36,000 tonnes of residual waste.

PSD would like to at least maintain current recycling levels and achieve 41.5% recycling of commercial waste.

The department plans to continue to aim for the 50% recycling target adopted in 2007 until it is superseded by targets set in the developing waste strategy.

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Protected: Recycling figures

October 29th, 2010 by Richard Lord

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Reducing carbon emissions by improving global equality

October 29th, 2010 by International Journal of Global Warming

Reducing the inequalities between rich and poor nations could be the main driver for avoiding the worst effects of climate change and even reducing atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, according to UK researchers writing in the International Journal of Global Warming.

Gemma Cranston and Geoffrey Hammond of the University of Bath, have estimated the relative contribution of population size and economic growth on global carbon emissions to the year 2100 have been made for the industrialised ‘North’ and the populous ‘South’’ of the planet which accounts for four fifths of the population. They based their calculations of carbon dioxide emissions on a breakdown of sustainability terms, historical data, and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) future emission scenarios.

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Carbon emissions from consumption outstrip efficiency savings

October 29th, 2010 by Stockholm Environment Institute

Emissions from consumption growth have exceeded carbon savings from efficiency improvements in the global supply chain of products consumed in the UK, according to new research by Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) at the University of York and the University of Durham.

Carbon dioxide emissions from UK consumption grew by 217 Million tonnes(Mt) of carbon dioxide from increased spending between 1992 and 2004 while cuts from more efficient production only led to reductions of 148 Mt leaving a net growth of 69 Mt of carbon dioxide .

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Sustainability at the heart of The National Trust

October 28th, 2010 by Richard Lord

Malcolm Anderson, Environmental Practices Adviser to The National Trust in the south-west, presents "The Shock of the New" to the Channel Islands Group of Professional Engineers (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Malcolm Anderson was interviewed by Jenny Kendall-Tobias on BBC Radio Guernsey on the morning of 20 October.  His interview is in two parts.  Part 1. Part 2.

Malcolm Anderson gave a wonderful presentation to the Channel Island Group of Professional Engineers at the Duke of Richmond Hotel on the evening of 20 October 2010.

He began by outlining the size and scale of The National Trust, which was established by an Act of Parliament.  The National Trust owns 6000 farms and over 700 miles of the UK shoreline, and has more than 2000 agricultural tenants. It has 3.9 million members, 5,000 members of staff, 50,000 volunteers, and 3749 oil tanks, and it spent £6.5 million per year on energy in 2009.

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Ernst & Young Cleantech breakfast seminar at OGH in St. Peter Port on 3 November 2010

October 27th, 2010 by Ernst and Young LLP

With the ever escalating strain on natural resources the reasons to turn to alternative solutions are rapidly increasing. At Ernst & Young we are passionate about the Cleantech sector and have recently established our global Cleantech Center of Excellence to bring together a worldwide network of subject-matter professionals.

Cleantech encompasses a diverse range of innovative products and services that optimise the use of natural resources or reduce the negative environmental impact of their use, while creating value by lowering costs, improving efficiency, or providing superior performance.

We believe that the Channel Islands are well placed to encourage investment in this sector to be routed through locally domiciled structures. We have recently seen a number of new enquiries for Cleantech funds, and believe that with the size of the market we should be actively promoting the Islands’ capabilities in this sector.

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