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Rubbish visit by Harrogate NWR!

resized Harrogate NWR members and friends at Allerton Waste Recovery Park

UK households bin more than 27 million tons of rubbish each year and we are running out of space in our landfill sites. Since spring 2018, waste from homes in North Yorkshire and the city of York is not dumped, untreated, in a hole in the ground but is processed at a brand new waste recovery centre.

Many local residents, including some members of Harrogate NWR, were concerned at the thought of an industrial waste processing plant near their homes. Contractors Amey, no doubt conscious of the need to win over local sceptics, have built a visitor centre on site and welcome adult groups and school parties. We decided to visit Allerton Waste Recovery Centre and see it for ourselves.

The top half of the shiny new building is easily visible, sitting amongst the fields beside the A1 road, but as it is built inside a disused quarry much of the site is hidden. The grounds have been landscaped and the, now obsolete, landfill site that was already there has been grassed over. First impressions on arrival were that the plant was surprisingly quiet and it didn’t smell. We learnt later that the building is kept under negative pressure to stop any odours escaping.

Debbie, our guide greeted us at the visitor centre and after coffee we took our seats for her presentation, explaining the workings of plant. The facility is not a recycling centre, it handles what’s left after householders have removed the recyclables. Bin lorries from the local area empty their load directly into the plant, waste from the more distant parts of the county is brought to site in large, sealed, containers. The waste is then sorted, the first material to be removed is food waste and other organic material. This is fed into an anaerobic digester where a colony of micro-organisms feed on the waste, excreting methane gas which is used to generate electricity for use on site.

Although householders should have removed recyclable materials before putting their waste in the bin, some gets through. A combination of magnets, eddy currents, light beams and jets of air are used to recover the recyclables. Then, just to make sure that nothing useful is left in the waste there is a final check by human operators. In case we had concluded that we could forget about recycling and go back to chucking all our waste in together, Debbie emphasised that the metals, glass and paper recovered this way are dirty, broken up and less useful and valuable than the nice clean material from our recycling bins.

Once all the useful materials have been recovered from the waste, the rest is burnt at extremely high temperatures, in the “energy from waste” plant, generating enough electricity to power 40,000 homes.

After Debbie’s presentation it was time to visit the plant itself. We had been instructed to wear long trousers and sensible shoes to which we now added bright yellow hi vis waistcoats.

When we got inside the processing plant it was a little smelly, but less so than a bin lorry on a hot day. It was also very quiet as the sorting equipment was not in operation; a householder had chucked something into their bin which had jammed up one of the trommel drums which are used to screen the waste at the beginning of the processing. None the less the equipment was still impressive to see.

We invited friends and partners to join our visit which proved so popular that a second visit is planned for those who couldn’t attend the first time. There are several similar sites around the country, maybe your group would enjoy a visit to your local one.

Sue Howes

Harrogate NWR

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Last few places for 'Audacity to Dream' regional conference

This day conference in Salisbury is organised by the SW04 NWR area and offers a mix of keynote speeches and though-provoking afternoon workshops celebrating 70 years of the NHS.  There will be coffee on arrival and a delicious buffet lunch with wine and fruit juice included. There are just a few places left, so please do book soon.

Venue: Sarum Academy, Salisbury

Date: 6th October 2018

For bookings and further information please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Egg-citing news for NWR!

Eggheads Team

As you know, we tried to get a team onto the Eggheads TV quiz last year, but didn’t get through to filming. Well, NWR members are nothing if not tenacious, and I am DELIGHTED to tell you that as I type this our team of ‘Lively Minded Women’ are at the TV studios in Glasgow being filmed for the latest series of Eggheads.

We don’t yet know when it will be broadcast, but I’ll let you know as soon as we know the date. Please don’t ask us for any more details as we are legally bound not to give away any more information. But to say I am EGG-cited is an understatement (sorry, couldn’t help myself...)

Here’s a little more about the team of six (five of them will be filmed):

Susan has been a member of NWR for 22 years. She first joined when she moved to Cambridge as it was a good way to meet new people. Susan is 63 years old, and is a part time visitor guide at Kings College. She enjoys gardening, quizzes, and vintage cinema and really enjoys the variety of topics discussed at the Cambridge group NWR meetings.

