ReThink MESS project

What was it about?

April 2018/March 2020.

Funded by the ‘Climate Challenge Fund’, ReThink MESS was a 2 year project that aimed to reduce the carbon footprint of Mull and Iona.

We planned to trial options for reducing food waste going to landfill. This included a food waste collection & composting service, providing composters (and associated education, training and support) to schools and businesses out with the collection area, piloting a community fridge, and running events around upcycling and raising awareness of climate change.

We also planned recycling facilities where there weren’t any. This included “Recycling on the go” bins around the island and at events. This was a great success with us stopping 1500kg of cans and plastics going to landfill from May 2019. (10.5 tonnes of CO2e) to April 2020. This is a service that MICT kept going, past CCF funding as we see it as an essential service to stop our landfill filling up needlessly and will tie in with the Scottish governments Deposit Return Scheme that has been pushed back to July 2021.

Our other headline achievement is the Community Fridge, which we are very proud of. The benefit of it has had a wider impact than just the environmental savings. We saved just over 2 tonnes of food going to landfill with a saving of 9.4 tonnes of CO2e. However the bigger benefit may be the social benefit that it is a very good source of food for households that are struggling economically. Currently the Fridge is closed due to the halls being closed due to Covid19, but we are keen to restart this as soon as possible.

In the original bid for the project we planned to work with businesses to reduce the amount of take-away plastics. When we surveyed them once we were up and running most businesses we approached had already started to make the change, so we targeted the Mull Music Festival. Previously they had used plastic glasses and so we supplied the 2019 event with compostable disposable plastic, which opened up conversations over the environmental impact of events.

Our Food Waste Collection service was slow to start due to location and electricity supply issues. Thankfully Sgiob-ruabh farm came to our rescue and so we could then arrange for a polytunnel to house the composter. We engaged with nearly 100 households and split Tobermory into 2 collection days. At the end of funding we had a waiting list of 36 people wanting to join and had collected 5.8 tonnes of food waste with an average of 5kg per household each week. This was a great result and are looking at ways to continue the service.

Have a look at our Food waste Collection page HERE.

Another part of the project was to look at introducing beach clean stations around the island. We took advice from Argyll & Bute Council, who had experience of larger beach clean stations and there benefits and drawbacks and we eventually went for Beach clean benches with “2minute beach clean” boards asking people to pick up bag of rubbish and photograph it and tag the photograph to the 2minute beach clean site.

Have a look at our Beach Clean Page HERE.

ReThink MESS amounts of KG of landfill saved:

Events Attended / Events Run:

More MESS Waste LESS project

What was it about?

April 2017/March 2018.

  • Reducing waste going to landfill.

  • Reducing C02e produced by residents of Mull & Iona.

By:

  • Increasing recycling and reuse.

  • Raising awareness of existing facilities and services and improving these.

  • Advice and support on recycling and reuse.

  • Food waste composting.

What we did

  • Promoting refill.org.uk water bottle refill scheme

  • New householder recycling leaflet.

  • Recycling advice to halls, schools & businesses.

  • New signage at public recycling sites.

  • Community carbon literacy certification.

  • Visitor & food waste surveys.

  • Recycling facilities for summer events.
  • New recycling points for batteries , light bulbs, mobile phones, printer cartridges & specs.
  • ‘Real’ nappy trial.
  • Feasibility for new reuse/upcycling centre for Mull and Iona.

What we achieved

Community Education:

Landfill Reduction:

0
Tonnes increase in recycling
0
Tonnes food waste reduction

C02e Reduction:

0
Tonnes of CO2e
reduced.

Social Media:

0
People reached on Social Media.

Note these figures are to date and not to the end of the project.

What’s next?

Trial options for reducing food waste going to landfill.

  • Food waste collection trail.

  • More food waste composters for businesses, schools and householders.

  • Pilot community fridge.

  • Food waste reduction and low carbon food events.

Provide recycling facilities where there aren’t any currently.

  • Mobile recycling kit for events.
  • Recycling on the Go stations.

  • Beach Clean stations.

Work with hospitality businesses to promote lower carbon alternatives and increase recycling.

  • A new low carbon Eco Charter for businesses.

  • Business trials of lower carbon alternatives to replace plastics e.g. take away boxes, cups, cutlery.

  • Further promote the business recycling services.

Run workshops to equip residents with skills in repair and reuse.

  • Clothes and textiles.

  • Computer and electrical equipment.

  • Furniture repair and reuse workshops.

  • Bicycle repair workshops.

Increase carbon literacy.

  • Carbon literacy ‘roadshow’ at local events.

  • Carbon ‘masterclass’ in schools.

  • Carbon Conversations’ workshops for people with a keen interest in reducing their carbon emissions.

What, how & where can I recycle?

*Please note the Council will be replacing the red bags for cans/tins with a clear plastic bag in the near future. All households will have two clear plastic bags, one for plastics and one for cans/tins.

Bottles, pots, tubs, trays, cartons (including Terapaks), plastic lids included – all colors.

