Step up your Spring Clean

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With Spring on its way many of us will be thinking about spring cleaning our house and getting rid of unwanted items.

Step Up your Spring Clean

You don’t have to throw it away

‘You don’t have to throw it away’ says Environment Portfolio Holder Councillor Will Breare-Hall, ‘one person’s junk may be another person’s treasure. Why not try these ideas to avoid your unwanted belongings going to waste.’

Give it away

Ask your family and friends if they can make use of it.

Swap it

Freegle and Freecycle are great for swapping items with people who will want to collect your unwanted stuff.

Donate it

Most charity shops accept clothing and bric-a-brac type items. Reuse organisations such as Epping Forest ReUse will reuse good quality furniture and appliances.

Sell it

Websites like ebay and gumtree make it easy for you to sell your unwanted items.

Save a trip to a recycling centre

Councillor Will Breare-Hall ended with: ‘Whether you are decluttering or simply making room for this year’s Christmas presents, there are lots of things you can do with your old stuff to save you a trip to a recycling centre. Seize the opportunity to step up your Spring Clean!’

Anti-litter campaign cleans up for third year

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An anti-litter campaign across Essex, Kent and Suffolk #BinIt has resulted in a reduction of litter for the third year in a row, an amazing drop in litter of 43%.

Don't toss it - #BINIT

Littering is a criminal offence

The Love Essex campaign, run by the Cleaner Essex Group, is made up of local authorities and local business partners throughout Essex.

This year’s Don’t toss it – #BinIt campaign aims to remind people that:

  • Littering is a criminal offence
  • It comes with a fixed penalty notice from £75
  • And a maximum fine on conviction in court of £2,500

Spreading the message

The ‘Don’t toss it – #BinIt’ message has appeared throughout Essex on

  • Refuse vehicles
  • Bus shelters
  • Petrol pumps
  • 86 McDonald’s restaurants
  • 15 KFC restaurants
  • Spread to 2.4 million social media accounts

This has so far seen an average drop in litter of 43% and helped to reduce branded fast food litter by 63 per cent, in the areas monitored, and independently verified by Keep Britain Tidy.

Tackling litter

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder said: “Litter is an issue that costs around £17 million across Essex. Not only does this take resources away from other much needed council services it also damages our environment.”

“It is important for people to remember that littering is a criminal offence that comes with a maximum fine of up to £2,500.”

“As a community we need to come together and tackle this important issue by behaving responsibly and reporting incidents so we can investigate further and take action.”

Working together

Cherry Lewis-Taylor, McDonald’s franchisee added: “I believe that working together and campaigning against littering at our restaurant locations helps remind people to dispose of their litter responsibly.”

“Between McDonald’s and KFC’s participating restaurants and drive-thru’s, we have reached millions of customers. Adding this to the number of people who saw the other campaign material, including social media, it is likely that the Don’t toss it … #Binit message will have been seen at least 6 million times.”

Do the right thing

Huw James, Director of Kefco, the KFC Franchisee in Essex commented: “I am proud that we at KFC can work with councils and other business partners to actively promote that people should do the right thing and bin their litter. As a business, we are committed to looking at ways we can help reduce the amount of litter that ends up on our streets.”

Report it

If there are large amounts of litter in your street or fly-tipped rubbish near where you live, let us know

Please give as much detail as possible so we can investigate what further action can be taken.

Recycle your real Christmas tree

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Countrycare, Countryside and wildlife, Environmental health, Epping, Health, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Recycling your real Christmas tree in January this year really couldn’t be easier!

  • Remove the tree from the pot or stand

  • Remove all decorations and remove any artificial snow

  • If the tree is bigger than 6ft tall, saw in half

  • Place the tree by your green wheelie bin on your food and garden waste collection day

Collected throughout January

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder said: ”We have made recycling your Christmas tree as easy as we possibly can. It’s simple, just leave your tree to be collected with your food and garden waste bins, following the four step instructions. If you are unsure of the date of your food and garden waste collection, check using our online tool, all you need is your postcode. Trees will be collected throughout January 2017.

Great for the environment

He added: ”Our food and garden waste is composted to produce a high quality soil improver which is used on farms to enhance the soil, helping farmers produce high quality veggies. It’s great for the environment and benefits us too!”

Christmas contact information

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We are closed from 5pm on 23 December 2016 until 9am on 3 January 2017. There are still ways you can get in touch with us when you need to over the Christmas holiday period.

Christmas message from Chairman Jeane Lea

Report it

Report it online (non-emergency) – report missed bin, noise, flytipping, fraud, abandoned vehicle, etc.

Report by email (non-emergency) – emails sent here will not be looked at until 3 January 2017.

Phone (emergency) 01992 564000

Housing repairs (emergency) 01992 564199

Social media

We monitor our main Twitter and Facebook accounts every day.

Pay it

Pay online 24/7 – pay Council Tax, rent, business rates, leasehold charges, etc.

Pay by phone 24/7 01992 564600

Our Debden cash office & Epping kiosk will close at 4:30pm on 23 December 2016 and reopen 9am on 3 January 2017.

