Jun 24 2011 by Sharon Liptrott, Dumfries Standard Friday
MOFFAT CAN has grown from a community recycling group running fortnightly collections of plastics and aluminium into a thriving environmental charity.
It is rapidly helping the Upper Annandale town go green with a range of innovative projects which are providing local employment.
In just a few years Moffat CAN has transformed the town’s old derelict church depot and drying green – which they bought from Dumfries and Galloway council for £1 – into an exciting community project which has created 16 jobs and is training local unemployed people.
The project includes the creation of a community market garden and allotment spaces for 25 families; operating a doorstep recycling service covering Upper Annandale and installing a mix of small scale renewables to ensure the building produces its own power.
The group’s vans which collect recyclable materials even run on used chip fat.
Earlier this year it launched Scotland’s first aquaponics food growing system, using modern technology to recreate a food system first used by the Aztecs.
The aquaponics system combines growing fish and plants in such a way that the waste material from the fish becomes the nutrient source for the vegetation. The plants then use the nutrients, cleaning the water before it is returned clean to the fish.
Throughout each stage the charity has had to seek funding.
Now, hopefully by successfully securing £60,000 from the TV appeal, they will be able to press on with their latest challenge, Tasty Waste.
As well as creating three new jobs, it includes a new garden-share scheme where elderly people in the community who cannot manage to garden anymore would allow others to make use of their soil.
Those without a garden of their own would cultivate the pensioner’s garden and in return supply them with home-grown fruit and vegetables and keep the garden in good shape.