We all do a bit of it. But most of us could do a lot more. There’s now a whole series of easy options for recycling and reusing items, right here in our own neighbourhood. Here’s how …..
Have you heard of the Freecycle idea? It has evolved in the UK into a network called Freegle, which has over 330 groups and 1.3 million members nationwide. There’s now there’s one in Steyning and it already has over 2100 members, exchanging over 1000 items each year!
Don’t throw it away – Freegle it! You might not need your old sofa or wheelbarrow any more – but there could be someone just round the corner who does. Or if there’s something you’d like, someone nearby might have one that they would be happy to give away. Freegle groups make this happen online.
How it works:
- Sign up to Freegle Steyning via the website (just click on the logo)
- Post an OFFER of something you want to get rid of.
- Interested members will reply to you privately.
- You choose who you’d like to give it away to.
- You arrange for a time for them to pick it up.
- Hey presto. You’ve avoided a trip to the tip. They’ve got something for free. And it didn’t end up in landfill. Everyone wins!
Or you can post a WANTED request, and see who might have something you need. The basic principle that all offers and requests must be free and legal (hence ‘Freegle’). And there’s no swaps or loans.
How to join
Steyning Freegle welcomes applications from everyone in Steyning, Upper Beeding, Bramber and the surrounding villages. Freegle works best when it is local. The quickest way to join is via Freegle.in/Steyning. This is our Freegle Direct site where can choose which way you prefer to interact with other members. You can also choose to use either Facebook or Twitter if that suits you better.
Why not give it go? For further information, please visit our site or contact the group moderator on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Charity Shops
Taking things down to one of our many excellent charity shops in Steyning is of course another great option. St Barnabas, Oxfam and Cancer Research UK all have shops and are keen to receive new items. Here’s a list of other local charities that may be interested in taking things, some of which will arrange collection (this is a couple of years old now, so let us know if any info has changed!).
Where can I recycle things locally?
You don’t have to go far to recycle those unwanted items that can’t be reused. Here’s a handy list of nearby places that will take items from bras to inkjet cartridges! If you know of other useful recycling options let us know.
You can also try this country-wide website where you put in your post code and the item you’re looking to recycle, and it tells you the options: Recycleopedia.com
At last, there’s an easy way of recycling those plastic milk bottle tops that you’re never quite sure what to do with. Should they go in the Blue recycling bin? No, apparently. They’re a different type of plastic and need to be recycled separately. Now there’s an easy way to do it – St Andrew and St Cuthman’s Church have started a scheme. There’s special bins in the church and Penfold Hall. You need to wash your milk bottle tops, collect them in a bag, and drop them off in the bins. The proceeds go to supporting Knowles Tooth family support centre.
You can bring them along to the Catholic Church too, on Give Your Stuff Away Days – and we’ll pass them on.
Inkjet cartridge recycling
You can bring these along to Give Your Stuff Away Day, or if you can’t wait – try Stinkyink who offer a free recycling service through the mail. You just print out a freepost label and pop it your parcel in post. Note they don’t take Epson cartridges, which are basically empty plastic containers of ink – but Epson do themselves. And you can always put them in our Give Your Stuff Away Day collection bins.
Ford Recycling Facility
A group from the Greening Campaign visited the Ford Materials Recycling Facility, near Arundel, in September 2011. This is where all of our recyclables from kerbside collections go to get sorted. Malcolm Love wrote a report on this intriguing visit.
What happens to the rest …. a visit to Brookhurst Wood Facility
A bunch of us were lucky enough to have a visit to the new Brookhurst Wood Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) facility near Horsham in January 2013. It’s a brand new site, managed by Biffa and is due to go live in Summer 2015. Rather than taking 150,000 tonnes a year of West Sussex ‘black bag’ rubbish straight to landfill, it will all get fed into this new facility where it will get shredded, blown about, magnetically separated, shaken and stirred. Metals will be extracted for recycling. Organic matter will be treated in six big anaeorobic digestion tanks to produce methane – which will power the whole facility and export any surplus back to the grid, providing nutrient-rich compost as a by-product. Paper and plastics will be separated and potentially used as fuel. The result is that instead of 41% of our rubbish ending up in landfill, this will drop to 11% – which will save the council a load of cash in avoided landfill charges. It’s pretty impressive. Check out the Biffa website for more information.
There’s some great websites out there where you can find out more:
The Recycle for West Sussex website which tells you all about recycling in our county.
It includes a useful A to Z of recycling spelling out what goes where and answers those tricky questions like what do you do with jam jar lids (yes they do go in general recycling).
Pete Greenland has prepared a really useful annotated version of this A to Z guide drawing on his extensive experience, and colour coded it to add clarifications and point out prohibitions and cautions. Download the guide here.
Did you know?
26.5 million tonnes of municipal waste were generated in the UK during the year 2009/10 with 46.9% of this waste ending up in landfill. Of the remainder, only 38.6% was either composted or recycled, and 13.6% incinerated to produce energy. The aim is to reduce this figure to 12.2 million tonnes by 2020. Over the past 5 years the amount of waste produced has gradually decreased, mainly due to improvements in the packaging used and the recession. However, this is still an enormous amount of waste, and landfill space is filling up! The amount of permitted landfill will be filled by 2018. Landfill also represents a huge waste of useful resources, with vast amounts of perfectly reusable items being thrown away.
In West Sussex huge efforts are being made to find alternatives to landfill, with vastly improved Household Waste Recycling Centres that are now achieving high levels of recycling. There are also various waste prevention initiatives being implemented through ‘Better Tomorrows’, a community interest company set up in 2008 by West Sussex local authorities with the mission to reduce the amount of household and business waste sent to landfill. Landfill really must be a last resort for our waste, with reduction being the highest priority, followed by reuse and recycling. ‘Current UK recycling of paper, glass, aluminium and steel is estimated to save more than 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to the use of 5 million cars per year or 14% of UK transport sector emissions‘. (Defra 2007)
Did you get to see “Trashed”? We showed this thought-provoking and award winning film as part of the 2014 Steyning Festival. It’s a really challenging look at the massive issues around waste, in particular plastics, narrated by Jeremy Irons. Here’s a trailer you can watch. We have a DVD of the film if you’d like to borrow a copy. Email us to get in touch.
In April 2015 we followed up a great Green Drinks talk on the perils of plastics from one of our members, Heather Godfrey, who has done a lot of research on the topic. Here are some killer links that she has provided on sources of further info:
- Information on what we can recycle in West Sussex
- An excellent video ‘Addicted to Plastic’, which (from about 1 hour in) has a section on the very encouraging advances in bioplastic
A page of general info about different ways of dealing with plastic waste
- On reusing plastic bottles
- What the numbers on plastics mean
- Scary stuff about microfibers in our food either here or here
- The danger of Phthalates
Farewell to Give Your Stuff Away Day
After eight very successful years, we’ve sadly had to call a halt to our regular ‘Give Your Stuff Away Day’ events. Started in July 2011, these provided a way of passing on items people no longer needed to a new home, and picking up some great bargains, all for free. It ran quarterly at our central collection point at Steyning Catholic Church and grew in popularity year by year. At the end of each event, left over items were picked up by the Lancing-based Recycled Goods Factory. They sorted through everything, and resold, upcycled, or recycled over 80% of the items.
With the closure of the Recycled Goods Factory in October 2019, running Give Your Stuff Away Day is no longer viable. We urge local residents to join Freegle and use this online service to pass on unwanted items, and to take advantage of the various charity shop and recycling options mentioned on this page.