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Recycling and Waste

Some recycling links

Highland Council website recycling page
Highland Council household recycling leaflet


September 2019

Food waste reduction initiative on Arran

Among the activities of Arran Eco Savvy, an organisation with objectives similar to those of TBI on an island about the same size as the Black Isle, is a food waste reduction operation run in conjunction with the Co-op Food Share scheme set up by the retailer in 2018. Under the scheme food at its sell-by date is collected from the main island Co-op and made available free through Brodick Food Bank and four other distribution points around the island.

An atticle on the Arran Eco Savvy website says

"This is a nationwide Co-op initiative that enables local charities like ourselves to intercept surplus food before it reaches landfill.  Eco Savvy has entered into this partnership with the Co-op in collaboration with Brodick Food Bank.  This means that on every collection day, the foodbank has first refusal.  So far, there has been far more food than they are able to distribute or preserve in the small time-frame before the use-by or best-before dates hit.  .  .   To avoid food waste, we have created foodshare evenings to allow anyone on Arran to collect food that has imminent expiry dates."

Read more on the Eco Savvy website


Co-op press release on 2018 Food Share launch.




September 2019

SCCAN Waste reduction podcasts

Martin Sherring writes

"SCCAN have produced a series of podcasts on a theme of waste reduction Each of the 4 podcasts produced so far highlights one initiative and gives details of their activities. I think they sound a bit amateurish – but in a way, that’s appropriate – they’re about substance rather than polished production. They are worth a listen."

August 2019

From Changeworks / Home Energy Scotland

Welcome to the summer edition of your Too Good to Waste e-bulletin!

"In this edition you will discover sharing is caring, plan for a planet friendly festival experience, make a pass on plastics, and get insider knowledge on where our non-recyclable and food waste goes. Plus, meet our new team member and find out what waste related events are going on over the next few months."

Read the bulletin

June 2019

Scotland's got the bottle!

Scotland has become the first nation in the UK to commit to a deposit return system for bottles and cans. This system will include PET plastic bottles (for example fizzy drinks and water bottles), glass bottles and steel/aluminium drinks cans. All drinks that come in those container types will be included, both soft drinks and alcoholic. Prices for drinks in those types of containers will include a deposit of 20p per container. The scheme aims to capture 90% of drinks containers for recycling within three years.


May 2019

Rethinking Waste - New SCCAN podcast series

SCCAN has just launched its new Future Voices podcast series called "Stories from the frontline of community-led climate action".

We hold a vision of a zero-carbon future, reached through communities becoming empowered and resilient enough to grasp the opportunity to build a different, fairer society that regenerates our communities as well as our environment.

Many glimpses of such a future already exist across Scotland. Through a series of short podcasts, ‘Future Voices’ will be telling the stories of some of these initiatives.

In the first series, ‘Rethinking Waste‘, we will be visiting a range of projects that are not only changing waste into a resource but are helping to build more caring, sharing and stronger communities in the process.

 Is there something happening in your community that you would like to share? We’d love to hear from you: get in touch.

Likewise, if you would be interested to learn skills in podcasting, we are developing a skillshare workshop to cascade skills through SCCAN. Please get in touch if you are interested to know more.

Check out the Rethinking Waste podcast


March 2019

Milk dispensers and plastic bottles

Last November we reported on a dairy farm in Aberdeenshire which had installed a milk dispenser / vending machine to reduce the use of single use plastic bottles, and expressed the hope that our local Black Isle Dairy might consider doing the same.  We are glad to report that this has now happened.

Milk dispenser up and running at Black Isle Dairy

Black Isle Dairy has recently installed a milk dispenser in its 'Honesty Shed' at Rootfield Farm, which means that their whole milk is no longer supplied in single use plastic bottles.  Customers can now choose between bringing their own bottles or buying glass bottles for £2.  The machine will dispense either 500ml or 1 litre, and without the expense of the plastic bottles the price has been reduced to 50p and £1 respectively.  Easy to follow instructions are provided, and at the moment payment is by coins only, but a contactless card facility is also due to be installed.

Black Isle Dairy's semi-skimmed milk (still in plastic bottles), their excellent and very different yogurt and wide range of ice creams are also available in the Honesty Shed, as well as sausages and pork from Black Isle Pork along the road and eggs from Ged Eggs at Meikle Geddes.

Nick Mackenzie, who runs Black Isle Dairy, said of his decision to install the dispenser

  "We decided to install the milk vending machine to allow us to cut down on single use plastic packaging and supply milk in reusable glass bottles without setting up a milk delivery service. It also allows us to provide fresh milk straight from the cows which has been pasteurised but is otherwise unaltered and have direct contact with our customers."  

Nick deserves the thanks of all who are concerned about the environmental damage caused by single-use plastics for this enterprising and welcome innovation.











November 2018

Alternative Food Packaging project in North Berwick

In response to an item in the last newsletter, Heather Mack has drawn attention to a project being run by Scottish environmental charity Fidra

"Fidra is a Scottish environmental charity talking about how to make food packaging more environmentally friendly, in particular ways to make this happen in their local town of North Berwick"

November 2018

The Restart Project

Mike Thomas of Transition Network has drawn our attention to this organisation, which offers assistance to Transition and  other community groups in setting up their own repair and reuse activities.  Restart says

 "Get support to run a Restart Repair Event

"We’re The Restart Project.  Like you, we know the pace of our consumption has real social and environmental costs.  So, we’re building a network of people who want to do something about the throwaway culture around us by helping people repair stuff.

"We help local groups like yours run community events where people teach each other how to repair their broken stuff – to help them value and use it for longer.  And we use the data and stories we collect to help demand better, more sustainable products for all.

"There are people in your community who already know how to fix things – and others who want to learn.  By bringing them together in a local repair event, you can have an immediate impact on waste in your area, as well as reaching out to local people who might not have come across your Transition group before.

  .   .   .   .   .   .  

"The Restart Project already helps a handful of Transition groups run their own repair events and we can help you too!  Whether you’d like to organise your own Repair Café or electronics-focused Restart Party, we can help you get the ball rolling with how-to guides, event-management tools and personalised advice."

Although this is not obvious from the information in this email, a visit to the Restart website at  makes it clear that their main focus is on the rather specialised area of repairs to electronic devices and small electrical appliances.

TBI has from time to time considered running a more general repair and reuse project.  If you would be interested in helping to run such a project, or have broken stuff you would like help with repairing, please contact us at .

April 2018

Zero Waste Stores  -  Plastic Free Coastlines

TBI Director Vanessa Halhead has discovered some interesting videos about Zero Waste Stores (and various other topics), and wonders whether the idea offers any scope for a TBI project.

At the Transition Scotland gathering in Dunbar last weekend Martin Sherring came across a campaign started by 'Surfers against Sewage' in Cornwall, seeking support from community leaders to  "come forward and unite communities to create Plastic Free Coastlines".  Something here for the Black Isle, perhaps?


Unwrapped - A European report on plastic food packaging

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Friday 25 October
12:00 Inverness Lunchtime for Climate
Saturday 26 October
12:00 Forestry Commission Clootie Well clean-up
NA      CAB Craft & Food Fayre Alness
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Tuesday 29 October
19:30 Food & Growing group meeting Culbokie 7.30
Wednesday 30 October
10:30 Horticultural Day Botanic Gardens Inverness
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We are part of the rapidly expanding worldwide Transition Towns movement. The Black Isle is a peninsula of about 100 sq miles ENE of Inverness in Scotland, UK.