A new not-for-profit festival is taking place at Mugdock Country Park this summer and it’s set to be an environmentally-friendly festival of fun. Run entirely by volunteers, MugStock is a festival of ‘music and merriment’, which values the environment alongside entertainment. MugStock is aiming to recycle, upcycle and reuse the preloved in decorating the event, so they are seeking donations of unwanted wood, paint and large quantities of fabric, to give a new lease of life to old items. This eco approach will lend an ethical element to the event, while using a unique array of items to create something unusual and interesting. If you can contribute any items or materials, please contact email@example.com. Attendees are discouraged from driving and MugStock is offering a subsidised bus service to encourage festival-goers to travel in a more environmentally-friendly fashion. MugStock has also introduced an Environmental Deposit of £5 for camping visitors, to protect the local environment and prevent tents from being abandoned. This deposit will be returned to attendees upon leaving, in exchange for a bag of rubbish and showing festival volunteers that they have their tent packed to take away with them. We wish MugStock a successful festival and hope it sets a standard for similar events across Scotland, showing that festivals can be as environmentally aware as they are entertaining. MugStock Festival will take place at Mugdock Country Park 7th-9th August. Visit mugstock.org for more information.
Over 150,000 vulnerable households, including around 50,000 families with children, have received essential help to buy everyday products like nappies, food and cookers through the Scottish Welfare Fund. The Scottish Welfare Fund consists of Crisis Grants – which provide a safety net to low income households in a disaster or emergency – and Community Care Grants, which help people to live independently. Since the scheme began in April 2013, £65 million has been spent, with 105,000 households receiving Crisis Grants and 72,000 households receiving Community Care Grants. The latest statistics, which break down grants between April 2014 to March 2015, show: • Over the year 69,000 households received Crisis Grants averaging around £70, they were mostly for food and energy costs and were claimed because of an emergency. They included: o Almost £3.9 million of grants were given out for food – up from £2.4 million in 2013/14; o £23,000 was spent on nappies, an increase from £17,200 in 2013/14; o Nearly £1.3 million was spent on energy costs, up from £826,000 the previous year. • 43,000 households received Community Care Grants averaging around £600. These awards were most likely to be claimed by people looking for help to stay in or set up their own home, or families facing exceptional pressures. They included: o Nearly £7.2 million in grants awarded for the refit of carpets, up from £5.5 million in 2013/14; o Almost £8.2 million spent on cookers, washing machines and fridges, compared to £6.9 million in 2013/14; o Around £630,000 was spent on clothing and shoes, an increase of £90,000 from the previous year. Community Resources Network Scotland works to support and encourage the provision of reuse furniture as a viable and sustainable alternative
Those over a certain age could perhaps claim fond childhood memories of collecting bottles, taking them to the local shop and getting money back in exchange. We remember benefiting from a cash windfall to which we could make a legitimate claim and spend how we liked, mostly on sweets which were conveniently sold from the same shop. Although this whiff of nostalgia hangs about the Scottish Government’s current investigation into the feasibility and potential of a modern deposit and return system (DRS) for Scotland, the proposition is very different from the ‘olden days’. The introduction of a DRS raises three questions for CRNS: 1. Is a Scottish deposit return system the next ‘big thing’ for Scotland? 2. If so will it deliver to expectations? 3. And what opportunities are there for the community resource management sector? Eunomia Research and Consulting was commissioned by Zero Waste Scotland to research the feasibility of a Scottish deposit return system and the report1 describes a system which will capture a range of beverage containers: metal cans, beverage cartons, and glass and plastic bottles. The consumer will pay a deposit, between 10p and 20p, on each item purchased and redeemable on the return of the container. Deposits can be redeemed directly from the retailer, or through a reverse vending machine which accepts a variety of containers and returns the deposit to the customer. The objectives are to reduce littering and improve the quality of collected items for recycling by focusing on a single category of waste. Hidden within this simple explanation is a host of constraints and opportunities. To qualify for deposit return, either over the counter or via a reverse vending machine, drinks containers need a recognition device, usually a barcode. This
Support for third sector organisations to train staff in repair and upcycling skills is on offer from resource efficiency body, Zero Waste Scotland. Research carried out by Zero Waste Scotland found a shortage of skills could be preventing re-use organisations from growing their businesses. The new nationwide fund aims to get over this barrier by helping workers to gain training skills in repair or upcycling for four types of common items: electronic equipment, furniture, bicycles and textiles. Grants of up to £1,800 are available to cover the costs of tuition, travel and subsistence, and any materials or equipment needed for the course. Interested third sector groups should be able to demonstrate how training up staff and volunteers will increase their re-use activity, and should have Revolve accreditation (or equivalent). Revolve is Zero Waste Scotland’s official mark of quality, for both products and services, in the re-use sector. Helping to expand the re-use sector across Scotland is a key aim of Zero Waste Scotland. Their research estimates over 150,000 tonnes of re-usable goods are still going to landfill in Scotland every year. By re-using more, we can prevent items going to landfill needlessly as well as encouraging sustainable new employment opportunities in local communities. Applications must be received by 5pm on Monday 31 August 2015. Apply online at http://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/content/repair-and-upcycling-training-grant-fund-third-sector-3rr001-200 Louise McGregor, Head of Circular Economy, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Increasing repair skills in Scotland is vital to increasing the amount of goods being re-used. Building on and expanding existing repair skills also has the potential to create many new, sustainable jobs in communities across Scotland. We need to preserve the skills we have and attract new young people to learn the skills of repair, which will