Our Reduce and Recycle hub launched in October 2022 with the aim to reduce waste and recycle more. At our monthly hubs we gather lots of great organisations and businesses that help people to reduce, reuse and recycle.
What is the problem?
It can be overwhelming to look at what is thrown away in the UK and how much waste there is. In West London over 350,000 tonnes of rubbish (that’s 8 trains a week each with 11 carriages straight into a hole in the ground) was thrown away last year plus around 300,000 tonnes of recycling.
Sadly, the issue with waste is global with plastic pollution creating massive areas of “garbage patches” in the sea and causing damage to wildlife and nature, so the less plastic we dispose of the better for us and the planet. Electronic waste is a huge issue in the UK. A new study has revealed the countries that produce the most e-waste, with the UK ranking second to Norway. The more we can repair the less we need to buy.
The same can be said about fashion and clothes, that its a global issue. The fashion industry is responsible for 8-10% of global emissions which contributes to climate change, more than the aviation and shipping combined and UK shoppers buy more clothes than any other country in Europe. Another major impact of fashion is the huge demand it puts on water. The making of a cotton t-shirt uses 2,700 litres of water. So the more clothes we repair and use for longer the less we need to buy. This impact of water use is disastrously illustrated by the disappearance of the Aral Sea. The Aral sea used to be the 4th biggest lake in the world, between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and it’s disappearance caused mainly from over consumption of water to grow cotton. More on fate of the Aral sea and the Aral locals perspective.
Reduce and Recycle hub outcomes
The Reduce and Recycle hub is one of 21 community-led projects focused on waste and consumption awarded Lottery funding through their Climate Action fund to tackle the climate emergency. The grants come from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. This community funding comes as National Lottery research found that four in five adults in the UK (79%) think local communities are responsible for taking action on climate change. The research also found that half (54%) of people are worried about the impact of climate on their local community.
This year (2023) at the Reduce and Recycle hub, we have had:
- Over 800 people visited our Reduce and Recycle hub
- Collected over 420 kg of clothes by Traid, which is equivalent weight of about 17 Ealing beavers (More on beavers on this Climate podcast) or 4 reindeer! This saved 3.84 tonnes of carbon and 660 m3 in water, which is equivalent to over 4 households average water usage in the UK.
- Over 105 kg of small electricals by Traid
- 10 laptops, saving 3802.5 tonnes of carbon
- 340 books swapped which is a saving of over 5 trees! All thanks to Churchfield Community Association and North Acton Pavilion
- 31 clothes mended with a little help from Ealing Repair cafe
- 23 items sharpened by Dave at RenewSharpening
- 6 upcycled draught excluders made from old jeans given away to hub visitors by Ealing Repair cafe. That’s 2 pairs of jeans saved from landfill plus saving all the heat and energy that was stopped from escaping from their homes.
Over 2023 we have had:
- 17 events including our monthly hubs, Acton Carnival, Community days and Christmas lights switch on.
- 17 organisations got involved with the Reduce and Recycle hub including 4 environmental charities, 4 other charities, Ealing council & waste authority, 3 businesses, 4 organisations, the Police, a university and the local church.
- 21 volunteers helped at the hub through the charities and organisations involved.
Plus we also had:
- Dr Bikes checking everyone’s bikes at our monthly events for free. Further Details
- Hammersmith Library of Things popped along when they could to encourage people to borrow instead of buying, from things like steam cleaners, staple guns, to waffle machines and ice cream makers. When we went to Imperial college one group of students liked the idea so much that they decided to plan a party around hiring items, the projector for films, the sound system for karaoke, with the waffle and ice cream maker for treats.
- Upcycling activities such as making yarn from tshirts from Design it yourself
- Handed out about 50 Easter chocolate mini eggs and maps to local children to get them off to a great start on the Acton Bid Easter hunt.
- Good gym deliver our Reduce and Recycle hub leaflets, head over to Good gym Ealings reports to see the fun they got up to. Want to get fit for the new year, sign up with Good Gym Ealing do good and get some exercise for the new year!
