Greening Wallingford (3.10.2009)

OCC Hustings (11.5.2009)

Launch of 2009/2010 Buy Local Directory (7.5.2009)


Wallingford’s ‘Tetra Pak’ mountain is finally on the move (27.2.2008)

It has taken several years to achieve, but at midday on Saturday 1 March 2008, Wallingford’s mountain of drink cartons will at last be sent for recycling. The cartons – of which the best-known type is the Tetra Pak – will get a special send-off in Wallingford Market Place to mark the end of a long campaign by members of local green group, Sustainable Wallingford. The group has collected so many cartons that a large lorry, supplied by Tetra Pak, will be needed to transport them from the town.

Sustainable Wallingford started collecting drinks cartons at its popular Swap Shop events nearly three years ago. With no local recycling facilities then available, the cartons were brought in to Swap Shops in their hundreds by local residents. Sustainable Wallingford volunteers squashed and packed the cartons ready for eventual recycling.  While members of the group researched the best way of doing this, the steadily growing quantity of cartons was stored at the home of Sustainable Wallingford member, Christine Sharrock.

But getting them recycled proved trickier than expected. Although drinks cartons like Tetra Paks are recyclable, the materials in them are hard to separate. As well as paperboard, the cartons contain aluminium and plastic and these different elements have to be separated out in the recycling process. There is a lack of processing facilities in the UK, so the Wallingford Tetra Paks collected on 1 March will be baled up and shipped to Sweden where they will be processed in a paper mill and turned into plasterboard lining.

Caron Spence of Sustainable Wallingford’s Waste Group said: “We’re delighted that the mountain is on the move at last, so that Wallingford will get its Tetra Paks recycled – and Christine can get her house back!”

Local recycling facilities have improved since Sustainable Wallingford first starting collecting Tetra Paks. Oxfordshire County Council has now introduced recycling containers at its Waste Recycling Centres such as Oakley Wood.

And there is more good news; South Oxfordshire District Council have introduced a Tetrapak juice carton bank in the car park of the SODC offices in Crowmarsh.

Getting ready to move the Tetra Pak Mountain

André, the friendly lorry driver, who came to take them away

Surveying the size of the task

And this is just a fraction of what we throw away every day!

Moving the cartons towards the lorry

ITV Thames Valley News were there to cover the event...

...and so were the BBC

Yet more Tetra Paks in Wallingford Market Place

Another angle on the mountain

The Oxford Mail photographer goes for his shot

Making sure all those Tetra Paks really are on their way

And a 'Thank You' for Christine, who's relieved to get her house back!


New ‘Buy Local’ directory brings shopping back home (19.4.2007)

An OSCA for Sustainable Wallingford (October 2006)


Our recycling drive at BunkFest gets massive public response. (8.9.2006)


Music fans who attended this year’s BunkFest folk festival in Wallingford were in tune with a brand new recycling enterprise that was inaugurated at this year’s event.

An enthusiastic response to the initiative from festival-goers meant that 77% of the waste collected was recycled.

Three recycling stations were placed around the festival site as well as containers for plastic beer glasses at the beer tent and the Cross Keys pub. Three bottle banks were provided for glass.

Sustainable Wallingford volunteers led by Brian Landowski and supported by the Community Action Group project and Oxfordshire County Council set up the recycling stations and emptied the bins at regular intervals.

Helping to draw attention to their efforts was the tall, costumed figure of Recycling Ricky. Litter picks were also undertaken by the Wallingford scout group.

Community Action Group coordinator Hannah Moser said: “I was surprised how well people had done at separating their rubbish. Even at 9.30 on Saturday night there were still cans in the can bin, plastic cups in the plastic bin and paper in the paper bin. I am really proud of the people involved in this scheme and delighted by the level of commitment from the general public and their interest in the recycling scheme. It was so great to see people thinking about what they would do with their rubbish and to me this event has shown just how well people respond to recycling when they are given the right facilities, opportunity and good information!”

Brian Landowski, Bunkfest recycling scheme coordinator said: “I really think the message got across. The advertising campaign and the whole way we approached it worked. I think a lot of people took it on board; I had some amazing reactions from people. Kids were collecting cans to crush and really wanting to take part. I think it’s just amazing. I’m flabbergasted by the amount of waste collected for recycling and the number of people who used the bins. It just goes to show people can recycle well if they’re given the right facilities.”

Following the success of this scheme, Oxfordshire County Council and the Community Action Group project are looking to find other festivals and volunteers who want to replicate this idea.

For more information about the Community Action Group project please contact Hannah Moser on 01865 815871 or 077930647190 or visit their web-site .

Pictures supplied courtesy of Oxfordshire County Council. Photographer: Mark Bassett


Our Events in March 2006


‘Buy Local’ Directory – Launch Report (30.4.2005)

The Sustainable Wallingford volunteers were delighted to have an excellent pitch right next to the Pig Roast. The irresistible smell of roasting meat soon had the crowds heading our way and many were pleased to have a (free!) copy of “where to buy local – in and around Wallingford”. Another attraction was a chance to enter the Draw with prizes donated by the businesses listed in the directory. Anyone who shopped at their stalls could get a free ticket, so customers came to see what Sustainable Wallingford had to offer.

The main prize for the Draw was a big box containing local wine, beer, fish, beef and lamb, also eggs, vegetables, cheese, jam, honey, cakes, biscuits, a lovely potted plant and an ornamental cross made from willow.


The winner of this FM Box was Alan Fisher of Chalgrove. Mr and Mrs. Fisher come regularly to the market because they love the atmosphere and appreciate the high quality of the produce.

