Youth Clubs, Fixing Bikes and Explaining Waste Disposal

A week in the life of Chiswick Councillor John Todd

Cllr Todd aims to stir things up locally
Cllr Todd aims to stir things up locally


Hounding Hounslow Council On Youth Clubs And Parking Permits

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I visited the Hanworth Youth Club as part of my review to persuade Hounslow Council (LBH) to reduce the 78% cut to the Youth Service Budget. (£900k to £212k).

I was shown around a wonderfully vibrant building which contains numerous rooms used by a diverse groups including a nursery. A nearby allotment and bee hives are owned by the club and used to introduce users to gardening and wildlife. They recently raised £350k from the lottery to extend the council owned building.

On Tuesday we travelled to Dorchester in Dorset to see my brother and his extended family. We visited Weymouth and Bridport too and my dog was devastated to be banned from the beach until October.

Thursday included visiting the Hounslow Youth Club right in the centre of the town. Another vibrant entity that's been going for forty years plus. This charity has over 186 members with a range of learning difficulties some of which don't meet the criteria required by the plethora of organisations that fund and support this uncategorised group. 

I witnessed a group of members aged between 9 and 25 set off to an adventure playground with their carers and volunteers. I saw their faces literally light up when they entered the club saw their friends and the overt warm welcome from Lorna Stephens MBE the manager and her devoted colleagues.

Unlike other youth clubs they have never over many years had a lease from LBH and operate under a Tenancy at Will. Put simply they could be asked to leave at any time which I find to be outrageous. Lorna explained that, with a lease, charities would significantly fund the work this club does so well and also make it financially viable. I have informed the Cabinet member of this unacceptable position.

Cycle Mechanics Can you help? On Friday I spoke to Karen Adams who told me about the following situation. The Barn Project been given a heap of adapted bicycles by Ealing Mencap to use at their base - Jubilee Lodge in Osterley Park a building kindly lent by the National Trust. They are all in sound basic condition but haven't been used for a while. They need some help from people who know about bikes to make them safe for people to ride.

They are hosting a day on Saturday, 16th September from 10am to 3pm at Jubilee Lodge. Drop by for all or part of the day. Contact if you would like to lead the day - their cycling knowledge is, by their own admission limited. If so, they could meet in advance to organise purchase of equipment and spare parts. 

The Barn supports young people with learning disabilities or autism to make a successful transition to adult life. They have a strong ethos that everyone can make a contribution, including those with significant impairments. In the past year the project has donated over 4,000 volunteering hours to open green spaces.

They are hoping to make an exciting announcement about an adapted cycling project very soon, so that many more people can benefit from access to cycling in a way that meets their needs.

Hounslow Waste and  Recycling - I'm frequently asked what happens to the waste and recycling collected by our staff. The following answers most of the queries raised.

The London Borough of Hounslow is a Waste Collection Authority – as such, we have a responsibility to collect waste from households in the borough. LBH is not a Waste Disposal Authority – this role is filled by the West London Waste Authority (WLWA), who control the final destination of most waste collected in Hounslow. This response is based upon the latest information available to LBH. A more up to date response may be obtained by raising a query with WLWA. 

Food waste is sent to British Biogen, which operates a number of Anaerobic Digestion – Combined Heat & Power (AD-CHP) facilities. An AD plant uses bacteria to break down food waste in the absence of oxygen. This process causes approximately half of the carbon contained in the food to be released as methane gas. The methane is then burned in a CHP plant. This generates electricity for export to the national grid and hot water which is used for a variety of applications. The residue is then sent through a further aerobic composting stage where it is transformed into fertiliser. Food waste is one of the most important materials to divert from landfill – if it is allowed to break down anaerobically in a landfill site, much of the methane escapes into the atmosphere unburned. Methane is a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, so capturing and burning it in an AD plant reduces its greenhouse potential considerably. It can also displace the use of fossil fuels, creating further environmental and economic benefits.

Garden waste is composted aerobically by a variety of contractors. Details of the current contractors can be obtained from the West London Waste Authority. Aerobic composting uses bacteria to break down the garden waste in the presence of oxygen. Whilst this does not generate methane for fuel, it does create better quality compost for use as fertiliser and soil conditioner.

Textiles are sorted into different grades by LM Barry & Co. The different grades can be sold in charity shops, exported for aid programmes or recycled into rags and felt. 

Cans and plastic are sent to Grundon Waste Management Ltd. where they are separated using magnets and eddy-current-separators. The plastic is shredded, granulated and usually processed into different plastic products such as fleece jackets and garden furniture. Steel and aluminium cans are melted down and re-moulded into more cans. The energy required for re-moulding is a fraction of the energy required for refining these metals from raw materials, so besides avoiding the waste of raw materials, the exhausting of landfill space and the despoilation of mining sites, recycling cans helps to reduce pollution and improve energy security. 

Glass is sent to Berryman Glass Recycling where it is colour separated and passed onto bottle and jar manufacturers. Colour-separated glass can be melted and re-moulded into more bottles and jars. It can also be used in applications such as road surfacing, where it displaces the use of raw minerals, thus reducing the environmental impact of mineral extraction.

Paper and cardboard are made from different grade fibres, so they are sorted into separate compartments on the collection vehicles. They are passed on to the Smurfit Kappa Group where they are pulped and re-manufactured into new paper and cardboard products.  

New contracts for cardboard, plastic, steel and aluminium will be procured during November/December 2017.  

The practice of collecting recyclables from separate boxes and sorting into different compartments on a vehicle is known as Source Separation. This allows for the effective separation of materials and produces high quality recycled products. Many local authorities collect all recyclables from a single wheelie bin – this practice is known as Co-Mingling. Whilst this can seem like a simpler system, it creates a number of problems. Many residents put incorrect materials in their bin, and it is very difficult for the recycling crews to spot these when they are hidden in the middle of a bin. These contaminants are then compressed into the recyclables, reducing their quality. Glass shard can adhere strongly to other materials, creating a safety hazard in each facility which subsequently handles them and reducing the quality of the recycled products. So by sorting their recycling into separate boxes, Hounslow residents are helping to create an effective circular economy. 


August 26, 2017

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