- Brent Dr Laptop from the Fixing Factory come along to February’s hub to fix laptops
- Cultivate London promoting this brilliant waste Green Waste Solution project in Acton Town, watch our socials for more updates
- Brunel and UWL students have completed projects interviews and filmed at the Reduce and Recycle hub as part of their media, journalism and other studies.
- Mini Reduce and Recycle Hubs at the North Acton Plant and Art sale and set up a collection point for clothes donations for Traid.
- Ealing Repair café through the hub is launching more Acton Meetups in 2024. They have made contact with ActOne cinema and will be launching their first meet up on Wednesday 10 January and Artification W3 gallery, where they will also be having a monthly meetup on Thursday evening. Check their whats on for next dates
- Contributed to a project on circularity of textiles at the Royal Academy of Arts
All these activities at the Reduce and Recycle hub happen because of the brilliant support we get from the great local organisations, charities and local businesses. A big thank you to:
- ActforEaling https://actforealing.org/
- Acton BID https://www.youractonbid.co.uk/
- Artification Plant and Art Market https://www.artification.org.uk/
- Churchfield Community Association (CCA) https://www.churchfield.org/
- Cultivate London https://cultivatelondon.org/
- Design it yourself https://www.instagram.com/designityourself/
- Ealing Council Dr Bike scheme https://www.aroundealing.com/news/dr-bike/Ealing Friends of the Earth https://ealingfoe.org.uk/
- Ealing Repair café https://ealingrepaircafe.org/
- Good Gym https://www.goodgym.org/v3/areas/ealing
- Hammersmith Library of things https://www.libraryofthings.co.uk/hammersmith
- The Restart Party Fixing Factory and Dr Laptop https://therestartproject.org/
- Traid https://www.traid.org.uk/
- Renew Sharpening https://renewsharpening.co.uk/
- West London Waste Authority https://westlondonwaste.gov.uk/
Acton Market W3 traders also have helped reduce waste by selling:
- Pre-loved clothes at affordable prices
- Returns and second goods from the high street at a reduced prices
- Plus one Handmade Card seller took our advice of replacing her card she used and changing to recycled card from Ecocraft. https://www.eco-craft.co.uk/
Leading by example
At the hub, we are always looking for ways to reduce our impact, so we use:
- Reusable plastic pockets and magnetic frames to reduce the amount of laminated posters and signs at our events. These are great for the stands and for occasional rain but not found anything to hang outside and stay water tight, the hunt is still on. We also have generic posters, without the date so its just First Saturday of the month so it can be used for longer.
- Banners: Signs and banners at the hub are made up of upcycled fabric and broken umbrella covers and are hopefully inspiring visitors. In fact the ActforEaling flag is made from an old tent rescued from Reading festival and a part of a high vis vest that the other part was cycled from Hanwell to Glasgow for COP26.
- Reusuable set of cups: We bring along a set of reusable coffee cups that save volunteers getting disposable cups for their well deserved warm drinks.
- Tablecloths: We have a colourful selection of second hand double sized flat sheets, shower curtains and tablecloths to brighten up the hub, kindly donated by Traid
- Bunting: We have bunting to cheer the place up that’s made from left over fabric and old denim jeans
- Designed small A6 leaflets: Flyers are printed on recycled A4 paper with four to a page to reduce the amount of paper used.
- Upcycled collection bins: To collect the Traid donations we got some preloved folding boxes to store the donations in. Made the hub look tidy and organised.
- Christmas decorations: We even had second hand Christmas shower curtain which provided a lovely Christmas scene and a quilted ripped Santa sack to display at our winter events.
Upcoming Reduce and Recycle hubs
The next Reduce and Recycle hub will be on Saturday 3rd February and then runs on the first Saturday of the month alongside Acton Saturday MarketW3 on the Mount in Acton, outside of Morrisons. Keep up to date with our Events page and pop along to find out more.
We are keen to get more local businesses and organisations involved in our Reduce and Recycle hub so if you are interested in finding out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also looking for volunteers to help with activities at the hub, so email email@example.com for more information.