How do I recycle?

  • Rinse and squash (where possible).

  • Use bags provided for household collections.

  • Fill and tie up bags securely, then place in card/paper bin.

  • Do not put loose in the bin or use a different bag as other bags can’t be recycled and contaminate the bin.

Where can I recycle?

  • Council household collection using the bag and bin provided.

  • Recycling sites at, Craignure, carpark Tobermory, Baliscate and Glengorm recycling centre, Fionnphort carpark.

All food and drink cans, aerosols (put plastic caps in with plastics), metal jar/bottle lids.

How do I recycle?

  • Clean out and squash (where possible).

  • Use bags provided for household collections.

  • Fill and tie up bags securely, then place in card/paper bin.

  • Do not put loose in the bin or use a different bag as other bags can’t be recycled and contaminate the bin.

Where can I recycle?

  • Council household collection using the bag and bin provided.

  • Recycling sites at, Craignure, carpark Tobermory, Baliscate and Glengorm recycling centre, Fionnphort carpark.

Office, printer paper, cardboard packaging, newspapers, magazines, telephone directories, unwanted mail envelopes (without windows).

How do I recycle?

  • Must be clean and not contaminated with food.

Where can I recycle?

  • Council household collection using the bag and bin provided.

  • Recycling sites at, Craignure, carpark Tobermory, Baliscate and Glengorm recycling centre, Fionnphort carpark.

All colors, jars, bottles. But NOT Pyrex and ceramics, plates and cups, window pane glass, drinking glasses, spectacles, light bulbs, mirrors.

How do I recycle?

  • Rinse out and place straight in the household or recycling site glass bin.

  • Do not put in plastic bags and then into the bin. The plastic bags contaminate the bin.

Where can I recycle?

  • Council household collection using the bag and bin provided.

  • Recycling sites at, Craignure, carpark Tobermory, Baliscate and Glengorm recycling centre, Fionnphort carpark.

All clean (with no oil, paint or mud) dry old clothes, blankets, bedding, shoes, towels.

How do I recycle?

  • Place in a bag and in the textile bin.

Where can I recycle?

  • Island Castaways, Charity Shops (MESS) Craignure and Bunessan.

  • Recycling sites at Craignure, Tobermory, Baliscate and Glengorm recycling site, Fionnophort carpark.

Good quality and saleable furniture, bric a brac, books, clothes/shoes, toys, kitchenware, household glassware, crockery, fashion accessories plus fully working electrical equipment.

Where can I recycle?

  • Island Castaways, Charity Shops (MESS) Craignure and Bunessan.

  • MESS will collect from your house free of charge.

  • Glengorm recycling centre.

Batteries that are not in process of leaking.

Where can I recycle?

  • Island Castaways, Charity Shops (MESS) Craignure and Bunessan.

  • Glengorm recycling centre.

Batteries that are not in process of leaking.

Where can I recycle?

  • Glengorm recycling centre.

Working or non working accepted.

Where can I recycle?

  • Island Castaways, Charity Shops (MESS) Craignure and Bunessan.

Non broken glasses and working cases.

Where can I recycle?

  • Island Castaways, Charity Shops (MESS) Craignure and Bunessan.

  • Glengorm recycling centre.

Non broken.

Where can I recycle?

  • Island Castaways, Charity Shops (MESS) Craignure and Bunessan.

  • Glengorm recycling centre.

Full or empty.

Where can I recycle?

  • Island Castaways, Charity Shops (MESS) Craignure and Bunessan.

  • Glengorm recycling centre.

The following CAN NOT be collected for recycling here yet: plastic toys, plastic films on trays, cling film, baking foil, foil trays, polystyrene, bubble wrap and other protective plastic packaging, metalic wrapping paper and painted paper/card.

The following should not be included in the general waste bin: items above that can be recycled, broken electrical equipment, building rubble, soil, stone or bricks and broken bulky items.

The general waste bin lorry can-not pick up bulky items. These should be taken to the Glengorm recycling center or arrange an uplift with the Council using their other vehicle.

If you run a business (including holiday accommodation) you are legally obliged to sign up for a commercial collection with the Council.

Useful Contact Numbers

  • Island Castaways, Charity Shop (MESS)
    01680 812 908

  • Glengorm Recycling & Landfill site
    01546 605 514

  • Argyll & Bute Council’s bulky household items uplift
    01546 605 514

  • For ordering more recycling bags with Argyll & Bute Council
    01546 605 514

  • Skip hire (Argyll Resources Group)
    01680 300 560

Glengorm Recycling Centre & Landfill Opening Hours

  • Monday – Thursday: 10:00am to 4:30pm

  • Friday: 10:00am to 3:30pm

  • Saturday: 9:00am to 12 noon

  • Sunday: Closed

Thank you to…

  • Everyone who has come to workshops, asked for advice, sent in questions, are trailing composters & those who interacted with us on Facebook!

  • Pupils & teachers at our Mull schools.

  • The project Steering Group members.

  • The project funders: Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.

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