Valerie lives with her husband, Dave, daughter Beth, and two cats, Smudge and Shaggy, in Luton. Valerie also has a son, Alexander, and three grandchildren. She has been married nearly 40 years and will be celebrating her Ruby anniversary next month in Jersey. Valerie works in administration and as an invigilator, but her social life is very important, and she enjoys a number of activities with NWR as a member of the Luton and South Beds Villages Group.

Isabelle lives in Dunfermline, Fife, with her husband and adult son and is a member of Dunfermline NWR. Whilst her career in Higher Education as an Effective Learning Advisor was enormously satisfying, recent early retirement has given Isabelle the opportunity to enjoy more time outdoors, walking and gardening.

Jan lives in the hills to the east of Manchester and is the Treasurer of the Mellor NWR group. She is married and enjoying retirement following a career in HR. An erstwhile equestrian, she is still very much involved with horses and has a keen interest in National Hunt racing. She enjoys walking with her two Border Collies and is an active gardener. Jan also likes to travel and indulge in the many cultural activities that the North West offers.

Anne is an Essex girl and is a retired optometrist. She loves opera, ballet, animals and amateur dramatics. She has been revising very hard for the Sport round on Eggheads by watching the World Cup and Wimbledon - this has of course been a terrible hardship for her!! Anne is a member of the Hadleigh NWR group.

Georgie is one of the 2 Essex girls in the team. She was for many years a member of Dronfield NWR in Derbyshire, but 4 years ago moved back to the village where she grew up, to look after her elderly mother. She now helps to run the local community bar, and has spent the last two weeks swotting up on US Presidents and capital cities! Georgie is a member of the Harwich and Dovercourt NWR group.

I am sure you will all join us in wishing the team the very best of luck!

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Join the fight against dementia.

A major UK study, run by scientists at King’s College London, makes it possible for members of the public to support dementia research from the comfort of their own home.

The PROTECT Study is an online project that aims to understand what happens to our brains as we age and why people develop dementia. It is gathering valuable data on how the brain changes with age and investigating which factors in mid-life affect our risk for the disease. Certain lifestyle factors such as exercise, smoking and blood pressure have been found to affect our risk of dementia, and there is increasing evidence that our genes play a role too.

Participants in PROTECT provide lifestyle information about themselves and complete online assessments to measure their abilities in areas such as memory and reasoning. By repeating these assessments each year, the PROTECT investigators will monitor how they change over the study and gather data that will help develop better approaches to prevent and treat dementia in the future. To help answer the study’s genetic questions, participants are also asked to provide a sample of their DNA through a simple at-home kit.

Prof Dag Aarsland, Chair of Old Age Psychiatry at King’s College London and a Lead Investigator for the PROTECT study, says “The great thing about online projects is that you are breaking the geographical boundaries between eager participants and research departments. PROTECT is something you can simply do from home and shape around your own lifestyle. Although the tests are not demanding in nature, their future value to researchers will be indescribable.”

Who can join the PROTECT Study?  You can take part in the project if:

  • You are aged 50 or over.
  • You live in the United Kingdom.
  • You have not been diagnosed with dementia.
  • You have access to a computer and the internet.

PROTECT is actively looking for people to take part and has an overall target of 50,000 participants across the UK. The study itself is due to last a period of 10 years, but participants can choose to stay involved for as little or as long as they like.

 

Keep updated on related research

Other than advancing dementia research, taking part in PROTECT means you would be joining a stronghold of 24,000 participants from across the UK! You would be kept updated on the project through the PROTECT newsletter, and can read up on fascinating findings from an array of scientific fields — dementia, schizophrenia, addictions, autism and more — through the King’s College London newsfeed.

You would also be the first to hear of new exciting sub-studies hosted on the PROTECT platform, and have the opportunity to take part in novel research such as the popular Brain Training programme. Although the Brain Training study has now ended, the games are still available and free to use by all PROTECT participants.

If you’ve always thought about taking part in research but felt uneasy about drug trials or the prospect of clinic visits, then this could be the study for you.

To find out more about PROTECT or to enrol in the study, please visit www.protectstudy.org.uk

Their friendly helpdesk team can be contacted via email or phone:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

0207 848 8183

PROTECT is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre

Recent comment in this post
Heather De Lacey
I signed up to this as soon as I read about it in the latest magazine. In common with lots of people I'm sure, I have come into f... Read More
Monday, 04 June 2018 14:24
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Thank you to all our volunteers!

NWRquote10

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