WINNER - SHEFFIELD FREEGLE: In all the arguments surrounding bin collections and what goes where, people often complain about confusing messages on the need for recycling.
Sheffield Freegle is an internet recycling/reuse group based on Yahoo! groups which aims to simplify the issue wherever possible.
It does this by matching someone who has something they don’t need or no longer use with someone who can make good use of it.
As an example, you have a washing machine you don’t need and face taking it to the tip. So you join your local Freegle group and post and offer and interested parties reply to you privately. You choose who who it goes to and arrangments are made to collect it. So the washer didn’t go to landfill, someone who needed it can use it, fix it or or use the parts for spares. Likewise, if an item is needed it can be requested by placing a wanted post in the same way.
Sheffield Freegle has more than 5,000 members with more than 1,400 postings a month, which adds up to an awful lot of items saved from the dump.
Key personnel are Adam and Tracy Rennison and Eliese Finnegan, who are all full-time volunteers. They work tirelessly in Sheffield with the Freegle gazebo seen at many local events.
Sheffield Freegle attracts funding from a number of organisations who understand how well the group gets the practical recycling message across.
Eamonn Ward, who nominated the group, said: “The beauty of Freegle is its simplicity but, like everything, it needs some truly dedicated people to put the ideas into practice. I think all the volunteers who make Sheffield Freegle a continuing success deserve this nomination.’’
FINALIST - HEELEY CITY FARM: The farm is a registered charity which works with disadvantaged adults and young people to teach them vital life skills, as well as how to carea for animals and the environment.
The farm has numerous ongoing local projects, all with the emphasis on sustainable living.
Heeley is home to a recycling site, using bins painted as cows, and they produce compost as a by-product of the fam but also with garden waste from the local community.
The Farm Garden Centre sells discounted compost bins through a scheme with Veolia Ennvironmental Services and also sells Green Estate compost. This is produced locally from local garden waste as part of the green bin and sack collection services.
Heeley City Farm has a vast network of dedicated volunteers and through them, many young people now have an awareness of sustainable and healthier living.