Turning Food Waste into Opportunity

Renfrewshire is about to increase its impressive recycling rates with the roll out of a new food waste collection and recycling service. Residents are already recycling effectively; doing their bit for the environment by reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and reducing the amount of tax that their council pays on that waste.

On average, food makes up one third of the waste in our grey bins and the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 places a statutory duty on all local authorities to provide households with a separate food waste collection service by 1 January 2016.

FOOD RECYCLING-LW

This week, residents will start to receive all they need to make recycling food easy. A small 7 litre caddy and biodegradable refill bags to be used in the kitchen for all sorts of cooked or uncooked food: dairy, meat, chicken, bones, fruit, vegetables, bread, rice and pasta, fish, teabags and coffee grounds.

When full, the bags should be put in the outside 23 litre food recycling bins. These have secure lids and will create no more smell or pest risk than normal grey bins.

The council will collect food caddies weekly.

When they are close to running out of the biodegradable caddy bags, people should tie a bag to their outside food waste caddy when they put it out for collection. The council will then leave a free roll of replacement bags. It is important that only these bags are used to recycle food, as ordinary bin liners and carrier bags are not biodegradable.

One half of Renfrewshire’s households will take delivery of their two caddies and a supply of food waste bags during week commencing 16 September. Their waste will be collected the next week on the same day as their usual bin collection.

The remainder of households will receive their caddies and bags during the week commencing 23 September and collections will start during the following week. People who live in flats will get all they need to recycling their food waste later in the autumn.

More benefits have arisen from this initiative; it has created work for 12 people to drive the specialist vehicles and 12 collectors.

The good news continues with the processing of the food waste that Renfrewshire recycles. It will be taken to a treatment facility where it will be made into agricultural fertiliser and used to produce a gas that can be used to generate electricity.

Residents are still being urged to continue home composting and recycling. This new collection service takes food that cannot be composted in a domestic setting.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire’s Environment Policy Board, is enthusiastic about the new recycling service. “This is one of the easiest multiple wins we can all contribute to. It will reduce waste, create work for local people, decrease our use of landfill, save money, and create power and fertilisers. The council’s making it easy, safe and free to recycle food waste and I’d encourage everyone to do their bit so that we can all reap these benefits.

“Of course, we might all be shocked by the amount of food that we do actually waste. In these tough times, residents might like to visit scotland.lovefoodhatewaste.com to see how they can eat well, save money and create less waste all round.”

All Renfrewshire household will receive leaflets containing detailed instructions on how best to recycle their food waste.

Paisley Abbey

Explore area’s hidden gems for Doors Open Day

The countdown is on to Renfrewshire’s Doors Open Day, with more than 60 local buildings set to offer visitors a peek behind the scenes this weekend.

The event offers residents a showcase of the area’s fascinating architectural history, with this year marking the 20th anniversary of Renfrewshire’s participation.

This year – for the first time – there is a special feature for children in the form of a wicked-history-themed Diabolical Diaries booklet.

There will be prizes for any child who picks up at least five ‘venue-stamps’ in their booklet, available through all libraries and participating venues.

Buildings set to throw open their doors include historic gems such as Paisley Abbey as well as newer sites like St Mirren Park and the On-X Leisure Centre in Linwood.

Other highlights include a chance to see the A-listed Bascule Bridge at Renfrew in action, with the bridge set to open at 11am, 1pm and 3pm on Saturday.

Also open will be local churches, fire stations and Paisley Sheriff Court. There will also be tours of Glasgow Airport, but places on these are now fully booked.

Paisley Abbey

Other events of note include:

– a family fun day in Paisley’s Johnston Street to mark the end of a £1m investment in the Causeyside Street area from noon until 5pm on Saturday;

– an information event regarding the project to restore the stunning 19th-century Grand Fountain in Paisley’s Fountain Gardens from 1 to 4pm on Saturday;

– a consultation event to let residents have their say on the latest proposals for the Semple Heritage Trail project in Lochwinnoch’s Castle Semple Centre on Sunday from noon until 4pm.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall said: “Doors Open Day is a great chance for residents to uncover the hidden gems on their own doorstep.

“Renfrewshire has some superb buildings, both old and new, and I would encourage everybody to get out and about and take stock of their own surroundings.”

Residents are also invited to take part in a photo competition through social media.

