Meet David, one of our Waste Wise Volunteers!

David is one of our team of volunteers whose efforts have helped make a number of our waste projects a success. He is a volunteer with the Waste Wise Volunteer project, which works in four local communities in Edinburgh and the Lothians, including Craigmillar and Niddrie Marishal, Boghall, Penicuik and three Edinburgh University halls of residence. The project aims to encourage residents to reduce and recycle waste. It is funded by Zero Waste Scotland.

To find out a bit more about David and what makes him tick, we asked him a few questions.

David, Waste Wise Volunteer

David, one of Changeworks’ Waste Wise Volunteers

Hi David! What do you do as a Waste Wise Volunteer?
I help raise awareness in both recycling and food waste reduction

What interested you in becoming a Waste Wise Volunteer?
Humans have a significant impact on the natural world. I wanted to help raise awareness on how we can reduce our impact so that future generations have the opportunity to live in the world we do today.

What do you like about volunteering with Changeworks?
It provides an excellent and valuable training opportunity. The training I have been provided with not only helps me when volunteering with Changeworks, but also future jobs opportunities.

How long have you been a Changeworks volunteer?
I’ve been a Waste Wise Volunteer since December 2013

Where did you first hear about the project?
I saw it on Changeworks website.

Where would you most like to go in the British Isles and why?
The Isle of Skye due to the variety of flora and fauna found there. You truly do feel like you are in the wild!

Tell us about something you really, really like
Football (playing and watching)

Which of the Changeworks organisational values (passion, integrity, innovation, collaboration and empowerment) do you most identify?
Passion because how can you expect someone to believe what you’re saying if you are not passionate about it.

What do you do in your spare time?
I enjoying hill walking, cycling and running in my spare time. I also volunteer with various wildlife groups.

What makes you smile?
When the football team I support wins (which they never do!)

Do you have a message for your fellow volunteers?
Be keen and willing! This always makes the experience more enjoyable for yourself and everyone else.

Thank you David for your help and support and for being such a passionate, ‘keen and willing’ volunteer!

If you’d like to volunteer with Changeworks, check the list of all current volunteering opportunities on our website. If you would like to know more about becoming a Waste Wise Volunteer, call 0131 555 4010 or e-mail wastewisevolunteers@changeworks.org.uk.

Are you on the fast track to Zero Waste?

Changeworks Recycling excels at helping businesses to get serious about reducing their waste, cutting their costs and complying with Zero Waste legislation.

We asked Angela Dolan, our very own business recycling expert, to explain the landscape that Zero Waste solutions function in…

When spending time with people of a lesser environmentally-conscious disposition, it pains me to admit I normally shy away from eulogising about being canny when it comes to waste and recycling.  Why?  Let’s face it, nobody wants to be on the receiving end of those rolling eyes or that glazed gaze of boredom.

And so this poses the question – does it really matter if we chuck all our rubbish in the bin, sending it off to some Landfill-land far, far away?

Firstly, landfill sites don’t exist in some vacuous other-worldly place.  Chances are there’s a landfill site near your home or perhaps even the school that your kids go to.

Landfill sites are – at their worst – exuding unfriendly gases and ridden with rats.  If you’re loath to believe me, stop and check one out next time you’re passing.

Our man Fritz removes confidential recycling from the Scottish Parliament buildingThis alone is a strong case to minimise our waste sent to landfill.  But more than that, landfill capacity is neither limitless, nor are our natural resources.  But we’ve still got to live our lives, to go forth and multiply, to develop as society … right?

One of the things that’ll enable us to continue successfully evolving is to make best use of the resources we’ve got, for example, energy.  This can be through loads of specific activities but it all centres around one main concept – minimising waste.

Minimising waste is fundamental to the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Plan which has set ambitious targets to secure Scotland’s future in becoming a Zero Waste nation come 2025.  Seems like a long way away?  Perhaps – but demands will be upon us before we know it and this is especially true for businesses who happen to produce 85% of our country’s waste*.  New laws and regulations will seriously alter the way Scottish businesses manage their waste and they are coming into effect next year.  For example, businesses producing or serving food will be required to remove it from their general waste stream for recycling so that heat and energy can be extracted.  Also businesses will be required to source-segregate recyclable materials like paper, cans, plastic, cardboard, glass and so on.

Of course there’s help and support to inform businesses about the changes to legislation.  For example, Zero Waste Scotland is hosting a series of workshops.  If you are a Small to Medium size Enterprise, you can book your place to their next workshop held on 21 March at the Apex International in Edinburgh.

Every business in Scotland should be asking the question, ‘what is my waste management provider doing right now to ensure I will comply with the upcoming legislation?’

And if you’re still left unsure whether your business is comfortably on the road to Zero Waste compliance, get in touch with the team at Changeworks Recycling today and find out how we can help.

- Angela

* Scottish business waste generated from the following industries:

43% from construction and demolition;

39% from commercial and industrial;

3% from agriculture and forestry.