How to avoid a rubbish hangover

posted 26 Jul 2012, 22:27 by Heather Rogers

The Diamond Jubilee weekend showed that lots of us in Rudgwick enjoy a good party! What we almost certainly enjoy less is clearing up afterwards. But there are ways we can plan to avoid a rubbish hangover.

 Bottles, cans and soft drinks cartons are easily popped in our blue bins but what else can you do to keep your celebration waste close to zero? Here are a few top tips:

  •   Foil used to keep food warm can go in your blue bin – and if you wash most of the food residue off, foil food trays can go in too.
  • While it would be better if food manufacturers didn’t waste trees by putting cardboard sleeves on packs of barbecue food, remember to collect them up for recycling.
  • If you invest in a Green Johanna or similar sealed hot composting system, you can turn all of your party food waste – meat, cooked veg, burger buns and more - into garden compost. You can put paper napkins in a composter too.
  • Lump wood charcoal ash can go on your compost heap – it adds potassium and a dash of lime.
  •  Our blue bin scheme can only process certain kinds of plastic – as a basic rule, avoid anything that’s not bottle or milk carton shaped, and always take the lids off. Other plastic waste has to be shipped over the border! Head to the Cranleigh Co-op car park where you’ll find a collection bin for mixed plastics – though make sure everything has a recycling triangle on the base.
  • Waste plastic containers can be reused around the garden too – punch a few holes in the bottom of a coleslaw pot and you have a good alternative to a flowerpot for raising seeds.

 Have a happy, waste free summer!

 If you have any questions about Sustainable Rudgwick or would like to get involved, drop us a line at

Renewable rubbish

posted 12 Jun 2011, 01:58 by Heather Rogers

Horsham has the dubious honour of being the rubbish capital of West Sussex, with around 200,000 tonnes of the county’s household waste being landfilled into the old clay pits at the Brookhurst Wood site in North Horsham every year. That’s a lot of rubbish that currently serves no useful purpose and is rapidly filling up much of the available space.
But, as a group from Sustainable Rudgwick saw on a recent visit, that’s set to change in 2013 when Biffa’s new Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) facility opens on the same landfill site. It will be state-of-the-art and very big, having to take that same 200,000 tonnes of rubbish and turn it into something more useful. A series of processing steps will firstly shred it all and then sort it into recyclable metals, organic waste (mostly food), plus waste paper and plastic which can be used as a fuel source. The processing of the organic waste will produce biogas which, in turn, will be used in a combined heat and power plant to generate renewable energy. It’s expected to produce enough energy to power up to 7000 homes. Some rubbish will still have to go to landfill, but only about a quarter of the total.
Horsham District is setting the pace nationally in terms of recycling – our Acorn scheme and other services like the Household Waste Recycling centres already help us to recycle more than 50% of our waste. When the MBT plant is up to speed, we will be putting little more than 10% of our collective rubbish into a landfill hole. That has to be good news for the environment.
There’s not too much to see at the site yet but when it opens in two years’ time it will have a visitor and education centre that will welcome schools and community groups and host public open days. 

Water Meters in Rudgwick

posted 25 Nov 2010, 03:32 by James Smith

First of all, thanks to everyone who came to see us at the Apple Day! We had a great time talking to you all, and it was great to meet so many interested people!

Now, do you have a water meter on your property? If not, you probably will soon! During November, Southern Water will be starting to install water meters for all their customers across the village. You might well see the information van in your road soon.

West Sussex has the second highest water usage in the country, and the whole of the South East is classed as a 'water stressed' area, so it's important to try and cut that down. Households with water meters tend to use 10% less than those without, which, if you apply it across a large area, adds up to a lot of water!

Unfortunately, on top of being used by households, a lot of water is wasted through leaks. The new meters will include intelligent leak alarms, which will alert the water company if there is a leak on your property. These will be repaired free of charge in the majority of cases.

The best bit about having a meter is that if you save water, you save money. Here are a few tips to get you started:
  • Install flush savers in your toilet cisterns.
  • Keep your showers short.
  • Don't leave taps running.
  • Install a water butt to use in your garden.
For more information and tips, visit, or contact Sustainable Rudgwick ( or call James on 823063).

How can I recycle that?

posted 2 Nov 2010, 16:53 by Heather Rogers

So, how’s it going with your blue bin recycling? Getting used to the new collection schedules may have taken a week or two for most of us, but hopefully you’re now finding there’s quite a bit less general rubbish going into your regular bin.

But what about the things that can’t go into the blue bin but that aren’t totally rubbish either? What can you do with some of those things? Here are a few ideas that may help you to recycle more as well as clear out some of the clutter:

Furniture: Furni-Aid of Crawley will collect good quality unwanted furniture in return for a donation to their petrol costs. Call them on 01293 618844.

Textiles: there’s a collection point for textiles in the King’s Head car park.

