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Share your views and opinions with the Sunday Sun bloggers: Ken Oxley's life of a middle-aged man, Mike Kelly's wine and boozing, Ian Robson's cheeky take on TV, Tony Hitchens on rubbish and recycling and Robert Weatherall's reviews of the news.

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Tony Hitchens


Tony Hitchens

What if the bin lorry never came?

Posted by Tony Hitchens on July 30, 2008 10:00 AM

A real zero waste community in Japan is finding out.

The town of Kamikatsu on the island of Shikoku in Japan has adopted a zero waste strategy and rather than just talking about "a commitment to zero waste" or stating "they are working towards zero waste", they are doing it for real.

Continue reading "What if the bin lorry never came?" »


Tony Hitchens

Wall-E: this summer's blockbuster is about recycling!

Posted by Tony Hitchens on July 23, 2008 10:00 AM

I never thought that when I started at Premier Waste Management that I would be writing a film review.

But it is not every year that the summer blockbuster from Disney-Pixar is about the waste and recycling industry.

Continue reading "Wall-E: this summer's blockbuster is about recycling!" »


Tony Hitchens

How low can you get your waste

Posted by Tony Hitchens on July 9, 2008 12:50 PM

Having embarked upon a journey of weighing my rubbish at home and investigating some ways to increase my recycling I thought I'd present the results so far.

Continue reading "How low can you get your waste" »


Tony Hitchens

Milk bottle tops - LOTS of milk bottle tops

Posted by Tony Hitchens on June 25, 2008 9:41 AM

I've got some milk bottle tops can you do anything with them - said the email.

Continue reading "Milk bottle tops - LOTS of milk bottle tops" »


Tony Hitchens

My waste weight

Posted by Tony Hitchens on June 18, 2008 10:00 AM

I recently got to thinking - how much stuff do I throw away every week.

Since joining Premier Waste Management I have become acutely aware of just how much material is being thrown away every year. Once you've visited a landfill site or a transfer station and seen lorry after lorry arrive you can start to feel overwhelmed by the waste problem.

But that's no excuse to give up - mamma Hitchens didn't raise a quitter.

So I decided to see how much of this waste tide I make.

Continue reading "My waste weight" »


Tony Hitchens

The worms have arrived

Posted by Tony Hitchens on June 12, 2008 9:20 AM

I took delivery of worms for my wormery yesterday. The receptionist at Premier Waste Management was quick to let me know the parcel had arrived.

In the evening my daughter and I carefully tore open the envelope and gently shook what looked like a loose lump of mud into the wormery.

That doesn't look too bad I thought as I watched a few small worms wriggling about. But they are not going to eat much - I thought they'd be bigger. Then we stuck our hands in to spread them out...

Continue reading "The worms have arrived" »


Tony Hitchens

The north’s biggest FREE environmental festival is this weekend

Posted by Tony Hitchens on June 6, 2008 10:28 AM

If you’re on the look out for a weekend of fun for all the family then look no further!

This weekend (7 – 8 June 2008) is the Newcastle Green Festival at Leaze’s Park - jam packed full of top class entertainments, workshops and music to suit all tastes and ages.

The aim is to raise awareness of green and ethical issues while having a great time. The festival will be divided up into themes which explore how we can live in more environmentally friendly ways. They will also be putting into practice what they preach with renewable powered stages, recycling bins and car-unfriendly policies.

The festival has been going since the mid-Ninties as an offshoot from Newcastle University’s Green Society and has slowly grown into the flagship environmental event in the region.

Get more details from the festival site here.


Tony Hitchens

Arrrgh worms are eating my waste!

Posted by Tony Hitchens on May 28, 2008 9:00 AM

Following on from my composting blog a few weeks ago I thought I would explore the next step in composting and waste reduction – the wormery.

Continue reading "Arrrgh worms are eating my waste!" »


Tony Hitchens

Oliver Heath on the power of recycling

Posted by Tony Hitchens on May 21, 2008 9:00 AM

It is not just paper and other small items that can be made out of recycled products, take a look at this video by Changing Rooms presenter and eco-designer Oliver Heath on the uses of recycled products in the home.

You can find the video here.

Continue reading "Oliver Heath on the power of recycling" »


Tony Hitchens

Help in low carbon initiatives

Posted by Tony Hitchens on May 14, 2008 9:00 AM

Help is at hand if you are in business and want aid in understanding your carbon footprint and the impact climate change will have on your business.

I recently attended a conference with some colleagues from Premier Waste Management where we were able to talk the carbon agenda with people who know what is happening.

