Retford Ladies Probus Club

by | 7 February 2024 | Probus, Retford, Social Group

President Angie Haynes welcomed a rather depleted group of ladies for their first meeting of the new year. The speaker’s self styled title was ‘Leslie Taylor Talks Rubbish’. Only she doesn’t.

Leslie works for Veolia, the recycling company, and what she has to say is very important if we want to move forward in this fragile world we now live in. Veolia has a recycling facility in Mansfield which is fascinating to witness. There are viewing platforms where you can observe staff sorting out the detritus we leave behind in our everyday lives and, boy, do they work hard! Their job is to get rid of contamination and end up with all the useful stuff which can be used by manufacturers.

During the pandemic paper and cardboard use went through the roof and it takes 17 trees to make a ton of paper. Nowadays, paper can be recycled four or five times and still be of good quality, while aluminium can remain in the loop forever. It only needs reheating and is 95% cheaper than starting from scratch.

Plastic is ‘Enemy No1’ although we all know how useful this material can be if treated responsibly. But even now we are only capturing less than 50% of bottles for recycling in comparison with Norway who capture a massive 98%.

We can help ‘stop the rot’ by trying to put the right stuff in the right bins, which to be fair can be complicated. Leslie gave the ladies a sheet of objects to decide what went where and they were amazed how much they had been getting it wrong, especially where plastic is concerned. One of the simplest ways of defining plastic is by scrunching it and if it unfolds again it’s not recyclable. Plastic food trays cannot be recycled but yoghurt pots can, tins must be clean and the lid put inside then pressed together, all household plastic bottles can be recycled but trigger sprays must be removed because they contain a metal spring, metal baking trays must go in general waste, shredded paper is general waste because it can get caught up in the machines and did you separate your foil Christmas cards?

One problem is that recycling varies from county to county, although the government is working on making it standard. The general rule is, if in doubt, leave it out because the good news is that Nottinghamshire County Council no longer sends waste to landfill. Instead it is used to generate electricity.

The Club’s next meeting will be on Wednesday 14th February, 10.00am for 10.30am, at Westhill Community Centre, Ordsall, when David Skillen will talk about ‘Pilots n Petticoats – Women Masters of the Skies’. All are welcome.