Thursday, 23 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Only two days to go...

Check out this Christmas tree made of 5,480 recycled bottles displayed in Haifa, Israel!

So, how can we Reduce, Reuse and Recycle this Christmas?

As we well know, it's all about planning ahead. Have a really good check on the dates of food already in the fridge, and on the shelves before you buy more. If the time until the use by date isn't very long, then plan to make space in the freezer, or don't buy it.

I've tried to use decorative bags instead of wrapping paper, as they can definitely be saved for next year. There's some question over whether we can include wrapping paper in the recycling - so it's best just to avoid it altogether! I heard a lovely story of a mother receiving her gift, wrapped in a beautiful scarf, which is another great idea!

At our New Year's eve party, my recycling boxes will be on display. Any guests who finish a tin or a glass bottled drink can drop them straight in. My partner has also had a go at brewing his own beer this year, so that cuts out loads of packaging!

On 12th night I'll be chopping up the Christmas cards, to make more next year, and the scraps will go in the paper recycling. The decorations will be stored away for next year - including the tree. Of course if you've got a real tree, you could try to plant it again, or chop it up for composting.

Let's try to avoid festive mess, and waste less.
See you in 2011.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Snow and ice and all things not so nice

Unfortunately our Council has had to suspend door to door waste collections this past week, due to this icy weather.
I know I certainly wouldn't like to have a lorry skidding about down narrow streets!

I'm sure it will certainly bring home to people how much waste we actually do accumulate when it's piled up at home or in the garden instead of being whisked away.
The one big problem with having a door to door collection is that people don't have to think very far past their own front door when considering where waste actually goes when we throw something 'away'.

I know I've been thinking hard about how life would be if this kind of weather was here to stay. For a start we'd probably have our own fires in back gardens again, to thaw out, and get rid. That's one of the options in North East Lincolnshire, as our waste collections are taken to the Energy fromWaste site in Stallingborough. Although the heat energy is captured from this fire, and the steam and heat is used to create electricity.

My picture was taken the other day, when I lifted up our patio furniture to find these rather pretty icicles. Could make for a painful seat though!

Well, if the post still doesn't get through then it's e-cards for everyone, cutting down on even more waste! Maybe I'll use this picture on the front? Have an 'ice' Christmas, stay warm and stay safe!

Monday, 29 November 2010

What's Nappening?

I had a lovely day on Friday at Immingham Children's Centre chatting to parents and grandparents of little 'uns and not so little 'uns about the advancements in washable nappies.
This was as part of European Week of Waste Reduction.

When you think that every baby fills 12 wheelie bins with disposable nappies every year, reusables are obviously going to make a difference! It's also much cheaper as total set up costs are about £250 for washables or Real nappies, but £1000 for disposables!
In North East Lincolnshire parents can claim £50 of their set up costs back for Real nappies at

Tesco Stocking Real Nappies

It has been announced that 2 prominent Real Nappy brands are now being stocked in some of the larger Tesco stores throughout the UK.

This is a massive development for the Real Nappy Industry and adds yet another big name to the growing list of major retailers who now stock Real Nappies.

The decision by Tesco will introduce many parents to Real Nappies, some of whom may not have considered using Real Nappies before.

Limited edition
Bambino Mio have launched a limited edition heart print nappy cover that is extremely funky and cute!

Only 750 covers will be available this year and will be sold exclusively online from the Bambino Mio shop for a limited period only, at

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Waste reduction - a whole week of it!

Uniting all over Europe with the same message: Let's Waste Less!

A very happy, European Week of Waste Reduction to you all.

And our food lover family's challenges draws to a close.
Tina said: "Taking part in the challenge has been quite an eye opener and I’ve realised that I used to waste a lot more food than I thought.

“Now, although I wouldn't say I plan all my meals, I try to shop more carefully and for example buy less fresh vegetables at a time to make sure I use them all. Before taking on the challenge I used to waste food worth about £10 every week but now I haven’t thrown anything away for ages."
She added: “This week is also the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) which aims to raise awareness and encourage people from throughout the EU to make everyday changes that will help them produce less waste.
“It’s a great extra push for the end of the challenge to know that people all across Europe are doing the same kinds of things as me and are working hard to reduce the amount of waste they send to landfill.”

For more information on the national Food Lovers’ Challenge, visit of for more information on the European Week for Waste Reduction, visit

Thursday, 11 November 2010


It's definitely getting wintery, weatherwise, which means our food waste family are drawing closer to the end of their challenges. Still a few weeks to go though, so catch up on what they've been up to...

Week 4

Planning ahead is the theme, so they are challenged to know what meals they are going to eat each day. Cookery lessons with celebrity chef, Nigel Brown, are the tool to help, as well as a weekly meal planner which you can download from the national campaign's website. A quick feature on BBC Look North adds fame to their campaign!

