Thu 11 Jul 2019 5:13PM

Waste glass solutions for Nest

SB Stephen Brannigan Public Seen by 84

This area in particular strikes me as something we could improve on. Our current system is for everyone to bring their own glass bottles, and then mostly do seperate trips off site to various different places they can be recycled. This is very fuel and time inefficient.

While it would be nice in theory, I don't think bans or restrictions on waste glass are practical from where we are at the moment.

So, the first potential improvement that comes to mind is to have some form of communal waste glass disposal. This would at the very least save a lot of time and fuel from Nestlings on the whole. Maybe a single waste glass area with a bunch of strong bins, and a van to take them off site to a recycling centre as needed would suffice for this.

The second potential improvement I can think of would be to have a glass crusher on site. This would mean that the glass would be far more compact when taken off site, as most of the space taken up by waste glass bottles is air in the middle.

However, I note that I seriously lack knowledge on glass recycling, and even crushing for that matter. So, what do people think would work best here? Discuss.


Vicki Baars Mon 19 Aug 2019 5:31PM

I’m keen to explore the problems in the current system a little more. As a central volunteer who hasn’t nested with a camp I haven’t seen the volume of empty glass camps with bars create. I personally find it easy to decant at home and not bring glass on site or pack out things like jars from food. This feels more like a specific issue for camps with bars so it would be good to hear from them.


Stephen Brannigan Tue 20 Aug 2019 11:51AM

You're right in that by volume it's theme camps that produce the most waste glass. However I note that a lot of glass got left at Desanka that they didn't bring.


Jeanette Tue 20 Aug 2019 1:26PM

I guess all the bottles from alcohol donations got left with the bars. I did not go and pick up the empty bottles of the stuff I donated and I doubt that others did.

We did take a lot of glass with us when we left though (mainly what had been left at recycling before it was made clear that glass could not be left there) and that was not an issue for us since we had some spare space in the car. Dropped it off at a supermarket that was on the way, so no extra trips or wasted fuel. If we had an idea of how much glass we are talking about overall, it would be useful.


Papy Fisher Wed 21 Aug 2019 11:44AM

Papy here for Desanka ... elaborating on the problem - no real solution :/

Our attempt in Desanka is to create a space that people feel loved and accepted, fed and happy bellies, and that seemed to work out fairly well in our space. During the time of pre-festival build, containers were created to collect bottles, other recyclables, and other refuse. As we moved into the time of the event, there was a habit set up ;-) What we did not expect was the number of bottles and cans and other refuse that were deposited in our bins!

NOTE: WE DID NOT MIND THAT! Happy to serve the greater community! For the trash & recyclable items, we were able to utilize the dumpsters. Problem is that we have no place to go with the bottles as for us taking them “home” is not a good option (since our weight limit on Delta is 23 kg!!)

Thanks to several good chaps from Strike, the bottles found their way to reincarnate receptacles elsewhere in the UK :) but I felt it a huge imposition on those pulling out last.


Keegan Tue 27 Aug 2019 8:45AM

I think that shows it could be really worth while having some communal bins that are maintained by a group instead of it just ending up on you guys!


Vicki Baars Fri 23 Aug 2019 7:42AM

I think there may be a midway solution in doing a couple of glass recycling runs from camps/Desanka at the weekend but still having an overall message of don’t bring it if you don’t need/pack it out. Doing LNT last year I am fairly sure Stacy did look into getting it taken off site and because of the weight decided it was far too expensive. I can ask her for her research though? @stephenbrannigan would you have the time to look into the crusher option?


Stephen Brannigan Wed 28 Aug 2019 11:39AM

Solution acquired.

I've agreed to officially team up with Desanka once again, and do the whole sites glass recycling myself. We will now openly collect glass at Desanka for the whole site. Yes, all of it, theme camps included, I will reach out to Mojo and Merkin in particular to make them aware of this change.

I will transport it to a recycling centre 15 minutes away by van. I've got access to a Devon County Council tax bill (for "proof" of residency) for this purpose. I think crushing it will be a liability, as although it's more space efficient, I doubt there will be multiple van trips worth. If there are, storing that much crushed glass safely would be a nightmare anyway.

Just to be clear, I’m not encouraging glass to be bought on site, I detest glass in general. Compared to glass, strong plastic is cheaper, lighter, and isn’t seconds away from becoming either a lethal weapon or potentially lethal trip hazard when mishandled. However, you can’t buy bottles of spirits in plastic yet, for some jaw dropping reason, and so here we are. It isn’t practical to say to the Merkins “Hey, no glass allowed on site, buy some disposable plastic bottles to decant your gallons of tequila into. Then throw all the old glass bottles away. Then probably throw all the empty plastic bottles away too, since they are hardly worth paying to fly them over to Arizona. #GreatForThePlanet”

We have been self reliant in getting rid of glass, but a centralised system will save us time, money and be better for the environment.