Continue reading "Help in low carbon initiatives" »


Tony Hitchens

Compost Awareness Week

Posted by Tony Hitchens on May 7, 2008 9:00 AM

Welcome to Compost Awareness Week.

Composting has huge benefits to the environment and can help your plants grow.

Continue reading "Compost Awareness Week" »


Tony Hitchens

Understanding the types of plastic

Posted by Tony Hitchens on April 30, 2008 9:00 AM

Every wondered what the number in the triangle on a plastic bottle means.

They mean something to waste recyclers and you can increase your recycling by picking the lower numbers.

Continue reading "Understanding the types of plastic" »


Tony Hitchens

Bring out your dead and compost them

Posted by Tony Hitchens on April 24, 2008 9:52 AM

You see some strange things in the waste and recycling business. While doing some research into composting methods for Premier Waste Management I came across a new method of disposal for human remains.

Freezing your dead.

Continue reading "Bring out your dead and compost them" »


Tony Hitchens

Do the Green Thing

Posted by Tony Hitchens on April 16, 2008 9:00 AM

Green Thing suggests one easy "green" thing a month to tempt as many people as possible to do it.

Continue reading "Do the Green Thing" »


Tony Hitchens

Talking about sustainability

Posted by Tony Hitchens on April 9, 2008 9:00 AM

I thought I would point you to a powerful video showing one man's thoughts on sustainability and the modern corporation.
But it is not just any man.

Continue reading "Talking about sustainability" »


Tony Hitchens

Just how much waste does one toothbrush create

Posted by Tony Hitchens on March 31, 2008 9:10 AM

As I unwrap a new toothbrush from its pack it begins to dawn on me just how much waste these things generate.

Continue reading "Just how much waste does one toothbrush create" »


Tony Hitchens

What do you do with your old toaster?

Posted by Tony Hitchens on March 20, 2008 12:14 PM

Electrical and electronic waste (Waste electrical and electronic equipment, aka WEEE) is increasing by around 5% each year, making it the fastest growing waste stream in the UK.
It is important that WEEE does not end up in your bin.

Continue reading "What do you do with your old toaster?" »


Tony Hitchens

Food: Waste or Waist

Posted by Tony Hitchens on March 12, 2008 2:23 PM

A third of the food we buy in the UK ends up being thrown away.
6.7 million tonnes of food every year – some of it is peel, cores and bones – stuff you can’t eat.
But the majority is or started out as perfectly good food.
What is so bad about throwing away food – it rots down doesn’t it?

Continue reading "Food: Waste or Waist" »


Tony Hitchens

Is recycling worth it?

Posted by Tony Hitchens on March 4, 2008 9:56 AM

A recurring question that arises in any debate about waste is the extent to which recycling offers real benefit to the planet; in effect asking “is recycling worth it??
You have to narrow down what you mean by worth it – mostly this means is it worth it in terms of energy used – and this can be viewed as the carbon footprint of recycling versus the carbon footprint of manufacturing from new, versus the carbon footprint of waste incineration versus the carbon footprint of landfill.

Continue reading "Is recycling worth it?" »


Tony Hitchens

How much stuff do we chuck away

Posted by Tony Hitchens on February 27, 2008 9:28 AM

Just how much stuff do we throw away. Time for some uncomfortable facts.

Continue reading "How much stuff do we chuck away" »


Tony Hitchens

Stopping even more junk mail

Posted by Tony Hitchens on February 19, 2008 12:00 PM

Get rid of even more junk mail before it arrives
When I last wrote about opting out of direct mail by using The Mail Preference Service I stated that it cannot stop unaddressed mail.
Well, there is a way you can.

Continue reading "Stopping even more junk mail" »


Tony Hitchens

Incinerator Watch

Posted by Tony Hitchens on February 13, 2008 2:21 PM

Don't like waste incinerators?
Join the Incineration Watch news feed and get the latest news on what's happening in the world of waste incineration and news on the people that are trying to stop them being built.

There are two ways that we have traditionally dealt with the problem of waste. We either put it in a hole in the ground (landfill) or we burn it (incineration). Landfill is documented as far back as 5000 years ago at the Minoan palace of Knossos in Crete. Incinerators have been around since 1874 when Britain opened its first waste incinerator, although burning of waste in an open fire goes back to stone age times.

Continue reading "Incinerator Watch" »


Tony Hitchens

The Story of Stuff

Posted by Tony Hitchens on February 6, 2008 2:14 PM

What is the Story of Stuff?
All the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute; fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns.

