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May 6, 2009

Every conference should have one

Award winning community recycling group from Golspie – GREAN – have just launched a new recycling service  – an onsite events/conference recycling facility. At the recent social enterprise trade fair, S2S, they were able to divert 150kgs of material from landfill and made a decent bit of income into the bargain.  They’re hoping this will become a standard feature of every community sector event and are waiting for conference planners to give them a call

Golspie Recycling and Environmental Action Network


GREAN formed as a result of a public meeting in December 2000. This followed several months during which a working group had met on several occasions to look at the feasibility of developing locally based recycling solutions in line with Highland, Scottish, UK and EU Directives on Waste diversion from landfill. 

GREAN’s objectives are:
• To recycle locally produced waste
• To reduce landfill
• To reduce waste disposal costs incurred by local businesses
• To promote a green identity and establish green redentials for the Golspie area, attracting capital and revenue support
• To promote a positive community awareness on waste minimisation
• To provide and support educational initiatives on waste minimisation
• To assist agriculture locally
• To attract interest, including tourist interest, to community activity in Golspie which will result in revenue to the area
• To establish core enterprises initially and thereafter add on further linked enterprises as and when resources and opportunities become available
• To provide job opportunities with an emphasis on social inclusion

GREAN took as its first priority to raise environmental awareness, to undertake environmental education and to encourage the take up of recycling through kerbside collections within Golspie.
To date GREAN has been directly involved in the kerbside collection and recycling of paper, card, cans, textiles, bicycles and lawnmowers and, uniquely in the Highlands, plastics, in Golspie, Dornoch, Helmsdale, Brora, Lairg and Bonar Bridge; waste awareness and education; a community composting and garden scheme within Golspie; and the provision of New Deal and other training placements.
Structure and Workforce

GREAN is a community enterprise.  Its membership elects six unpaid directors who line manage the Project Manager.

GREAN currently (Spring 2008) employs 15 staff full time and one part time; of these employees, 14 have been recruited either through training placements or from unemployment.  Seasonal employment coincides with students summer and winter vacations.  A small group of volunteers run the Community Garden Scheme.

Our workforce varies in age from 15 to 63 and includes several staff who have experienced barriers to employment.  Only one person was in employment before starting with GREAN.

New events recycling service

GREAN launched their new events recycling service at the S2S conference held in Edinburgh on 23rd April.  The recycling service was tailor made for this event, which was well received and resulted in diversion of over 150kgs of material from landfill. GREAN workers were busy all day promoting the service and we hope that any intending organisers of conferences, trade fairs etc will contact us for more details and a quotation. Recycling is a must for any event of this nature and we hope this will provide GREAN with another income generating activity which will help to sustain employment and training at home in Sutherland.