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A review by Nadia Dawson of a presentation entitled Recycling facts and fiction – how your bin can save the world by Martyn Fuller, Director of Marketing for Veolia.

After a brief outline of his career progression, Martyn gave us some background information on Veolia which has French roots and a very broad company portfolio of waste collection services around the world. In the UK, most people associate Veolia with the emptying of their bins however, they are actually very actively involved with activities in the three main service and utility areas traditionally managed by public authorities ie water, waste management and energy services.

Some examples of little-known actualities about Veolia’s diverse range of services in the UK include the fact that the clean, green and sustainable energy created from their management of the un-recyclable waste collected in Sheffield actually provides heat to over 125 of the city’s buildings including the university, leisure facilities, hospitals and households. Their control of the waste management system at Lincoln Hospital ensures the provision of all its lighting, heating and hot water and, the plastic tarpaulin that covered the grass at last year’s FA cup final was made from rubbish recycled by Veolia.

Having made members aware of the wide-ranging variety of services Veolia are involved in, Martyn then referred to everybody’s current bug bear which is why some residents in West Lindsey are not getting their blue bins emptied.

The recently enacted Environment Act 2021 states that recycling streams should be collected separately so, in order to achieve the national targets for recycling, we are being asked to increase the quantity of material that can be recycled by putting the “Right Thing in the Right Bin”; this will ensure that more items are successfully recycled back into products that can be reused. In WL, the ‘old’ method for collecting recycling (all in the blue bin) meant that the vast majority of any paper and card was often contaminated and prone to becoming damp, wet and stained. By collecting it separately in the purple lidded bin, it will now be kept clean and dry so it can be recycled, baled and sold. The current price for a ton of recycled paper and card is between £80 and £90 so it is to our benefit that we put the “Right Thing in the Right Bin” because, once collected, it is sent directly to a dedicated paper mill in Kings Lynn and Lincolnshire County Council receive an income from it.

For obvious reasons then, Veolia cannot empty bins that contain the wrong materials so, if you place paper and card into your blue bin it will not be emptied because it becomes contaminated. Paper and card will now only be accepted in the purple-lidded bin and your blue bin will be tagged and not emptied until you have removed the items not suitable for recycling.

Veolia will be working with us to make sure that we get it right because this is all about us doing the right thing to help protect the environment for the future. The money that Lincolnshire recoup from these financial efficiencies will be ploughed back into waste services for everyone in Lincolnshire so eventually we will all benefit and, by using a specialist paper company, we can reduce the number of miles paper and cardboard travels before being fully recycled, and our carbon footprint. By reducing the contamination in the rest of the recycling, this process also becomes more efficient both economically and environmentally and, the separate collections with the new service means there is no increase to our carbon footprint, as the same number of lorries are collecting recycling so there is no increased mileage.

When it is all properly explained, it all makes perfect sense however, as Martyn pointed out, although Veolia are trying to make the system uniform, the different councils are causing unnecessary chaos because they do not have a common policy for bin colours. Why is it that one area has green bins for compost whereas another has brown? This doesn’t make any sense at all and needs to be addressed as soon as possible; in the meantime, Veolia will continue to endeavour to get more material recycled if you put plastic bottles, tubs and cartons, glass bottles and jars and metal cans and tins in your blue bin and all dry paper and card in the purple lidded one.

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May Newsletter

The May newsletter is here…

You can access the newsletter from this post or from the email the majority of our members will receive by the 18th May 2022

If you haven’t told us your email address or if it has changed… to avoid missing out send your updated email details to membership@westwoldsu3a.org.

If you would like to make comment on this newsletter or submit an article for the next issue then please send details to newsletter@westwoldsu3a.org by Friday 27th May 2022.

We would really like to hear from you now that u3a events are beginning to take off again

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Use of your stamps and collectables by the Leprosy Mission

We would like to show you what the stamps that are donated and collected by Eunice Hughes are used for by the Leprosy Mission and what it did for a small child in another country. keep donating any stamps to Eunice who passes them on to the charity.

To see the letter form the Leprosy Mission click here

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The Digital Photography Group – Best Photos of the Month

Here are the photos of the month for our April themes of Spring ( Mary Orphanoudakis), Lens Flare ( Steve McCarthy) and Best Photo ( Angela Wilson). For further photos taken by our group go to our challenge page https://westwoldsu3a.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=8458&action=edit

Bluebell Wood – Mary Orphoudakis
Lens Flare – Steve McCarthy
Best Photo – Angela Wilson
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Membership Update

Do you read the Third Age Matters magazine?

Those eagle eyes among you will be well aware that times are getting tougher, and of course our u3a is no exception.  Your committee have spent some considerable time thinking how we might save money rather than put up the fees, and one of our largest expenses is the cost of our National magazine which is £3.35 per annum per household to cover the postage on five issues.  This is called Third Age Matters (TAM). 

We are aware that these are not widely read by our members, though there are some who enjoy receiving and reading them.  Other local u3a’s charge their members extra to receive TAM.  We don’t want to go down that road at this time but instead we have decided to ask you to let me know if you want to continue to receive this.  Therefore will you please let me know by the end of July if you want to continue to receive the magazine.  If I don’t hear from you, I will assume you do not want TAM.