Continue reading "The Story of Stuff" »


Tony Hitchens

Getting rid of plastic bags with Sociable Guerilla Bagging

Posted by Tony Hitchens on February 1, 2008 9:23 AM

I so wish I had thought up Sociable Guerilla Bagging, but the honour has to go to Morsbags.com.
The idea of Morsbags is to get together with friends, make lots of shopping bags out of old duvets, clothes and sheets, then descend upon a supermarket or high street and persuade people to give up their plastic bag for a 100% recycled and reusable bag.

Continue reading "Getting rid of plastic bags with Sociable Guerilla Bagging" »


Tony Hitchens

Stop your junk mail before it arrives

Posted by Tony Hitchens on January 17, 2008 4:50 PM

Are you sick of filling your paper recycling bin with all the junk mail you get?

It does not have to be that way. You can stop junk mail in its tracks.

Continue reading "Stop your junk mail before it arrives" »


Tony Hitchens

What can I recycle and where can I do it

Posted by Tony Hitchens on January 9, 2008 4:20 PM

I receive a lot of emails asking where certain things can be taken to be recycled.

It is easy enough to ring your local council or to check their website to see what waste they take into their household waste recycling sites.

But, how do you find out about all the sites in supermarkets and car parks.

Continue reading "What can I recycle and where can I do it" »


Tony Hitchens

Where do all the Christmas trees go?

Posted by Tony Hitchens on January 3, 2008 9:10 AM

By the time you read this over 6 million real Christmas trees will have been bought in the UK, that is about nine thousand tonnes of trees.

Once they are taken down, where do they all go?

Only 750,000 of the real trees sold in 2006 were recycled, most go to landfill unless you take action to prevent it.

Continue reading "Where do all the Christmas trees go?" »


Tony Hitchens

Play a Christmas Recycling Game

Posted by Tony Hitchens on December 19, 2007 10:43 AM

Christmas is upon us you are stuck at your desk - time to play online games, so have a go at our Christmas Recycling game.


Tony Hitchens

Recycling this Christmas

Posted by Tony Hitchens on December 12, 2007 3:18 PM

No surprises that we all create more waste at Christmas, an extra three million tonnes by some accounts.
No one wants that sitting in landfill. Here are some ways you can recycle.

Recycle Christmas Cards
One billion Christmas cards are likely to be sent over Christmas.
The Woodland Trust is recycling card again this year, you can drop off your cards after Christmas at WH Smith, Tesco, TK Maxx and Marks & Spencer stores. By recycling your cards through the Woodland Trust Recycling Scheme, you generate revenue for the charity, which carries out essential woodland conservation work and tree planting across the UK. Last years 93 million cards were collected. That enabled the Woodland Trust to plant 22,000 tress and saved 2,400 tonnes of C02; that’s the same impact as taking over 700 cars of the road or avoiding 100 flights around the globe.
The aim is to collect 100 million cards this time – raising enough to plant 24,000 trees.

Continue reading "Recycling this Christmas" »


Tony Hitchens

Plastic waste – a global problem

Posted by Tony Hitchens on December 6, 2007 11:19 AM

After my last rant about disposable plastic carrier bags, I want to write more about plastic waste.

Continue reading "Plastic waste – a global problem" »


Tony Hitchens

Carrier Bag Menace

Posted by Tony Hitchens on November 29, 2007 10:24 AM

In the back of my mind I knew carrier bags where a huge waste problem. However, the numbers are so colossal: over 2 BILLION plastic bags are used per year in the UK. What can one person do?

Continue reading "Carrier Bag Menace" »


Tony Hitchens

Waste Stream?

Posted by Tony Hitchens on November 19, 2007 2:25 PM

Coming from the waste industry it is all too easy to fall into trade jargon and the use of the words “waste stream? to describe your rubbish is one of the industries favourites.

I have begun to question whether these are the right words after Heather Rogers (author of Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage) wrote that the phrase is too innocuous, it sound too natural and too inevitable.

I am beginning to agree with her.

Continue reading "Waste Stream?" »


Tony Hitchens

What can you do with your old mobile

Posted by Tony Hitchens on November 12, 2007 4:29 PM

You may have resisted the urge to buy the iphone but Christmas is approaching and phone manufacturers are launching new phones every week so, you might start thinking it is a good time to get a new mobile phone.

But what are you going to do with the old one.

Continue reading "What can you do with your old mobile" »

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to the Sunday Sun Blog by Tony Hitchens.