Rethink Mess Spring Update

The ReThink MESS project has been running from April last year and will run until April 2020. We received grant funding from the Scottish Governments Climate Challenge Fund.

Our Community fridge is going well with 283kg being redistributed or composted since the start of 2019. This would otherwise have gone to landfill, producing methane as it breaks down. This is a great success, and we hope to be saving even more as the 2019 season springs into action.

We have also just sent out leaflets and fridge magnets to all the self-catering properties on Mull and Iona to encourage people at the end of their stay to put any sealed, unopened food that is within its use-by date in the fridge before they get on the ferry. This should increase donations from the public.

After the success of the “Recycling on the go” stations at the Highland games, Bunessan and Salen Shows in 2018. We are awaiting delivery of our Recycling on the go permanent stations, that will be placed around the island. These will be in strategic places around the island.
Our business composting is taking off with the delivery of composters nearly complete. These are for high volume food waste producers out with the Tobermory area who will not be able to use the Big Hanna composter that is coming to Tobermory late April

As part of our carbon education, we are running workshops and events focussed on food waste reduction and low carbon food choices over the course of the project.

We held a Real Junk Food dinner at the start of February at Ballygown Restaurant with 16 attendees. Not only did this highlight that so much good food is wasted, but we also raised £160 that has been donated to MacMillan Cancer Support. We have to thank Jeanette Cutlack for hosting a great evening. Not only agreeing to host it but the added stress of not knowing what she would be getting for ingredients until the evening before!

We’ve had few upcycling events too, with two furniture events, one in Craignure with Jennifer Jack showing attendees how to make chalk paint and then using this on furniture. The other was held by Mull Makers in Fionnaphort over 2 days.

We also held a Bicycle Repair workshop at Bedoun Agri in March which was well attended despite the weather! Thankfully the polytunnel kept us dry.

In early 2019 we held a hot composting workshop which was very well attended with 18 attendees some with composters and others looking at getting one. We had a phone in with some experts at Hotbins UK who were able to give great advice to top up what our resident experts were able to impart.

As spring is in the air, we will be concentrating on the food waste collection service around the Tobermory area. We have had the budget released and are in the process of buying our polytunnel and Big Hanna composter. We are interviewing for staff to run the collections and composting and are signing people up to the trial, keep an eye on the MESS Facebook page for regular updates.

If you wish to get involved or have any comments on any of our outcomes, them please give Ewan Baxter a call or drop him an Email at

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