Week 5

They go it alone! But Tina reports back on progress with an article in our our LincUp magazine. "I’ve learnt a lot from Love Food, Hate Waste and I’m sure that even keen cooks could learn something new. I’d definitely recommend their web site. It’s interesting how quickly my outlook on food has changed and I now try a lot harder to use up what’s in the fridge before it goes off, even compared to just a week or two ago."

Keep going Tina and Serena!!

Week 6

Surprise challenge week! The mystery challenge for Tina and Serena is...

Live out of the freezer! Not literally of course, although the colder weather is on us now.

The girls are given a budget of just £10 to stick to, and all other meals have to come out of their packed freezer and store cupboards. This should save some pennies for the festive season - and make more space for leftovers too!

Why not play along and see what UFOs are lurking in your freezer? (Unidentified Frozen Objects). For more info on what to freeze and how visit

Friday, 22 October 2010

Love Food Hate Waste Challenge updates!

Tina and Serena, who live in Grimsby, were selected to take part in regional challenge, to tackle their food waste. Read on to see how they've been getting on...

Week 1

The starter challenge was to keep a list of all the food the family throw away, how much of it, and why, day by day. This Food Waste Diary was to shape the cookery lesson and waste workshop with experts in future weeks, to get them focused.
You can have a go at doing this too - you might be surprised!

Week 2

Tina and Serena met with food waste advisors, and discussed what food was thrown away and why, during Week 1. One thing they noticed was that they were peeling lots of vegetables out of habit, which could have been washed and scrubbed instead. They were losing lots of edible food, and plenty of vitamins too. Any peelings could have been boiled to make soup or stock, or composted.
They also had several dairy items that had gone off. On closer inspection their fridge needed turning down by a few degrees, which might have kept them a little bit longer.
They also opened their goody bag, filled with useful tools to waste less. It included; their own fridge thermometer, a magnetic shopping list, a 'What's in the freezer?' whiteboard, and airtight storage boxes.
Talking about food waste and cutting out new recipes from magazines has already made them think carefully about the value of food. Tina said "It's certainly been interesting to see exactly what comes out of this household! I've not done proper cooking every night as I usually do, so it's less than usual. It still surprised me how much it actually is! I learnt that you can freeze fresh vegetables without cooking them first".
All the tips and advice can all be found on the Love Food Hate Waste website.

Week 3

Planning ahead is this week's theme.
By knowing what meals you are going to eat, and checking what needs using up regularly, less should go to waste. A weekly meal planner is available to download from the national campaign's website at under the "save time and money" tab.
Celebrity chef, Nigel Brown, came to visit and BBC Look North picked up on the exciting activities, and came along to film - so now Tina and Serena really are Superstars!
Nigel showed them how to make delicious sausage casserole, with herby dumplings, and banana cheesecake, with a ryvita crust, and elaborate spun sugar baskets - all from the stuff in their cupboards and fridge!
Tina said " It’s interesting how quickly my outlook on food has changed and I now try a lot harder to use up what’s in the fridge before it goes off, even compared to just a week or two ago.

On Sunday I cooked a full English breakfast and had a couple of bits of bacon sausages and tomato left over. In the evening we got a bit peckish, so I made a sauce from the leftovers to have with pasta. There was also enough left to bring to work for a tasty lunch"

Keep up the hard work ladies!

Week 4 etc ... to come!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Quick update

Left to right: Cllr DeFreitas (Leader of the Council, Cllr Norma Lincoln (the worshipful Mayor), Ruth and Neil Thompson (kNOwtrash curators)

The Mayor of the Borough of North East Lincolnshire visits Treasures from Trash:

Treasures from trash is still running as a FREE exhibition until 9th January at the Fishing heritage Centre, Grimsby. This picture (above)is of just one of the hundreds of quirky items on display, collected from all over the world.

EXCITING UPDATE: Our Love Food Hate Waste challenge family are being filmed for BBC Look North (Lincoln & Humber), so keep an eye out for their screen debut - hopefully aired in the Thursday 21st October evening broadcast!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Treasures from Trash

A superb exhibition is on offer until January 9th 2011 at the National fishing heritage centre, to inspire us all!

This weekend we were celebrating our local exhibitors, and competition winners from local schools. They remodelled ordinary plastic milk bottles, to create all sorts of art and useful objects!

Their work is being displayed alongside a superb collection of pieces from all over the world of re-thought rubbish, collected by curators kNOwtrash. Local artists also display work in the exhibition, such as a map of the world made of sweet wrappers, and quilts made of scrap materials.

