CRNS and the Federation of City Farms and Gardens held a successful “Community Approaches to Composting” event in Edinburgh recently. Community organisations from across Scotland, came together to network and share their knowledge of all things community composting related. The morning session was held at the Grassmarket Community Project venue and we heard presentations from Tarland Community Composting Project in Aberdeenshire and Whitmuir Community Farm in Midlothian. After lunch there were site visits to the Royal Hospital Community Garden and the Redhall Walled Garden where we saw a number of different composting systems in action. This event demonstrates that there is still a good amount of community composting activity happening right across Scotland and both CRNS and the FCFCG are keen to strategically support this work in 2017. Presentation from CRNS Presentation from Tarland Community Composting Presentation from Whitmuir Community Farm
CRNS Annual Conference ‘The Voice of the Sector – The Vision of the Members’ This year’s conference was a vibrant and dynamic event which focussed very much on ‘collaboration,’ between CRNS members and the private and public sector. Held in Perth Concert Hall and sponsored by Zero Waste Scotland the conference was officially opened by Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform. Ms Cunningham’s speech emphasised the governments’ commitment to climate change, circular economy and the importance of reuse and really set the scene for the day. Iain Gulland, CEO, Zero Waste Scotland next spoke about Scotland leading the way in the circular economy with a dynamic & pioneering reuse/repair sector before handing over to David Wood, CEO, CRNS who delivered a keynote on CRNS’ current operational and strategic activities. Collaboration on a whole different level was the subject of the next keynote delivered jointly by Barry Philips, Category Analyst, Scotland Excel, Colin McKee, Community Regeneration Manager, Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company and David Wood. This section of the conference was dedicated to launching the CRNS Reuse Consortium, a potentially transformational 17 member consortium that will look to provide reuse furniture through the Scottish Welfare Fund and support communities in a more responsible manner. CRNS was delighted to have Eric Weisman-Morel, Communications & Development Director, Eco-mobilier join us from Paris, to provide a real and very valuable insight into the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) on furniture and mattresses. Eric explained through a very visual presentation how this levy works in France and the benefits it brings to communities and the environment. The final keynote of the day came from Heather Anderson, 2000m2 Field of Enquiry Engagement, Whitmuir Community Farm.
Schools Challenge The national schools challenge in the summer asked both primary and secondary schools throughout Scotland to come up with an idea for making things last at their school. The thinking behind this year’s challenge was all about generating suggestions that might make a noticeable difference to schools and to the environment in general. Pupils were tasked with putting forward a proposal which would result in less waste at school, change the thought process of students and teachers when they have finished with school items and that could perhaps even reduce costs for schools. The overall aim of the challenge remained the same as last year and that was to engage pupils to think about reuse, repair and recycling and the impact it has on the environment. Schools were asked to submit a brief overview of their idea including: Details of their School and Eco Committee Details of their idea for making things last, with examples of the items they intend to reuse, repair or recycle Suggestions for communicating their idea to teachers, students and parents alike Plans on how they would engage the local community An explanation of how their idea would make a positive impact on their school, their community and the environment We received some fantastic entries with some really innovative and novel ideas and after giving them all due consideration,we came up with our winners. Representatives from both schools were invited along on the day of the conference to receive their cheques and award certificates. The winner, in the secondary school category, was Abercorn Secondary School, Glasgow. Abercorn is a school for students who require additional support for learning and their idea was to recycle disposable plastic bottles, using them to