Second prize was a voucher for £10 to spend at Gary Smith’s Butchers shop in Benson. It was won by Joanna McKendrick of Headington. This was her second visit to Wallingford Farmers’ Market. She comes because the meat is so much better than in the supermarkets. She tries to buy organic food where possible. She thinks her mum and her dad will spend the butcher’s voucher on some sirloin! Joanna also praised the variety of the local food, and being able to get food that she might not have had before. She mentioned getting wild garlic in her veggie box, which she wouldn’t have bought normally.

A little basket of foods from the Cottage Kitchen in Benson was the 3rd prize and the winner, Sara Whammond, came from RAF Benson. She and daughter Charlotte (9) are regulars at the farmers’ market in Wallingford. They also subscribe to a veg box scheme, so are keen supporters of local produce. Sara said “In this area it’s quite easy to shop locally compared to other areas and the price is really not that different from that of the big supermarkets. We feel that we’re getting food that is less sprayed with chemicals, which we’re unhappy about, and we’re also shopping locally.”

Comments from people who came to the stall

Name: Linda Cook (aged 29) from Abingdon on reading our Directory

‘This is absolutely fantastic! I wish Abingdon would do the same’

Name: Val Mowlam. Profession was a Health Visitor now a Nutritional Therapist

‘I always visit the farmers’ market to get fish and fresh organic vegetables. These markets support the local community supplying fresh food that has travelled few food miles. I like to eat seasonal organic produce because it is more “alive”. It has the highest nutrient content, is free from pesticides and tastes better. I also shop at Green Bean on Saturday mornings and at Garlands in Pangbourne’

Name: Penny Kiley. Profession: editor.

‘I believe that every choice we make as consumers has an impact on society, good or bad. (For example, the effect of ‘food miles’ on the environment, or keeping a local shop from closing down.) I sometimes feel that the supermarkets, because of their dominance, actually take away a lot of choice.

Buying local is a ‘win-win’ situation because it’s better for the environment and the community and it’s also great for you as a consumer. For me, the best things about buying local are eating with the seasons, trying things that are distinct and different, and knowing that I am supporting someone in my local community. My favourite ‘buy local’ moment: coming home from the farmers’ market with the first asparagus and strawberries for lunch and feeling that it marked the beginning of summer.

I hope this directory will encourage people to try an alternative to the supermarket and I think they will be pleasantly surprised by the quality and value of what they buy.’

We also spoke to Alison Robertson who is very interested in food/health issues. She said her husband James Robertson writes on sustainability. We have not yet followed up with a telephone call, but have their number and could probably get some comments if needed.


The Directory will be distributed door to door in Wallingford by Sustainable Wallingford supporters on Saturday 7th May. Copies will be available at “down-to-earth” in Wallingford and at The Cottage Kitchen in Benson.

It is now on this web site.

This provides a page for each supplier with links to their own web sites where available and will be kept up to date to include new entries or changes.


‘Buy Local’ Directory (30.4.2005)

We are lucky to live in an area where there is so much good food and drink produced locally. Now Sustainable Wallingford (with financial help from South Oxfordshire District Council) have put together a ‘buy local’ directory to help spread the word.

The booklet includes details of where you can buy locally-produced food and drink, join a vegetable box scheme, or contact local craftspeople. Everything in the directory is produced within a 30-mile radius of Wallingford and sold within seven miles of the town.

The directory was launched at Wallingford Farmers’ Market on Saturday 30th April. Visitors met members of Sustainable Wallingford at their stall and found out why we think buying local is important. Many of the local businesses in the directory are also stallholders at the Farmers’ Market, and their customers were given free raffle tickets with a basket of locally produced goodies as the prize.

Volunteers are distributing copies to local residents after the launch. Copies will also be available at local shops, and on this website.


Wallingford Bunkfest 2004

Sustainable Wallingford had a successful day on 4th September at the Wallingford Bunkfest.  There was a minimum of 4 volunteers helping on the stall all throughout the day, and up to 6 at busy times.  We were lucky enough to be centrally situated on the Kinecroft and in the craft marquee which helped there to be a constant stream of interest.

We would like to thank South Oxfordshire District Council for enabling us to organise this environmental activity tent. There was a large amount of interest and it was a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness amongst the public about their ecological impact of their every day activities.

Click for Report


Wallingford contributes to World Environment Day, 5th June 2004

Many of Wallingford’s leading retailers took part in Sustainable Wallingford’s initiative to mark World Environment day on Saturday 5th June. 700 cotton bags bearing the Sustainable Wallingford logo were distributed to 9 Wallingford retailers, with customers encouraged to refuse a plastic bag in favour of a more environmentally-friendly re-usable version.

The bag day was the idea of Sustainable Wallingford’s Sarah Webb, who said, “We are delighted that so many stores in Wallingford agreed to support this initiative. Reducing the number of plastic bags in circulation is an important way of cutting down on the amount of non-biodegradable rubbish that goes to landfill.”

One of the retailers taking part in the campaign was KP Stationers, whose manager Ashley Kempson said, “From our point of view, the bags day was a real success. As a busy store, we got through our supply of bags very quickly and have had customers coming in asking for more! I am in favour of stricter policies on the use of plastic bags, which is why I was pleased to support the bags day.”

The high-quality bags were supplied by Oxfordshire County Council, which has a number of strategies aimed at reducing waste. More information is available from the County Council.

The Wallingford stores who took part in the day were Waitrose, Pettits, Champions, Boots, KP Stationers, From Here to Maternity, Pennifex, Rags in Bags and Shoes in Twos.


Wallingford rubbish to be recreated as Christmas decorations: Dec 4th 2003

Saturday Morning Swap Shop Returns!: Aug 11th 2003

Renewable Energy Talk: Aug 11th 2003

Insulation Prize Draw: Aug 11th 2003

First Press Release: April 8th 2003