It's a free exhibition, so please do come down to see it, stand back, and enjoy!

Congratulations to all the competition winners, and entrants for their hard work and imagination.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Champion Family !!

Congratulations to the Johansson family who have been selected to take part in a regional challenge on food waste.

Different households have been selected from across the Yorkshire and Humber region and the Johansson family have been chosen as local representatives from all the applicants across Northern Lincolnshire.

Tina Johansson and her daughter Serena, nine, live in Grimsby and are keen foodies. Tina works full-time and is a single parent.

Tina said: “I love cooking but I always seem to end up making the same things every week, so I’d like to learn some new recipes. I’m a rather greedy shopper. I buy too much and then don’t use it, or freeze it.

“I applied for the challenge because I like being taken out of my comfort zone, and being challenged. I also know that if Serena can enjoy cooking then she might be more interested in trying different foods too – she does love crisps!”

Their progress will be covered in the Yorkshire Post and here on our blog

The challenge will be completed on European Waste Reduction Week, which runs from November 20 to 28 and is part of the national Love Food Hate Waste campaign, which has recently been launched in North East Lincolnshire.

The campaign demonstrates how an average family can save up to £50 by planning and storing food carefully.

Residents may have noticed the distinctive characters used by the campaign in a number of locations, including Immingham Pelham Surgery and Grimsby town centre.

Pledge to win
Residents with access to the internet can pledge to reduce their food waste by choosing one of their favourite tips from the campaign.

The regional campaign has a range of prizes available, including cookery lessons in sugar crafts, organic hampers and many other prizes, for those who sign up to the pledge.

Just visit to make your pledge and have a chance of winning.

For more information on the campaign, recipes and ideas to save money and food you can visit

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

10:10 Climate change campaign this week

Well we've launched the 10:10 campaign this week- a commitment by our Council to reduce carbon emissions by 10% in 2010. Pictured here are Left to right : Me, Liz Jones (Deputy Chief Executive), and Councillor DeFreitas (leader of the council).

To celebrate we're spending the week in Grimsby town centre's Renaissance shop with other departments and groups including Home energy, the Energy Savings trust, the fire service and Food for fitness (anyone I forgot??).

There's a free prize draw courtesy of council partners, including 10 megariders worth £44, wind up radio, solar garden lights, water powered alarm clock, washer and drier balls, solar charger and other 10:10 'green' prizes.

You can have a go on a driving simulator to learn economic driving habits and enter the competition with the chance to win a SatNav!

The first 20 people to sign up to the 10:10 campaign in the shop each day will win a wind up torch.

Also you can watch our intrepid officers make more delicious smoothies from fresh fruit, then have a taste, with Love Food Hate Waste!

We're there 10-4 every day until Saturday 11th September,Victoria Street, Grimsby so come along and join in!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

1,500 greener bottles...

Making up a wall! or a roof!

We're building a prototype greenhouse out of 2litre plastic bottles!

If this proves successful then we're hoping to have schools across North East Lincolnshire building their own.

Updates will follow, but the first stage is collecting the bottles. it's estimated that the project will need about 1,500, so council staff get collecting please!

Any excuse to drink more lemonade...

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Zero Waste Week : on its way!

The third annual Zero Waste Week! 6th-12th September 2010

The week commences 6th September and the theme is ‘Cooking for Victory!
It is championed by the green family who produced only ONE binbag of waste in 2009 and are encouraging others in how they can do the same. They blog at :

In North East Lincolnshire this conveniently sits alongside our launch of the 10:10 campaign.

The Recycling team will be in the Renaissance shop on Victoria Street, Grimsby ready to show you how to waste less not only in the kitchen, but also around the house and in your car!

We'll be talking all things green, with advice for reducing your carbon impact, and also saving yourself some money.

The shop will be open Monday 6th - Saturday 11th from 10am-4pm

Pop in to see us, enter the fab competitions, and meet some of Grimsby Town's footballers! We'll also be wheeling out the smoothie bike again for some more delicious treats.

Let's Waste Less : because there is no Planet B

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Barbecue Bliss

I've just found out that the float in Cleethorpes Carnival won second prize for Best Novelty Float, so well done everyone!

This week I've been enjoying chatting to the residents of Immingham about Love Food Hate Waste. Even if you've been on the site before, why not have another look? They're always updating information, and you might find a section that would help out with whatever's lurking in your fridge this week!

I'm particularly enjoying the advice for Summer BBQs. Here's a "taster" (pardon the pun) :

If you are inviting lots of guests to your BBQ and are unsure of how much to cook, why not try our Perfect Portion Calculator?

Any bread rolls that have gone a bit stale can be made into breadcrumbs and frozen in a freezer bag to use later for making stuffings, bread sauce or mix with grated cheese for a gratin topping.