Electrical items: the Horsham Matters charity shop will take and resell most electrical items, though are not so keen on TVs and video recorders. They also accept many other items for re-sale and can arrange to collect or deliver bulky items. Call them on 01403 217381.

Mattresses: there’s an organisation near Chichester that can strip the recyclable components out of old mattresses. Call them on 01243 649057.

Printer cartridges and mobile phones: take these into Rudgwick Primary School and they can be passed on to generate some extra money for the school.

Light bulbs: ordinary lights bulbs can’t be recycled so put these in the rubbish bin. BUT don’t put low energy bulbs in the bin as they contain a tiny amount of mercury and so need to be recycled. Find collection points for these at our local Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Batteries: don’t put batteries in the bin as they contain chemicals that need to be reclaimed. Drop them off at a Household Waste Recycling Centre or prompt us at Sustainable Rudgwick to put one of our collection jars in a centre near you, like a pub. We’ll empty them and so make it easier for you to get rid of them in a responsible way.

Find more recycling ideas on our website at There’s also lots of great information at


Where does our recycling go?

posted 22 Sep 2010, 00:39 by Heather Rogers

What happens to our recycling once it gets collected from outside our houses?  How does it get processed, who does it and how does it turn into the recycled stuff we all buy? 


To coincide with the rollout of the new blue bins in Rudgwick, Sustainable Rudgwick organised a visit to the recycling plant at Ford, near Arundel. Here our lovely guide, Jen, gave us jackets and ear defenders, showed off the miles of conveyer belts, and answered all our questions.


Our recycling gets taken to a huge unit in the middle of fields. It’s called a Materials Recycling Facility or MRF. It’s only been open a year, and is state-of-the-art: they’re doing things with our rubbish that aren’t possible in many parts of the country.


Amazingly, most of the separation of our mixed recyclables is fully automated. Early in the process everything goes into a big drum with various sizes of holes, which shakes the rubbish until the right things come out of the right holes. This largely separates the paper, plastics, metals and glass.


Four different conveyer belts take the separated materials. The paper and card cascades in a huge, endless waterfall into hoppers, where it is baled ready for further processing. The metals go through very clever units that attract the steel and repel the aluminium. The plastic goes through light boxes where the recyclable plastics (PET and HDPE) are rapidly sorted from the rest. 


What does it all get turned into? We were shown a pot of beautiful powdered glass, used for resurfacing the M1. Aluminium generally gets used for the same products that generated it in the first place. Paper gets turned into newspaper, toilet tissue or paperboard. Plastics become all kinds of things – pipes, bollards, non-food-grade bottles, and astonishingly, fleece jumpers.


Here’s some things we learnt about what to recycle:


  • Plastics:  they can only take bottles. Lids off, please, and thrown away. Don’t put anything else in as they can’t use it.


  • Try to make sure stuff’s clean when you put it in the bin.  By the time it gets to the MRF, an unwashed tuna tin will be pretty unpleasant. And no chip wrappers please!


  • Try to make sure stuff’s dry. Any liquids will combine with the newspaper to make papier mache, which sets like concrete in the machinery.


  • Don’t put shredded paper in your blue bin. It clogs the machinery and blows around the plant. Instead, stuff it in a cornflakes box and take it to the household waste centre collection point.


  • Don’t put video cassettes in the bin. When we visited, the conveyor belts were festooned with cassette tape like Christmas garlands. The machinery has to be closed down every day to remove this kind of waste.


If you’re interested in a future visit, or would just like to know more about Sustainable Rudgwick, contact us at

We are one!

posted 31 May 2010, 08:37 by Heather Rogers

The first seeds of Sustainable Rudgwick were sown in the spring of 2009 and we are now approaching the end of our first year of growth. We’re still quite a small seedling but excited about establishing ourselves more firmly in our second year.

Rudgwick is a healthy community to have our roots in and it’s at a community level that we can deliver the change that will secure a more sustainable future. It’s great news that, as one if its first acts, our new Lib-Con coalition government has committed to cutting central government’s emissions by 10% over the next 12 months. The government estate is sizeable and reaching this target will be the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road.

But while politicians can point the way, grass roots action is what will really make a difference. Sustainable Rudgwick will continue to look to partner with the great groups that are already working hard to improve life for everyone in Rudgwick, on a range of ideas with a sustainable theme. And we will also continue to provide advice and encouragement to individuals looking to make a personal change.

For example, we can all do our bit by sometimes walking instead of taking the car (it’s good for our health too) and resisting the temptation to fly away on every holiday. We can sign up for some inexpensive insulation and recycle or compost more. We can grow more of our own food – even if it’s just tomatoes on the patio – and we can buy only the food we know we will eat, to save throwing as much of it away.

If you would like to find our more about what we’re up to, lend us your support or even get more involved, join us at our first Annual General Meeting on Thursday 24 June at 7.30 at the Rudgwick Sports and Community Centre. Watch for more details around the village notice boards, visit our website at, or call Heather on 822956 or James on 823063.

