Coronavirus York updates – 7th April 2020

Libraries mask production initiative

Explore is supporting a fantastic initiative using 3D printers to print safety visors to a design used across Europe and distributing them to frontline workers in York. The project is being led in York by two of Explore Labs digital makers.

Working as a collective they are mobilising local makers to use their skills and equipment to support frontline workers in the fight against Covid-19. Explore York has loaned the project three 3D printers and there is a network of at least 50 more printers today from a standing start of just two printers a week ago.

If you or your organisation know of anyone who can help with equipment, advice or skills please get in touch via the Facebook group 3D Printed Visors for Frontline workers York AREA

If you have a 3D-Printer and want to get involved, email  with ‘I have a 3D printer’ in the subject line.

If you live in York or the surrounding area and need a visor, email  with ‘visor please’ in the subject line. If you don’t live in York they will try and help you find a 3D-Printing group in your area.


Green waste, composting and hedges

The Council is urging residents not to fly tip or burn green waste during the current crisis.

Unfortunately there is still no mechanism, where those with mainly hard-surfaced gardens, can get composting containers. This was raised with the Council several weeks ago when the possibility of the green waste collections being suspended was first highlighted.

With the growing season now upon us, we expect to see the Council issuing advice to the owners of hedges bordering public footpaths to keep them trimmed back. This is essential to assist in implementing the social distancing guidelines

NB Waste crews are working as normal this Easter bank holiday to collect household waste and recycling.

 Coronavirus response live stream

 Four of the leaders of North Yorkshire’s police, fire and crime response to the Coronavirus pandemic will give an and take questions from residents and businesses, in a live broadcast tomorrow (Tuesday 7 April):

 North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan will lead the live update with:

  • Chief Constable Lisa Winward – North Yorkshire Police
  • Chief Fire Officer Andrew Brodie – North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Richard Flinton – Chief Executive of North Yorkshire County Council and Chair of the multi-agency North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum

 People are invited to watch the meeting from 1.30pm on Tuesday on YouTube and submit questions in advance by emailing, posting on Twitter using the hashtag #NYScrutiny or commenting on Facebook. Not all questions will be able to be used, but they will inform the Commissioner’s questioning and the general discussion.

Everything will get longer

Well most things!

Those worried about the length of their hair may also been wondering about the length of the grass on the lawn.

Enforced isolation may provide the opportunity for a best trimmed hedge and manicured lawn competition is some neighbourhoods.

But where will the green waste go?

The York Council is scheduled to recommence green bin emptying at the beginning of April. Other Councils have suspended this garden waste system, so it is a little surprising that there has been no announcement from West Offices yet.

Green waste may already be building up.

We did hear from the Council a few days ago that DIY was being “discouraged” if it added waste to the collection streams (the household waste sites have been closed).

One option would be to make a delivery – using perhaps local taxis – of a composting container to any household that wants one. Subject to supply of course. Maybe many would continue to compost even after the current crisis is over. So, a win, win for everyone.

The City needs a “no personal contact” collection and delivery system for prescriptions and food supplies. With many “click and collect” services suspended at local stores there is a gaping hole in the City’s food chain system.

Time to get that fixed, with the Council taking the lead.

15,000 tonnes of green waste collected by York Council last year

A new York Council report reveals that 12,649 tonnes of green (garden) waste was collected from households in the city last year. In addition 2,214 household waste sites generated a further 2.214 tonnes.

The cost of collecting the green waste was £515,000 while disposal cost £267,000.

The green waste is composted and made available free of charge for gardeners.

The Council says that if the green waste went to landfill it would cost taxpayers around £1.5 million. It would not be viable to burn the waste at the Allerton Park incinerator.

The amount of green waste collected for each York household is similar to that produced in the county as a whole. In York charges are only levied for additional bins.

Harewood Whin – Waste activities set to continue to 2030

Entrance to Harewood Whin

Entrance to Harewood Whin

Yorwaste the operators of the Harewood Whin waste site are seeking planning permission to extend some of their activities until 2030.

Two applications will be considered at a meeting taking place on 12th May.

The first application seeks agreement to the expansion and continued use of a section of the site for composting.  The proposal envisages the continuing use of the existing concrete composting pad, together with an associated extension of some 6,910 sq metres in area, up until December 2030.

The pad is used to store and turn compostable materials in linear masses or windrows for periods of 6 to 12 weeks at a time to make compost. The size of the pad allows for the processing of a maximum of 70,000 tonnes of material which would meet current expectations of demand over the application period.

The second application is for the construction of a waste transfer station. The facility will be used for the bulking up and transference of materials to be used in the proposed Allerton Park Waste Incinerator.

The applicant has agreed as part of the development proposal to contribute towards the provision of a cycle track along the Wetherby Road frontage and to unilaterally revoke an extant planning permission for a biomass plant on the site.

Both applications are recommended for approval

Recycling rates down in York. Council discusses waste management crisis

Perhaps not before time, the York Council will discuss tonight how to reverse the trend towards lower waste recycling rates in the City.

The proportion of waste recycled dropped each year during the term of office of the last Labour Council. The only glimmer of hope was that the total amount of waste produced in the City has fallen by 15% from its 2006 peak. But that can mainly be put down to changes to the lifestyle habits of the local population.

York is still paying out over £4 million in Landfill Tax each year – money which would be much better spent on sustaining local public services.

The momentum built up over nearly a decade waslost in 2011 when the new Labour Council Leadership scrapped plans to provide a salvage and reuse centre at Harewood Whin. They would later close the Beckfield Lane recycling centre,  introduce charges for second green bin emptying and restrictions on access to the remaining civic amenity recycling centres.

Even those who do use the Hazel Court recycling centre will wonder whether everything possible is being done to maximise the reuse of items. Most electrical goods, for example, are currently dumped into a skip (from a height).

No monthly stats on recycling performance are routinely provided. The table below was obtained using Freedom of Information legislation.

One option would be to revive the idea of reusing and salvaging materials. An investment by the – part City of York Council owned – Yorwaste company in such a facility would send a clear signal that the City is serious about regaining the momentum in its battle to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

Recycling rates

Beckfield Lane recycling centre reopens for ……………1 day

Composting bins on sale on 13th October

Composting bins on sale on 13th October

Residents will be able to visit the site on 5th October to pick up a preordered composting bin.

York Rotters can help you get composting with free advice and this sale of compost bins and other composting equipment.

Limited unreserved stock will be available to purchase on the day.

To ensure availability pre-order your equipment here by 20th September and then collect from Beckfield Lane on 5th October (no delivery option available).

Bins are subsidised by City of York Council and their sales are limited to York residents only, two ‘dalek’ bins and one ‘metal’ bin per household