If you have leftover cooked meat, wrap it well and keep it in the fridge – it will be good to use for up to 2 days

Happy Barbecueing... now if we could only plan the weather!

Monday, 2 August 2010

Recycling team out for fun

North East Lincolnshire Council were well represented this weekend- and although I couldn't attend the Cleethorpes carnival - the team were out in force, showing off the different ways we can recycle and reuse in our area. Costumes were made by local charity Artlandish - and what amazing work they did!!!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Good Food on Show

Check out the support for Love Food Hate Waste's campaign from the Good Food Show on this video, and add your voice to the campaign!

Jimmy from Jimmy's farm, James Martin, Oz Clarke and more!

Stamping out waste

Donating your stamps to the charity of your choice can actually raise money for your favourite cause, I've learnt this week! The RSPB's stamp appeal is one of the largest and in 2008 raised over £10,000.

You can send loose stamps; which are sent to a stamp dealer who works with various charities, or stamp albums which are sent to auction houses.

Why not put a collection bin in your local school, church hall or place of work?

Charities which accept them include:
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB),
Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB),
Care and Relief for the young (CRY)

What about you? Do you know of any other charities that can help you recycle your stamps?


Send loose stamps direct to RSPB (preferably in 2 kilo quantities or above) to
RSPB Stamps,
PO Box 6198,
Leighton Buzzard,
Send albums or special collections to:
Save the Albatross Stamp Appeal (Special Stamps and Albums),
The Lodge,
SG19 2DL.
Alternatively, hand deliver stamps to any of the RSPB nature reserves.


Stamps sent to the RNIB are sorted by volunteers, then sold to dealers or collectors.
The RNIB ask that you cut stamps off the envelopes, leaving 1cm of envelope around each stamp. Then sort them into UK or foreign stamps and send to
RNIB Stamp Recycling
PO Box 185


Your used stamps or old stamp collections can be donated to any Oxfam shop.

Oxfam has around 50 specialist stamp departments, run by experienced and knowledgeable volunteers.

Care and Relief for the young

Care and Relief for the young (CRY) is a Christian charity dedicated to caring for disadvantaged, destitute and suffering children, young people and their families.

CRY welcomes all gifts of used postage stamps which are sorted and sold on eBay to raise funds.

Sort your stamps into UK and foreign, trim around the stamp if necessary and send to
CRY Stamps and Collectables,
27 High Street,
SO50 5LF

or take in to your local CRY charity shop.

If you’re a stamp collector you can help CRY buy purchasing stamps from them at their online eBay store.

Monday, 12 July 2010

What a load of rubbish!

North East Lincolnshire Council officers and the Chief Executive Tony Hunter, peddling the waste messages in Recycle Week 2010.

Tony quipped : "I won't run out of juice for this initiative"

When I go out and about around the schools and community groups, I remind people of the three R's : Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

This Recycle Week (June 2010) we've been asking people to come up with their top tips to Waste Less.

If we're not making rubbish in the first place , then it doesn't need disposing of!

Our winners suggested:

Re-using plastic mushroom, tomato etc trays to plant seeds.

Re-using plastic bottle tops for tombola and bingo numbering

Shop little and often to avoid over-buying and advertise any unwanted items in local paper

A special thank you goes to the Co-op for kindly donating lots of lovely fruit for us to turn into smoothies by bicycle power throughout the week!!

Friday, 11 June 2010

Love Food Hate Waste roadshows

Come and see us at the next Love Food Hate Waste roadshow on 26th June, for more chances to meet top local chef Nigel Brown, watch his demonstrations, (and taste them afterwards!) get tips and advice and take away some exciting new recipes to try.

This event is part of Grimsby Food and Drinks fayre on Victoria Street, Grimsby running from 10am - 4pm 26th June 2010

BBC Radio Humberside presenters Andy Cousins and Lara King will be having a cook-off at midday, so come and cheer on your favourite chef/recipe!

Love Food Hate Waste is a national campaign. Check out their website at for loads of recipes and advice about food.

Blog sneak preview : We will be showcasing a bicycle powered smoothie maker at the roadshow!

Welcome along

Welcome along!

I'll be trying to update on different themes to do with reducing waste, to help us save our resources - both the planet and our money!

In my job as Waste Minimisation Officer I try to help the residents of North East Lincolnshire to waste less. This involves projects such as Love Food Hate Waste, the Real Nappy Incentive Scheme and Home Composting. I also support the Recycling Officer in his projects.

Hopefully this will be a place where we can share tips and advice, to change the way we think about rubbish, as resources instead.

I'll also let you know about when we're out and about across the area with roadshows and displays.

Keep in touch!