Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Tuesday 13th October 09

Up at a civilised time... 8.30am. I had breakfast and did emails and waited in for a chap from Harris builders who said they were coming round at 10am to collect the contract for our solar hot water system. Gill went out to go to Priory St for something, and I waited... and waited... wanting to go out into the garden and do more hedge. At 10.50 I rang the company and left a message saying I wasn't happy with being told I'd be visited at 10am and was waiting in... and I am too busy to be messed around. I got an apologetic message back saying the chap had been held up in Harrogate (so why didn't he ring me?) and would be here at 1pm.

I went into the garden and dug up more hedge. Just before 1pm I came in for lunch and awaited the builder. He actually came at 1.45. I suppose I'll have to get used to 'builder time'. The York Press had already arrived and I was delighted to see that they had published an article about the Charity Fancy Dress Ball, including David's photo.

I had a bit of time in the garden but towards 3pm I got my bike ready to go and get our youngest, as Gill had had a 'ladies who lunch' meeting in town and was only just getting the bus back home (she rang me to check I was collecting him) I arrived a bit early, despite collecting my first two sacks of autumn leaves on Windmill Lane. I had an extra plastic sack so when I got to school I couldn't help but check the playground bins. The school is STILL not recycling the huge volumes of fruit the children throw away. In just 5 minutes I filled a plastic sack with half-eaten apples, banana skins, raisin packets, paper towels. I weighed it with my spring balance when I got home... 17 and a half kilos. I also retrieved 12 uneaten apples, two uneaten bananas, one unopened orange, one uneaten peach and a bag of grapes, uneaten. These were all thrown away and NOT RECYCLED. I will wash these and eat them myself. I also checked the big bins and these were full of mixed waste including plenty of recyclable material such as metal cans and cardboard and paper. The dedicated paper bin was overflowing but had some non-paper items in it. This means it will probably be rejected and will go to landfill.

Shame on you Lord Deramore's School. I started trying to get you to compost your fruit for schools waste in 2001. And 8 years later, you have removed the bins you grudgingly let me install, have lost several parts of my bins, making them useless, and are now putting about 8Kg/day easily biodegradable fruit waste into landfill. Shameful. I am SO ANGRY.

I am also very angry with the City of York Council for letting this crap situation continue. I let them know I don't know how long ago, and was promised that there would be some changes and that Lord Deramores School would be dragged in to the 21st Century and be taught how to behave in an appropriate manner when you are a school teaching children who will have to cope with catastrophic climate change caused precisely by the kind of ignorance and lack of care that the school is demonstrating. I am FURIOUS. I even spent many hours helping to start and then volunteering with Green Thumbs, primarily to facilitate a composting area or project... and now Green Thumbs isn't happening and the children aren't learning about gardening. I think they should give the money back to the Co-op who would re-allocate it to a worthy project.

What more can I do? I want to embarrass them into action. I want them prosecuted. I need to tell them and the world what I think of their attitude. Schools exist to prepare the next generation to get by in the world. They teach various skills. They should set a good example. This school is showing the children that they just don't care. This is quite plainly wrong.

I cycled home with my load of leaves to make into leafmould, sack of compostable fruit stuff and the bag of nice fruit which I'll have over the next few days with my muesli.

I then spent another two hours getting hedge out, cutting off the tops and shredding the thinner twigs for composting, cutting up the larger sticks for drying and recycling into heat, and putting the roots (35 today) into a plastic sack so another Freecycler can have them and plant a new hedge. I came in at 6pm and had a nice plate of Bulgar wheat with roast veg, watercress, carrot-sticks, baked beans and a cheese straw. Not bad!

At half 6 I headed off to the Millennium Bridge, as Councillor Andy D'Agorne had invited me to see the new lighting possibilities there. When the bridge was built, it did have some good lighting but then vandals discovered they could easily destroy the lights, and also, repairs and replacements meant the bridge had to be closed. So, the Council have teamed up with Philips Lighting, and this evening were looking at a variety of lighting solutions. To cut running costs and reduce the frequency of replacing them, the bridge will have LED (light emitting diode) technology. This will allow very dynamic colour changes, for special occasions, or white light for normal use. When Philips re-did the lighting on a bridge in, I think, Newcastle, the cost of lighting the structure dropped from several tens of thousands of pounds a year to just £4k, if I remember the quote correctly. There were some interesting conversations about renewable electricity and some of the lighting choices. The reduction in overall energy use is the greenest thing about the project.

I had to leave at 7.20 as I was due at a York in Transition meeting at The Stables.

This was a good meeting, with a visitor from Spofforth and a small bunch of the committed Transitioneers. It was a relaxed but productive meeting, one which leaves me with a few jobs to do... including working on the supporters leaflet. I had a chat with Di afterwards, and agreed to visit her in a couple of weeks to plan a first meeting of the Huntington and New Earswick Transition Initiative. I decided not to go to the pub afterwards as I was tired.

Home soon after 10pm. Despite tiredness, stayed up til 2am writing and watching the last episode of Electric Dreams on BBC4.

1 comment:

Compostwoman said...

Can totally appreciate your anger at the school...

I am lucky that Compostgirls school is delighted to do whatever they can to be as green as possible...and value our imput and help enormously...

But I do know we are very fortunate to have such an enlightened attitude prevailing!

Is the school an Eco School? because if it is signed up to any of the (many) "green" schemes...you have a very good lever there.....