All they have to do to be in with a chance of some great prizes is share their photos of the day on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram tagged with the hashtag #doorsopendaysrenfrewshire

Doors Open Day is one of many European Heritage Days, which take place in over 50 countries, with more than 20 million visits each year.

For more information and for a full list of participating venues, visit www.doorsopendays.org.uk, or pick up a brochure from any Renfrewshire library.

Provost Hall starting her abseil

Provost’s delight at charity fundraising effort

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall has expressed her delight at the final total raised for four local charities by a summer charity abseil.

Provost Hall and twenty volunteers abseiled from the roof of Renfrewshire Council’s headquarters building in May.

With the final donations coming in this week, the abseil raised a total of £4,753.50.

Provost Hall starting her abseil

The event launched a new charity-giving scheme to support four local charities chosen by Provost Hall. The charities – Renfrewshire Carers’ Centre, RAMH (Recovery Across Mental Health) and two hospices, ACCORD and St Vincent’s – will share equally in donations received over the Provost’s term in office.

Provost Hall said: “It was a really exciting experience abseiling from the roof and the perfect way to launch the new charity-giving scheme – and I’m just as excited to hear the final total now all the donations are in.”

“The abseilers all did themselves proud and that’s shown in the fantastic amount of sponsorship money they were able to raise.”

“I’d also like to take the opportunity to once again thank Civil Defence Scotland for guiding us through the preparations and organising everything to do with the abseiling.

“It really could not have happened without their professional expertise. They are a registered charity providing a volunteer national emergency response team and I’m so glad we were able to work with them on this occasion.”

“The abseil was a very encouraging start to this joint fund-raising approach and I look forward to more people getting involved in the months and years ahead.”

Details of more charity fundraising activities from Provost Hall will be announced soon but, in the meantime, donations can be made direct to the collective charity fund online or in bank branches using:

* Account Number: 20041937

* Sort code: 82-54-04

More information about the scheme is available online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostcharities

To learn more about Civil Defence Scotland, and for information about volunteering with them, visit www.civildefencescotland.org.uk

Cllr Roy Glen

£200k cash boost for extra apprenticeships

Renfrewshire Council is to pour an extra £200,000 into creating up to 40 new apprenticeship positions for young people within the local authority.

The council already runs a highly-regarded apprenticeship programme, which offers opportunities in both office-based and craft environments for people aged 16 to 19.

Young people who sign up to be a modern apprentice get the chance to pick up on-the-job experience while studying for a relevant vocational qualification.

Cllr Roy GlenFunding for the additional posts will come from the council’s £8m Invest in Renfrewshire scheme, which has the twin aims of boosting the local economy and tackling youth unemployment.

The cash injection will provide a £5,000 subsidy for each new apprenticeship, with the relevant council department meeting the rest of the salary cost.

Currently the council’s modern apprenticeship scheme offers opportunities in areas such as business admin and customer service, as well as trades including joinery, bricklaying and gardening.

Councillor Roy Glen, convener of the council’s Economy and Jobs Policy Board, said: “Creating employment opportunities for young people is a big priority for us.

“Modern apprenticeships are a great way for young people to learn on the job while picking up a relevant qualification.

“The council’s modern apprenticeship scheme has already provided a route into work for hundreds of young people, and this extra funding will increase the number of opportunities available.”

Invest in Renfrewshire has been in operation for more than a year, and includes a number of schemes designed to help young people into work.

This includes an employer recruitment incentive, which provides a wage subsidy when a company takes on an unemployed young person, as well as a graduate internship scheme.

The council’s modern apprenticeship scheme was honoured at a prestigious national awards ceremony earlier this year, when it was named the joint-winner of the Apprentice Award category at the s1jobs recruitment awards.

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil.

rocco2013

ROCCO 2013 – Still time to enter….

The ROCCOs are the annual business awards of Renfrewshire Chamber. Now in their 10th year, they are the main corporate event in Renfrewshire. The ROCCOs are fast paced, fun and a great way for local businesses to get recognised for their success and reward staff & clients. This year the Chamber has 16 categories – all free to enter. Companies & organisations can enter as many as they wish. Entry is open to all members based anywhere AND non-members that are based in Renfrewshire. Deadline for entry is 9am on Monday 16th September – so still time to enter.

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ROCCO 2013 main sponsor is Life Technologies whose EMEA HQ is in Inchinnan.

