Each week, Ben Hopkinson looks back at a serious, crazy, and happy news story from the past week.
The situation with the rising energy bills are causing people to heat their homes that are more hazardous and dangerous according to the London Fire Brigade. The LFB reports more 100 fires involving open fires, log burners and heaters in the past couple of months alone. Last month, a blaze in Kingston-Upon-Thames was apparently caused by combustible items near the flames after timber was being burnt in an open fire to save money on the ever-rising energy bills. Because of this, the property was badly damaged.
LFB deputy assistant commissioner for fire safety Charlie Pugsley said: “We know this is a difficult time and people are thinking about ways to reduce their energy bills, but we’re really concerned that they may be putting lives at risk by doing so. Almost 30% of fires involving log burners, heaters and traditional open fires are caused by items being placed too close to a heat source.”
Merseyside based David Warren was worried when his boxer dog Ben went off his food but found out that his four-legged friend had eaten 16 golf balls and was rushed to emergency surgery. The two year-old dog was put under anaesthetics for the two-hour operation and is now safe at home and back to his usual greedy self.
Speaking of the incident, David says: “One day he’d been sick and there was a golf ball in it, but I never thought for a minute it was because he’d eaten it. I just thought it was there because we live next to a golf course, and he’d been playing with the ball. They really made me chuckle when they offered me the bag of balls to take home after the operation. I can see the funny side of it all now but at the time it was a very serious situation and no laughing matter. I have tried to encourage him to play with tennis balls instead, the ones you attach and throw from a stick for the dog to chase – but Ben chewed the stick to pieces. That’s him to a tee.”
In what is classed as a world first, a Welsh firm has turned used nappies into a road surface. More than 3billion disposable nappies are binned every year in the UK and trying to limit that waste or recycle it is tricky. That is where NappiCycle comes in – they have been running kerbside collections for councils for years and now they have used the nappies for road resurfacing in a pilot scheme which is backed by the Welsh government. Founder Rob Poyer found a method to clean used nappies and separate the plastic and cellulose fibres for reuse. The latter goes into making school/office noticeboards, panelling, insulation. 800,000 nappies are processed each week and urine is also reused.
Getting the project on the road was assisted by Pura, as 4.3 tonnes of recovered nappy fibres were added to the bitumen to help the surface bond which is cheaper than that of usual road surfaces.
Poyer says: “With this trial, we hope to demonstrate that waste nappies could be widely adopted in our roads, right around the UK.”