Who knows what’s possible if we work together?

Green Energy

posted 11 Apr 2010, 10:09 by Heather Rogers

Thanks so much to those of you who came along to Secretts on 13 March to talk to the Energy Saving Trust and Sustainable Rudgwick about the opportunities to make your homes more energy efficient.  There will hopefully be some warmer houses in Rudgwick as a result.

But what if you’ve already insulated your loft and cavity walls, installed low energy light bulbs (they may not be your cup of tea but they do use up to 80% less electricity than a traditional bulb) and have temperature controls that keep each room in your house between 18-21 degrees C (the optimum for most people)? What next?

Well, you could start generating your own heat and electricity. By doing so, you could save yourself money and be more resilient to future increases in energy prices. You will also be doing your bit to help the UK get to its 2020 target of 15% of our energy coming from renewable sources. And we’re a long way off that right now.

But you might well ask ‘Isn’t it very expensive and, really, what’s in it for me?’ The reality is that, for most people, they need an incentive to do this and there are already quite a lot of incentives out there.

For example, install a solar water heating system or a ground source heat pump and you could get grant support of up to £2,500. Generate your own electricity using solar roof panels and, starting this April, you will qualify for the feed-in-tariffs programme, which essentially means that over time you will cover your initial outlay and earn a reasonable profit on top. Can’t afford the capital cost upfront? Soon we may all have the chance to take part in Pay as You Save schemes that will give people renewable energy installation loans (pilots covering 500 households are underway now).

If you’re interested, you can find out more at or get in touch with Sustainable Rudgwick via our website: or by calling James (823063) or Heather (822956)

Watering Cans (and can'ts)

posted 11 Apr 2010, 04:10 by James Smith

Summer is coming, and while we've had a very wet winter, if we get the long hot summer we're all hoping for, we'll be getting short on water before you know it. Apparently, West Sussex has the second-highest water demand in the country, at 170 litres per person per day! So, before the weather dries up for the summer, why not look at reducing that by a few litres? It's cheap and easy, and if you have a water meter, it'll cut your bills as well.
  • A standard toilet flush uses 10 litres, but doesn't need nearly so much. Install a flush saver (email for a free one) to cut it by a few litres, or go low-tech and use a couple of bricks.
  • Get a water butt, and use that instead of the mains to water your garden. There’s an offer at that could interest you, and DIY stores have plenty of options. You can even get pumps so you can still use the hosepipe in front of your envious neighbours during the inevitable hosepipe ban.
  • Throw everything you can in the dishwasher - it uses less water than doing it by hand (as long as it's full), and lets you laze on the sofa more.
  • Stop the tap while you brush your teeth, and stop the water in the shower unless you're rinsing off. Saves soap, too.
Finally, if you don't have a water meter, give your water company a call and they'll normally put one in for free. Many people save money straight away, and then you can save even more with the tips above.

For more tips, information and useful links, visit our water saving page.

(published in the May 2010 Rudgwick magazine)

13 March: Warming Rudgwick Event

posted 7 Mar 2010, 13:50 by Heather Rogers   [ updated 10 Mar 2010, 04:30 by James Smith ]

Want to find out how to cut your energy bills - and improve your carbon footprint?

There are a surprising number of grants available to replace your boiler or improve your home’s insulation. For example:

  • The ‘boiler scrappage’ scheme could give you £400 towards replacing your boiler
  • If you’re over 70 you could be entitled to free cavity wall and loft insulation

Horsham District Council and Sustainable Rudgwick together invite you to come and find out more by talking to a representative of the independent Energy Saving Trust at:

Secretts Farm Shop, Rudgwick, 9.00 am to 1.00 pm, Saturday 13 March

If you can’t make it, contact the Energy Saving Trust at:

Tel: 0800 512 012

Becoming more sustainable in 2010

posted 2 Dec 2009, 08:40 by James Smith   [ updated 2 Dec 2009, 08:43 ]

When talking about climate change, at some point you always run into numbers. 80% of this, 350ppm of that, and so on. It can get confusing, and targets like an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 (the UK target) seem a very long way off. However, for the next year, you can get away with just one number: 10. Well, one number twice: 10:10. 

The 10:10 campaign is a simple (but bold) idea. It’s a call to show we can all do something by cutting 10% of our emissions during 2010. And it's not difficult; the first 10% is the easy stuff. It's about doing the things we all know already - turning things off, insulating our houses, flying and driving a bit less, and reducing waste. But if we all decided to do it, we could get more than a tenth of a way to the UK 2050 target in just one year. And, the great thing is, pretty much all of that stuff above will save you money quickly. 

If you would like to do your bit towards a better future, get started by finding out more at For more information on local sustainability issues, visit or call James on 823063.

(published in the December 2009 Rudgwick magazine)

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