Jane Guy, Membership Secretary

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Spanish Group Newsletter

Click here to see the May 2022 Newsletter for the Spanish Group

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Gardening Group May Update

The latest newsletter is available by clicking here…

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Photography Group

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Digital Security Online Session

The u3a have arranged with Barclays Digital Team to run a Digital Security Workshop

on Wednesday May 11th at 10am to 11.30am.

To take part, click    REGISTER HERE  which takes you to the booking site called Eventbrite.

Once registered you will receive an email confirmation and later a link to join the presentation.

This may suit those members who could not make the Lincs Police Cyber Team event earlier this month.

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April Newsletter

The April newsletter is here…

You can access the newsletter from this post or from the email the majority of our members will receive by the 18th April 2022

If you haven’t told us your email address or if it has changed… to avoid missing out send your updated email details to membership@westwoldsu3a.org.

If you would like to make comment on this newsletter or submit an article for the next issue then please send details to newsletter@westwoldsu3a.org by Friday 6th May 2022.

We would really like to hear from you now that u3a events are beginning to take off again

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Spanish Group

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“Galaxies – one gigayear at a time”

A review by Nadia Dawson of a presentation given by Dr Julian Onions entitled “Galaxies – one gigayear at a time”.

I was somewhat perturbed when I read the title of this month’s talk as I knew absolutely nothing about galaxies and had no idea what a gigayear was. With that in mind, I decided I must not prejudge just because I hated physics and chemistry with a passion at school, so I would give our speaker, Dr Julian Onions a chance. I really wouldn’t have been surprised if Julian had stood in front of us in a ‘white coat’, but then I remembered that the TV presenter Professor Brian Cox had actually made basic astronomy quite palatable for the likes of me so, I was prepared to sit back and listen and maybe learn as Julian began his talk. 

Like Professor Cox, Julian also had an easy manner and explained that as an astrophysicist based at Nottingham University, he studied objects in the universe including galaxies and stars in order to understand what they are made of, their features, histories and how they were formed. He then went on to explain that a gigayear equals a billion years and a galaxy is a collection of gas, dust and billions of stars and their solar systems all held together by gravity and, just so you know, the word billion regularly slipped off Julian’s tongue in the course of his presentation.

The collection of stars we see when we look up at the sky at night is known as the Milky Way, and it was first identified by William Herschel in 1785 using his own home-made telescope. Julian went on to explain that a galaxy is mostly empty space which is why it is so difficult to explore because it is estimated that it would take 100,000 years to get from one side of our galaxy to the other and that there are more than 100 billion (there’s that word again!) galaxies in the universe.

In 1924, the American astronomer Edwin Hubble revolutionised astronomy when he announced he had evidence that the Milky Way galaxy was just one of many galaxies in an ever-expanding universe. Through his 100inch telescope he saw stars similar to the ones in our galaxy but they were like fuzzy blobs in the night sky. From this, he deduced that other galaxies extended around us in space for many billions (there it is again!) of light years. He did a lot of research and eventually categorised what he saw into four groups according to their shape which he named spirals, ellipticals, lenticulars and irregular galaxies.

Julian confirmed that galaxies are continually making stars with on average, one new star being born every year in the Milky Way. The colour of every star relates to its surface temperature so, the coolest stars in the sky glow red but, as surface temperatures rise, the colours change to orange then yellow with the hottest stars glowing a dark blue. At this point my eyes did start to glaze over a bit as my brain just isn’t equipped to handle these enormous figures and I really can’t imagine seeing red and blue stars in my night sky?? Nevertheless, both Julian and I persevered, and I was extremely surprised when he said that he doesn’t spend all his time looking through a telescope but loading models of the universe onto a computer in order to see invisible stuff called dark matter and dark energy. From the simulations produced by the computer, it is possible to make predictions about their behaviour but we’re limited by the speed of light as the universe began 13.8 billion (there it is again!) years ago.

Whilst I’m still trying to ‘take in’ all this information, Julian moves on to discuss quasars which were only discovered in 1963. A quasar is always found near a supermassive black hole and every galaxy, including ours, has a black hole at its centre. Anything that falls into a black hole disappears forever, but nobody actually knows why so not only are there still many, many unanswered questions for today’s and tomorrow’s astrophysicists to get their teeth into, but there are also new space telescopes being built to try and help answer these questions too. In the meantime, thanks to Julian, I am definitely now more aware of what else is ‘up there’ when I look at those twinkling stars in a clear black sky.

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March Photos of the Month from the Digital Photography Group

Here are the photos that we decided between the group was the best photos from the two themes of ‘Umbrellas’ and ‘Macro Photography’, and from the best photos submitted for this month. For all of the photos produced by the group this month look at the Challenges page.

Jazzy Umbrellas
Furry Caterpiller unfurling
A very peaceful scene in Milton Keynes
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Gardening Group April Update

The latest newsletter is available by clicking here…

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March Newsletter

The March newsletter is here…

You can access the newsletter from this post or from the email the majority of our members will receive by the 16th March 2022

If you haven’t told us your email address or if it has changed… to avoid missing out send your updated email details to membership@westwoldsu3a.org.

If you would like to make comment on this newsletter or submit an article for the next issue then please send details to newsletter@westwoldsu3a.org by Friday 8th April 2022.

We would really like to hear from you now that u3a events are beginning to take off again

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