There are 3 new categories this year:

ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business <=5 staff sponsored by IRW Systems
ROCCO Award for Enterprise in Education sponsored by the University of the West of Scotland
ROCCO Award for Community Champion of the Year sponsored by Engage Renfrewshire & The Royal Bank of Scotland

The remaining 13 are:

ROCCO Award for Customer Service sponsored by intu Braehead
ROCCO Award for Journey to Zero Waste sponsored by the William Tracey Group
ROCCO Award for Excellence in Manufacturing sponsored by the Scottish Leather Group
ROCCO Award for Innovation & Technology sponsored by MEPC Hillington Park
ROCCO Award for Business Leader of the Year sponsored by Diageo
ROCCO Award for Family Business of the Year sponsored by The Malcolm Group
ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business >5 & <25 staff sponsored by Renfrewshire Council
ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business >25 staff sponsored by the Phoenix Car Company
ROCCO Award for Best New Business sponsored by Business Gateway
ROCCO Award for International Trade sponsored by Glasgow Airport
ROCCO Award for Young Business Person of the Year sponsored by West College Scotland
ROCCO Award for Employer of the Year sponsored by Rolls Royce
ROCCO Award for Invest in Renfrewshire sponsored by Renfrewshire Council

 

Shortlisted companies & organisations (excluding Business Leader) will get invited to attend a panel interview / presentation in October – the 3 judges will be sponsor, a Chamber Board Director and a neutral subject matter expert.

The night itself is Friday 15th November at The Normandy Hotel, always a sell-out with just under 500 people attending (black tie). The host this year is ROCCO favourite, Fred MacAulay

To enter, book a table or find out more info, visit www.roccoawards.com

Presenting the DoE winners with their awards

Eight more ‘golden’ pupils achieve Duke of Edinburgh success

Eight Renfrewshire pupils from Park Mains High School and Kersland School are celebrating after achieving a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

The golden eight have achieved the highest standard possible in the long-running national scheme for young people.

Renfrewshire Council is an ‘operating authority’ for the scheme and the council’s Youth and Sports Services team is currently taking many local young people through the scheme.

The scheme asks young people to volunteer, develop a skill or hobby, test their physical fitness and undertake an expedition. Participants work through the Bronze and Silver award levels before attempting the ultimate Gold Award.

Councillor Stuart Clark, depute convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education Policy Board, met with the winners and said: “My congratulations to all eight of these pupils and their families.

“The Duke of Edinburgh Scheme needs a major commitment of time and effort and it’s great to meet a group of young people who worked all the way through the scheme to reach the highest standard possible.

“A Duke of Edinburgh Award is a major boost to any young person’s CV and I know it’s highly valued by prospective employers.”

The eight pupils to receive their Gold Award were:

* Miriam Donald (Park Mains)

* Fraser Gunn (Park Mains)

* Sarah-Jane MacIntyre (Park Mains)

* Sandy Sneddon (Park Mains)

* Steven Coutts (Kersland)

* Darren McEachran (Kersland)

* Laura Mitchell (Kersland)

* Rory Wilson (Kersland)

 

Youth and Sport Services are currently looking for adult volunteers who can support scheme activities. If you’re interesting in lending your support, call the team on 0141 889 1110

Futurefest

Renfrewshire Young people turn out for council careers fair

Young people from Renfrewshire turned out to a council-run event to meet people who could help them find their ideal career.

The Futuresfest careers fair for young people aged 16 to 24 took place at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre and featured more than 40 exhibitors.

They included significant local employers such as Quarriers, the Lynnhurst Hotel and St Mirren FC.

Visitors on the day could also speak to staff from training providers, and organisations including the NHS, JobCentre Plus and Skills Development Scotland.

Council staff were on hand to dish out information about their apprenticeship scheme, youth employability hub and £8m Invest in Renfrewshire programme.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan popped along to see the event for himself, and said: “The council will do all it can to make sure young people have the best chance possible of finding work.

“The aim of Futuresfest was to give them the opportunity to speak to a range of people who can help them get to where they want to be in life.

“Whether it be further education, apprenticeships, access to training or help finding work, there was something for everyone on offer.”

The same day also saw an open day at the council’s youth employability hub in Gauze Street, Paisley.

Staff at the hub are able to offer young people aged between 16 and 24 help with finding work, access to training and CV and letter writing.

For more information about the council’s youth employment services, call 0300 300 1180, email employability@renfrewshire.gov.uk or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

Renfrewshire Business hub opening

New hub for local firms is open for Renfrewshire business

A one-stop shop where local firms can find out how to get financial help has been officially opened for business.

