After our sixth Peak Mountaineering Pick & Play (I have written a detailed account about the event here) last weekend we always have a bit of a challenge to stare at the pile of collected rubbish to see if we have beaten the amount collected the year before. We do always have the opinion that size doesn’t matter (!) as, even if we are moving smaller bits of rubbish, it is still litter that shouldn’t be there. Nonetheless, we can’t help but look at the pile of litter and have a guess. We used to be able to get a weigh bridge total but unfortunately that won’t be the case again - but for good reason.
I say for good reason because, for the first time ever, our 2018 Pick & Play rubbish was separated into different catergories. We haven’t had the facility to do this before and are really pleased this is now possible. We are also extremely grateful to the Peak Park Conservation Volunteers for helping with the messy task of waste disposal and for helping to make separation possible. So we asked volunteer manager Dave to explain what happens to it all......
- The grey bin liners contain none recycleable waste and we are grateful to the National Trust who assist with disposing of this via their facilities at the Longshaw Estate. Ultimately, this will unfortunately be landfill waste.
- Some larger pieces of rubbish such as car bumpers and wheel trims are also taken to appropriate facilities by the National Trust.
- Pure metal items such as bits of car, odd lengths of iron or sheets of tin are taken to a company in Buxton who is able to arrange for them to be recycled.
- Clear plastic bags are taken to Peak Waste. They have a process where the bags are opened and the contents are separated into the cans, glass and plastics that they can recycle. So the whole bag is never rejected, but some of the items inside the bags may be if they are unsuitable for recycling or contaminated. Rejected items end up back as landfill.
So, it is a fantastic development for us that we are separating things, but we therefore no longer get a total weight. However, we estimate that about 1/3 of this year’s collected waste is recyclable rubbish that was packed into clear bags and there was a selection of other items that could also be recycled. Ultimately, the total recyclables would be not far off half of the collected waste.
But, we are also very confident we collected more than last year based partly on the size of the litter pile and partly on the trusty Toyota pick up test. This test s simple - the conservation volunteers team filled the back of their Toyota twice with grey bin liners and then filled it again with the clear recycling bin liners. They also had a final load comprising car parts and with 2 dozen or so pieces of pure metal.
So, whether it was more than last year really isn’t the question. Every item from the smallest cigarette butt to the largest item of destroyed car is something that is no longing spoiling the beauty of the national park.....but we reckon it was anyway.
Thanks again to everyone that helped and please spread the word that next year’s date is Sunday 12th May. We really hope you feel inspired to join us.
Posted by Cal