Every service and area in Middleton Hall has bins to sort out recycling from general rubbish, including paper/card, tins/cans, and glass. Some services also have food waste bins specifically for leftovers, in order to help the separation more. We believe that everyone can do their bit when it comes to recycling, and changing mentalities is often the first step.
Our Reception desk has also recently started collecting inkjet printer cartridges for recycling, which are donated to the North East Air Ambulance trust.
On their first day of induction, all of our Co-owners are given a Middleton Hall bamboo travel mug! Not only is this great for transporting caffeine into work for those early morning shifts, it's also great for use in the Orangery. Our Co-owners also get given a Middleton Hall tote bag for all of their induction gear, which helps reduce single use plastic bag usage.
We love to get a bit crafty here at Middleton Hall, for example in our Wildlife workshops! Before Christmas, we made festive wreaths (article here) out of old/broken Christmas decorations and greenery from around the site, and before that we've made lovely bird boxes with the NSPB out of re-purposed pieces of fence. Even our fun is sustainable..!
One of the ways we reduce wastage is by reselling on a lot of what we've used and don't need anymore. In a retirement village, that can range from anything such as high spec wheelchairs to industrial grade toasters! Selling these items (either as they came, or taking out certain useful parts) means that someone else can use them, and we can focus on sharing rather than constantly buying new items. Good for planet, and good for your pockets.
In our Co-owner's break room, we have a "free to a good home" table, which anyone can contribute to or take from. We've had a big range of items, including books, clothes, baby items, crockery and CD's, and it is generally reviewed every fortnight to make sure things are still moving, and if not then they go to the charity shop. This is another way of curbing the need to be constantly buying new things, and reusing old ones instead of supporting the manufacturing (and therefore the energy used) to make something brand new.
Our Estates team keep a lot of materials, like wood, bricks and tyres, just in case we can use them for something else. For example, last year we had some leftover materials, and what came out of them was a pizza oven for the allotment area! It was christened in the summer of 2019, and is a truly lovely addition to the grounds.