Some of the Warriors joined up with Sid Energy (thanks to Graham for organising) and a few other interested parties to have a tour around the Exeter Energy From Waste Facility in Marsh Barton yesterday. I must admit I went along with the same feeling I did when I visited Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station 20+ years ago with my university – scathingly pessimistic about what I was going to find, and ready to fire off questions. BUT…it was all very interesting, very well managed, very positive and encouraging to see the steps taken to make it all safe, non-toxic, much better than landfill ever was.
We asked lots of questions of Bobby, our tour guide; she proved to be very knowledgeable with an environmental rather than a corporate background, and I think she quite enjoyed the meandering her talk took us on, rather than the planned PowerPoint presentation she started with! [It was great also to meet up with Lin from Dawlish Against Plastic and hear how they are getting on over the other side of the Exe, working alongside Teignmouth. If we all join together we are now covering quite an area of coastline…maybe we can all organise one specific day to really blitz the beaches, from at least Teignmouth round through Seaton to Lyme Regis as we are all organising ourselves.] It’s always great to network with other interested parties, and also to find out about all the stuff the council are doing and are able to help with – for example, the Waste Management Education Department of DCC have 150 children’s litter pickers which we are able to borrow, so that’s organised for May 12th’s SAS SeaFest Beach Clean Up.
It’s difficult for the council to really make inroads into getting some people to change their habits. They want to increase recycling rates but just looking over the massive pile of rubbish below us in the control tower showed just what a lot of stuff we throw away – much of which could be recycled with a bit of care. How to engage those members of the public who just don’t care?
One question that yesterday’s tour through up was the question of recycling. It seems that there are no facilities in Devon or nearby to recycle plastic…it still goes onto empty container ships to go elsewhere…I am researching this but even Devon CC’s official website points me to RecycleDevon.org where I get told this very vague information, with a video that I do not have permission to watch apparently…
What happens: plastic is sorted into different grades and then sent to the correct reprocessor where it is turned into new plastic items such as bottles, fleeces and food containers.
I have sent a message to them on their contact page to find out. I will update you if I hear back. If anyone has any information please do let me know on firstname.lastname@example.org