Our Waltham Abbey library kiosk is subject to Waltham Abbey library opening hours.

Waste and recycling

Christmas 2016 revised collection dates

  • Collection date Tuesday 27 December 2016 revised to Wednesday 28 December 2016
  • Collection date Wednesday 28 December 2016 revised to Thursday 29 December 2016
  • Collection date Thursday 29 December 2016 revised to Friday 30 December 2016
  • Collection date Friday 30 December 2016 revised to Saturday 31 December 2016

Recycling real Christmas trees

Leave your real Christmas trees with your food and garden waste in January 2017. Remove the pot, all decorations and if over 6ft, cut in half to ensure safe collection.

Special collections

Our special collections service closes at 5pm on 23 December 2016 and resume at 9am on 3 January 2017.

Lost or found dogs

Call 07815 512833 weekdays from 7am to 9pm, weekends and bank holidays from 10am to 7pm.

Car parks

Free weekend parking in December – all of our car parks are free on weekends throughout December and bank holidays.

Epping Forest District Museum

Epping Forest District Museum is closed from 4pm on 22 December 2016 and reopens 10am on 3 January 2017.

Housing benefit payments revised dates

  • Payments due 26 December 2016 will be now be available in bank accounts around 23 December 2016
  • Payments due 02 January 2017 will now be available in bank accounts around 29 December 2016

Normal payment cycle will resume from 9 January 2017.

 

The Freezer Fairy is coming

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The Food Standards Agency’s Freezer Fairy is coming to the Epping Forest district to leave tips on how to pre-prepare foods, how and what foods can be frozen and the best way to defrost foods safely.

She will also leave handy tools like a portions planner and recipe tips for those delicious leftovers.

Freezer Fairy says ...

The Freezer Fairy advises

  1. Freeze up to the use by date
  2. Plan portion sizes
  3. Separate raw foods when shopping
  4. Cook in advance and freeze
  5. Label food in the freezer

You can find all this information and more from the Freezer Fairy, helping you to have a less stressful and wasteful Christmas.

Change wasteful behaviour

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has been looking at the issue of food waste and enabling consumers to help change wasteful behaviours. In the UK we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year, most of which could have been eaten. The average cost to each household for wasting this food is £470 a year.

The FSA has set out to educate people on reducing waste and increasing safe freezer use.

A happy and a healthy Christmas

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder said: “At this time of year, when residents might be cooking for more people than normal, it’s helpful for them to be reminded how they can use their freezer most effectively and how to defrost food properly.”

“I encourage residents to follow the FSA Freezer Fairy’s advice. Not only could it save you time and money but it’ll help ensure everyone has both a happy and a healthy Christmas.”

 

#OurDay the people behind your local services

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Chairman, Community, Councillors, Countrycare, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Food safety, Health, Housing, Housing repairs, Local business, Local plan / planning our future, Loughton, Media, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Tuesday 15 November 2016 is #OurDay. #OurDay is a yearly tweetathon for local government to show what it does in a typical day.

Here are just a few of the people behind your valued Epping Forest District Council services.

Karen & her lifewalkers set off from Clayton Hill on a mild autumn morning

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow

Cabinet 3 November 2016

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Democracy, Energy efficiency, Environmental health, Leader, Media, Meetings, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Parking, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Energy consumption at the Council offices in Epping has been cut dramatically. That and other items including Council Tax discounts, on-street car parking, and the creation of three new small pay and display car parks were among the items discussed at the meeting of Epping Forest District Council’s Cabinet on 3 November.

Watch our council meetings online

Solar Energy

The installation of new windows and solar panels has led to significant reductions in energy consumption at the Council’s headquarters in Epping. The report by Technology and Support Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Alan Lion noted the generation of 35,760 KWh in the first seven months of panel operation. Electricity consumption was reduced by 13.4% in 2015 compared to 2014.

Incentive to reduce empty housing

Councillors agreed reductions in the Council Tax discount available for empty homes. Finance Portfolio Holder Gagan Mohindra presented the report. He said that the changes would make a relatively small difference to the amount of tax collected. However, the Council hopes that the reductions will incentivise local landlords to speed up the re-letting or sale of empty houses for occupation.

County Council Parking Enforcement

Councillor Gary Waller, Portfolio Holder responsible for working with Essex County Council and the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) assured fellow councillors that he would pass on their dissatisfaction with on-street parking enforcement across the district.

Essex County Council is set to extend the current NEPP contract for a further four years. Supported by fellow Councillors Chris Whitbread and Chris Pond, Councillor Waller said that his criticisms were aimed at the operation of NEPP rather individual members of staff working within the district.

New Pay and Display

Later on the agenda, Councillor Waller received Cabinet approval for three small new pay and display car parks in Debden. Two short stay car parks accommodating a total of 40 spaces are to be created at the northern and southern ends of Oakwood Hill Industrial Estate. Fifteen new long stay spaces are to be created behind Loughton Broadway in Burton Road.

