Monday, June 13, 2011

Dear Diary...

Since the first meeting, here's what I've managed to accomplish...

  • Visited Chris Weir at Parkgate Business Park and viewed his recycling facility. Or, more accurately, I wanted to visit Chris Weir, but he was not there when we popped by there, but we spoke to his assistant John and had a look at the facility. Folks, he can recycle anything except glass. Well, strictly speaking, he can process and bale stuff up to be recycled, which he then sends to various processors around the world to be recycled. After I left there I spoke at length on the phone with Chris, and the man is a passionate and hardcore believer in recycling. His main problem is that since nobody knows about his facility he cannot process enough stuff. He could also use a large truck or Luton van with a trailer to be able to compete on a local level with Biffa and Veolia and all the other big boys. He is, however, not a computer person and does not possess the technical know how to get a Web presence, he would also need to get a grant in order to buy new equipment, and has no idea where to start. When time permits Carolyn has offered to do some research into this.
  • Called Cllr. Alan Sugden to pick his brain with reference to Tenterden Clean Up Day. Alan has previously been involved in Litter Picking operations in St. Michaels and so I wanted to know from him where we could locate supplies such as rubber gloves, hi-vis jackets and litter pickers, and he gave me the number of Town Warden Jo Vos who apparently can rally troops like nobody's business. Called and left her a voicemail.
  • Spoke to Debbie Fleet, the new landlord of The William Caxton, about holding our future meetings there. She said she has a large back room with a big table that seats 12, and I visited the Caxton and saw it for myself. It's an ideal meeting space; in addition to the table that can seat 12 there are a few other smaller tables and a couple of sofas. Should be more than adequate for the time being. She seems a lovely lady and was very interested in the idea of the group.
  • Acquired a new member in the form of Patricia Wilson from Passionate Food, the makers of Tenterden Chutney.
  • This morning Jo Vos called me and we spoke for a while about what we were trying to achieve. She said she gets all the equipment from Clean Kent where we can also register details of our cleanup event. She also runs the Tenterden Youth Club and so will be at our next meeting on the 29th June along with someone from Youth Services and a youth helper or two. She also mentioned that she ha done previous litter-picking events with schools and will help us to get the schools involved also.
So that's what I have managed to do in half a week. Imagine what I could do with a month. I'm not the only one who has been busy though. My sister has been helping in every way she can, making suggestions and throwing ideas around with me and has also ferried me from pillar to post and for that I am grateful. Justin Nelson and my mum Christine Hickmott-Arnold have spoken with Cllr Mike Pearson about the involvement of Ashford Borough Council as regards taking away the trash we pick up. Sounds like we need to get in contact with them asap so there are no surprises, as they can apparently get grumpy if there's a lot of extra rubbish to deal with. my intention is to somehow separate what we find into (a) the stuff that Chris Weir can deal with; and (b) everything else. Hopefully the 'everything else' part will not be too much for the ABC to handle.

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