This weekend, Blayney Rovers Football Club is holding a fundraising Scrap Metal Collection Weekend in Casltleblayney. It’s an opportunity for people in the mid Monaghan area to have a spring clean of their garages, backyards and farmyards. Any metal item from as small as a biscuit tin to as big as a car or tractor will be accepted this Saturday and Sunday, 5 & 6 July between 10am and 5pm at Drumillard Industrial Estate to the rear of Lidl. If you are within 20km of Castleblayney the members of the organising committee will arrange collection if you have a reasonable quantity of metal items for recycling. Phone 086 8266741 / 087 757299 / 086 7841097.
In taking metal items to the scrap collection weekend you are supporting the soccer club in Castleblayney in its work to develop a new soccer pitch in Drumillard. In addition you are ensuring that the metal will be recycled. If you don’t live in mid Monaghan there are options other than throwing mixed waste into a skip – the mixed waste skip is the worst option as it generally goes to landfill. There are recycling centres at Carrickmacross and Scotch Corner where you can take a trailer with metals and other items for recycling. The gate fee is just €2.
In the case of steel and to a greater extent in the case of aluminum, it is cheaper to recycle than to mine the ore and manipulate it through the production process to form new metals. The energy saved by recycling steel worldwide reduces the annual energy consumption of the industry by about 75%, which is enough to power eighteen million homes for one year. If the world’s population was not increasing at the rate it is, we would probably have enough aluminum via recycling to meet the world’s needs and so no more bauxite would need to be mined and processed into aluminum. There are a range of initiatives to recycle aluminum cans via schools, businesses and community group such as Tidy Towns Associations. See www.everycancounts.ie and www.aluproireland.ie.
While it is important to recycle as much as possible, if one looks at the ‘waste hierarchy’, it is preferable to reuse metal items or even better to reduce the number being produced in the first place. See the inverse pyramid with the emphasis the preferred option of waste reduction at the top of the pyramid, while the least desirable option of disposal is at the bottome.
If we are buying a product made of metal, plastic, concrete, glass, paper or tropical hardwood, the questions we can ask ourselves are, “Do I really need it” and “What energy has gone into manufacture (CO2 and other greenhouse gasses emitted) and “How long will the product be useful to me and what will happen when it’s no longer of use to me”? For metal products that we have already purchased – and are no longer of use to us – why not take the opportunity to recycle them this weekend and help a good cause!
Foraging for wild food in July
In recent years, foraging has become more popular. Some well-known chefs have promoted the fact that wild foods have a lot to offer in terms of flavour, nutrition and food miles,. Many types of wild food have medicinal properties. Some wild food plants are garden escapes and can be found among our native plants. July is a month when many plants are in flower and some are at the fruiting stage. Some of the wild edible plants you will find in July include: Blackcurrant, Common Comfrey, Common Mallow, Gooseberry, Ground Elder, , Horseradish, Lime Blossom, Marsh Samphire, Raspberry, Redcurrant, Rock Samphire, Sea Beet, Silverweed, Sweet Cicely, Wild Chicory Flowers, Wild Fennel, Wild Marjoram, Wild Mint, Wild Rose Flower, Wild Strawberry, Wild Thyme and Yarrow. If you are not familiar with a lot of wild plants it is advisable to get some expert help and not to eat something unless you are fully sure you know it is safe. This is especially true when it comes to mushrooms. Apart from plants there are other wild foods such as fungi, wild animals and fish. The list of protected species and relevant regulations should be consulted if hunting or fishing. See www.npws.ie.
Be there for the Barn Owl
The barn owl is Ireland’s most iconic species, but unfortunately one of the most endangered, with very few breeding pairs left.If you are out walking at dusk these evenings you may see the ghostly sight of the Barn Owl ‘whoosh’ past you. According to Birdwatch Ireland they are a Red-listed Bird of Conservation Concern In Ireland due to a decline of over 50% in their population during the past 25 years. They are also listed as a Species of European Conservation Concern (SPEC3) having an unfavourable conservation status in Europe.
The reasons for the Barn owls decline are not fully understood, but can most likely be attributed to the loss of suitable habitat due to various aspects of agricultural intensification and the increased use of rat poisons. Other factors that have been implicated in their decline are the loss of suitable nest sites and some severe winters a few years back.
Under the ‘Be there for the Barn Owl’ project volunteer fieldworkers throughout Northern Ireland that have been trained up and are currently scouring the landscape for old buildings and mature trees where barn owls may be nesting. Details of the ‘Be there for the Barn Owl’ project and a video of a Barn Owl’s nest in Co Armagh can be seen at www.ulsterwildlife.org/barnowl.