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Minutes of 28-10-2008

Friends of the Earth Scotland : Inverness and Ross

Minutes of meeting held Tuesday 28th October 2008


Toni Fuerst, Grace Hainey, Chris Scatchard, Shona Scatchard, Jamie Bucao, Su Cooper, Triona Shaddick, Anne Thomas, Alison Ross


John Wood, Donald McGibbon and Maggie Dove.


Anne Thomas welcomed everyone to the meeting and people introduced themselves.

Group constitution

Anne read the constitution to all present. It was agreed that the group name Inverness and Ross covers, with enough flexibility, the geographical areas of where members of the group come from. It was decided that a copy of the constitution would be emailed to everyone in the group. If any member wanted additions or amendments then they should email Anne with details to be further discussed at the next meeting. If no one does this then the constitution would be confirmed at the next meeting in November.

Recent campaigns and activities

Climate change (Big Ask) and Farmers Markets

Jamie reported on the success of a stall at the Farmers Market in Dingwall at the beginning of October. Many people signed up to the Big Ask and also donations were received.


Chris reported on the results of his survey of Inverness businesses regarding waste. He presented lots of interesting and quite astonishing facts and statistics which can be read on his own report. Chris suggested that the survey be extended and other members of the group to go round businesses with copies of the survey. The highlighted areas of concern were:

  1. Many city centre businesses do not have anywhere to put items for recycling.

  2. Staff in businesses do not recycle their own waste e.g. in staff room.

  3. Lack of recycling bins in the city centre.

  4. Lack of companies in Scotland and especially in Highland that make recycled products. Most recycling has to travel a considerable distance to be processed, reducing the benefit.

NHS Highland Carbon Reduction Workshop

Anne attended this last week. The Carbon Trust are working with NHS Highland to reduce the Carbon footprint of this organisation. They have already worked with Highland Council very successfully in reducing the CO2 produced there. Representatives of Highland Council Energy and Sustainability Department were there. NHS Highland plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2012. Currently it produces 13,537 tonnes. The majority of this is from buildings. The next largest is travel. Old buildings are difficult to heat and not always easy to insulate. Temperatures are supposed to be 18 0 C for corridors, 200 C for wards and offices and 240 C for examination rooms. The reality is that it is sometimes difficult to regulate different areas, but a lot of this is down to staff awareness e.g. turning down the thermostat rather than opening a window. The meeting was open to all staff and about 50 people turned up. 3 working groups had to come up with their top 10 ideas.

Some things relevant to our business waste campaign are:

  • Some paper is recycled at Raigmore, but not at other sites.

  • The Council charge more for collecting the equivalent quantity of paper or card to be re-cycled compared with their charge for general waste

  • Very little recycled paper products are used as they are said to be twice as expensive.

  • Many printers and most photocopiers can do double sided copies but staff often do not know how to use this facility. Use of double sided copies could pay for recycled paper.

  • A pilot scheme collecting the 5 tonnes a month food waste was abandoned, but they are looking for alternatives.

  • They receive about 4 emails a week from staff asking for more recycling

  • They have just signed a contract with coca cola to recycle plastic bottles and are only going to order drinks in bottles rather than cans. This will cost £4000 a year.

  • One suggestion was an internal Offset Fund that could be spent on projects within the organisation rather than staff paying into some other funds that were hard to verify.

  • Anne has emailed in her top 10 Carbon reducing ideas. See website.

  • NHS highland is going to gradually replace its vehicle fleet with low carbon models and require staff hiring cars to ask about the efficiency of vehicles. A car sharing scheme has been started.

Future campaigns, meetings, activities

Bogbain Car Bootsale

Following on from the success of the Dingwall Farmers’ Market it was suggested that a stall go along to the Bogbain Bootsale one Sunday. Toni agreed to find out more.

Why buy day 2008

Alison told the group about the Why Buy Day on 29th November and the idea of a Swap Your Stuff Stall. The group agreed this is a good idea but need to decide on a venue. Several were suggested and members of the group agreed to find out more.

Grace - Victorian Market; Chris and Shona - Telford Street Co-op

Alison - Railway Station, Street Stall (Council) and Eastgate Centre

Local Business Champions Scheme

Further to Chris’s waste survey, Chris has been talking to Sam Adderley from FoES head office regarding CREW2 (Communities Reducing Excess Waste). One idea Chris put forward was a Local Business Champion Scheme.

What we would have to do is book interviews with local businesses and discuss with them their waste and recycling policy, offer what practical suggestions and solutions we can to improve their present practices, and encourage them to “Pledge to make improvements to their current recycling and waste policy and to encourage all staff to recycle waste.”

For making this pledge we would sign and give them a Champions Certificate from “FOES Inverness and Ross”, and their business name with details of their pledge will be put on a “Champions of Local Businesses” page on our local web site.

Date, time and venue of next meeting

Tuesday 25 November, 6.15pm, Spectrum Centre.