Repair your electricals at the restart party

Written on . Posted in Community, Energy efficiency, Environmental health, Media, Older people, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Recycling and waste, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Do you have any small broken electricals around your home? Wish you could fix them? Come along to our restart party.

Restart party - Dont despair just repair

Don’t despair, just repair

The Restart party is a free community event where:

  • You can learn how to fix your electrical items with free one to one workshops with local volunteers and enthusiasts
  • Learn how to fix problems and better care for your electrical items
  • Obtain more information on how to recycle unrepairable electronics

Love your small electronics, give them a new lease of life.

Join the party

  • Saturday 15 October
  • 11:00 to 14:00
  • Waltham Abbey library
  • 37 Sun Street, EN9 1EL

More information

For more information visit:

‘Freeze not throw away’ for Food Safety Week

Written on . Posted in Business, Environmental health, Food safety, Local business, Media, Out and about, Regulations, Supporting business, Your area, Your council

We are supporting this year’s Food Safety Week which runs from 4-10 July 2016. It aims to help people better understand how to waste less food safely, by making more use of their freezers.

Infographic - food safety week 2016

New research

New research from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has revealed that 68% of UK adults report that they have thrown food away in the past month.

Over two thirds (36%) of those who had thrown away food said they have discarded food as it was past its use by date. Other top reasons for throwing food away include buying too much and not eating it, which was reported by 30% of people; and not having the chance to eat food before it went off, which almost a quarter (23%) gave as an excuse for putting food in the bin.

This contributes to the 7 million tonnes of food that is wasted in the UK each year which, according to the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, costs each household around £470 annually.

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow.

Help tackle the problem

Epping Forest District Council is backing the FSA’s campaign to encourage residents in the Epping Forest district and across the UK to help tackle the problem of food waste by planning ahead and, if necessary, to freeze  food within its use by date if there is a chance you may end up throwing it away once the use-by date expires.

This waste is unnecessary

Kevin Hargin, head of Foodborne Disease Control at the FSA said: “Every year, we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes. Much of this waste is unnecessary, and a better understanding of how to freeze food safely could go a significant way towards tackling the problem.”

“Our research shows that many of the fears the public has about freezing food are unfounded and we need to ensure they know the facts. 31% of the people we spoke to said that more information about how to safely freeze food would help them to reduce their food waste – that’s why freezing is the focus of this year’s Food Safety Week.

The freezer is like a pause button

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder at Epping Forest District Council said: “Lots of people believe food can only be frozen on the day of purchase, but the freezer is like a pause button and you can safely freeze most foods right up to the use by date. You can even cook defrosted meat into a new meal and freeze it to eat on another day.”

“With so much food being thrown away in the UK each year, we want our residents to think about how they can use their freezers to their full potential, rather than putting food in the bin.”

“While food is kept safe in the freezer, it’s the quality that deteriorates over time, so the FSA recommends eating it within 3 to 6 months and checking for any freezing instructions on the packaging. Once defrosted, the pause button is off, so defrost food as and when you need it and eat it within 24 hours of it being fully defrosted.”

Want to know more?

For more information on freezing food safely, visit www.food.gov.uk/useby or follow @foodgov #EatitCookitFreezeit on Twitter for tips and advice throughout Food Safety Week.

 

Nu Bar opening hours cut following review

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Noise, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Councillors are cracking down on anti-social behaviour and criminal activity associated with Nu Bar in Loughton. Following a review of evidence from local residents and Essex Police, councillors have cut the opening hours by moving the closing time from 02:30am to 00:30am, with no alcohol to be served after midnight. The only exceptions to the new closing times are special occasions such as Christmas and New Year.

Chance to appeal

The Licence Holder, Greene King, has 21 days from the date of the decision to appeal. If Greene King accept the new conditions, Nu Bar remains closed until the time permitted for an appeal has ended or any appeal is completed.

Conditions re-emphasized and reinforced

In addition to the reduction in opening hours, Epping Forest District Council has re-emphasized and reinforced a raft of other conditions designed to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. These include high quality CCTV and facial recognition technology, door staff, dress codes to prevent people hiding their identity, training for staff in matters as diverse as sales to underage children and drug abuse, maintenance of an incident register, the banning of glass drink ware, digital ID scanning and restrictions on the number of people that can be in the smoking area at any one time.

Protecting residents

A spokesperson for Epping Forest District Council said: “We would like to thank local residents and Essex Police for their hard work in pulling the evidence together. We have a legal duty as the licensing authority to take an impartial independent view based on law. Licensing Committee councillors listened very carefully to all sides of the argument but felt a clear need to impose these restrictions and protect our residents from the nuisance and harm caused by late-night rowdy behaviour at Nu Bar.”

He continued: “We expect Nu Bar’s owners to take heed of this tough stance and understand that the kind of behaviour associated with their premises over the last few months is intolerable and unacceptable. Essex Police catalogued eight separate incidents in the last few months, including one involving 40 people. Local residents have the right to a reasonable degree of peace, quiet and security.”