The Invest in Renfrewshire Business Hub in Lawn Street, Paisley was given the seal the seal of approval by invited guests from the local business community at a recent event.

Invest in Renfrewshire is Renfrewshire Council’s flagship £8m programme to boost the local economy and tackle youth unemployment.

Renfrewshire Business hub opening

The new facility is open for any local company – whether big or small – to pop in and find out more about the range of support on offer through Invest in Renfrewshire.

It also boasts meeting rooms and will be a venue for networking and business information events, with a series of ‘meet the expert’ clinics in the pipeline.

To mark the official opening, Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan welcomed representatives of local firms, training providers and partner organisations to a business breakfast at the hub.

He said: “The council sees the local economy as a top priority, which is why we have made a sizeable financial commitment to the Invest in Renfrewshire programme.

“It is essential that small businesses are given the chance to thrive, and the council has a key role to play in creating conditions in which that can happen.

“The new business hub is intended to be exactly that – a central place where local firms can visit, attend events, access funding, and network with other professionals.

“Our team of business development advisors are on hand to offer help and advice, as will staff from Business Gateway, who will be based there one day a week.

“We would also encourage any small businesses who need somewhere to go to meet clients can use the facility by booking one of our meeting rooms.”

Renfrewshire Business hub opening

Support on offer to local businesses through Invest in Renfrewshire includes the following;

– business growth grants of up to £10,000 to help firms develop new products or pay for property improvements and IT equipment

– financial help of up to £5,000 for any company taking on an unemployed person or a graduate intern

– loans to help businesses grow or meet the cost of specific projects

– retail improvement grants and help with staff training.

Find more opportunities and information by going to www.investinrenfrewshire.com

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£100,000 science boost for Renfrewshire schools

Renfrewshire schools are set for a £100,000 science boost after the local council concluded an agreement to take part in a science grant scheme.

The council has linked up with the Edina Trust, a charitable organisation that offers grants to promote the teaching of science and gardening.

renfrewshire council logo .JPGEach year a maximum grant of £550 is available from the Edina Trust to each primary school, pre-five centre, or additional support needs (ASN) school.

In Renfrewshire’s case, that could mean up to £35,200 being available for each of the three years in which the grant scheme is available.

Councillor Stuart Clark, Depute Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education Policy Board, said: “The Edina Trust is well known for its work in encouraging interest and achievement in science.

“Renfrewshire Council is delighted to be working with the Trust. Many of our schools already have innovative approaches on science or environmental projects. This substantial funding boost will enhance that work.”

Dave McLavin, Senior Communications Officer. Tel 0141 618 7398.

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil.

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New £600,000 fund to soften the ‘bedroom tax’ blow

Renfrewshire Council is setting up a new £600,000 cash pot to help council tenants who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the ‘bedroom tax’.

The money will be available via a new Council Tenant Assistance Fund to help council tenants who receive Housing Benefit and are struggling to pay their rent because they’re affected by under occupancy rules.

renfrewshire council logo .JPGCouncillor Tommy Williams, Convener of the Housing and Community Safety Policy Board said: “This major investment is part of our on-going response to help our tenants cope with the UK Government’s ‘bedroom tax’.

“Between April and July, 684 council tenants applied for Discretionary Housing Payment to assist them with their housing costs, with the majority of those affected by the ‘bedroom tax’.

“But while many have come for support, there are still tenants who are clearly struggling to pay their rent because of ‘bedroom tax’ who haven’t come to us for help. We’ve already said that we won’t evict our tenants who fall into arrears as a result of the ‘bedroom tax’, as long as they’re working with us, and we want them to know that this assistance fund is now available to help them cope with the strain of under occupancy.

“We absolutely do not want local families to face hardship because of the ‘bedroom tax’ and we’ll continue to work with our tenants to help them.”

The Council Tenant Assistance Fund will solely help council tenants in financial hardship because of ‘bedroom tax’. The cash is coming from the Housing Revenue Account which by law, can only be spent on council tenants.

To apply to the Council Tenant Assistance Fund, download a form at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/dhp or you can call 0300 300 0204 to ask for a form to be sent out to you.

Anyone who needs help to fill out a form (and for general financial support) should call Advice Works on 0300 300 1238.

The creation of the Council Tenant Assistance Fund was agreed at the Housing and Community Safety Policy Board earlier today.