Bin At HebCelt Festival Stornoway.


Published: July 19th 2023

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Sharon CorrSharon CorrSharon Corr

I arrived in Stornoway on the Tuesday evening sailing. The crossing was memorable for the number of auks feeding on the sea around the ship. There were an impressive number of puffins in particular.

Many of the guillemots were accompanied by a little juvenile, a recent jumpling. Each was staying very close to its father as they learned how to fend for themselves It was great to see dozens of dolphins and a minke whale too.

I was going to Stornoway to join the Green Team at the HebCelt Festival for a second year running, having enjoyed it so much in 2022.

On Wednesday morning I met many of my colleagues for the next few days. It was good to see familiar faces from last year amongst the volunteers including Christina and Vicky who lead the team.

Wednesday was set up day. The bins were cleaned, lined with bags,and labelled. Food waste, plastic and cans, glass and general waste. Readyfor a festival they were placed in strategic positions by the food tents, the green room and around the huge lawn in front of Lews Castle where the festival takes place.

I spent most of the next


three evenings around the recycling area close to the circus tent and the main marquee.

The vast majority of the waste goes into the recycling or organic waste bins. It’s great to see how much waste can be diverted from landfill with a little effort.

Like last year people were only delighted to separate waste into the correct bins. Quite a few thanked us for trying to keep the waste out of landfill.

I was particularly impressed by the number of smokers who took the time to walk over and put their cigarette butts in the bucket of sand rather than drop them on the grass.

One person did drop a butt into the general waste bin, then told me it looked like it wasn’t extinguished properly. I peeped in and could see a little red glow. I lifted the lid off. Every time I tried to recover the glowing butt it sank a little further into the litter. Just when I thought I’d never get it and was considering what to do next, with a final effort I managed to grab it. An embarrassing bin fire avoided!

The bins where a little higher up

Great black backed gull joining in the singing. Great black backed gull joining in the singing. Great black backed gull joining in the singing.

the slope this year and gave a decent view into the stage. The sound as you might expect was excellent.

Skerryvore headlined on Thursday night, Peat and Diesel on Friday and The Proclaimers on Saturday.

My favourite were definitely Peat and Diesel. I know nothing about them except that they are local heros. But there must be a Shane MacGowan influence, especially from his days in The Popes which he formed after leaving The Pogues. Its a brilliant show.

Skerryvore were good too, the crowd singing along every word and of course The Proclaimers had the crowd in the palm of their hands.

On Saturday morning a beach clean at sandwich Bay had been organised by Clean Coast Outer Hebrides, surfers against Sewage and HebCelt. About a dozen people turned up after a wild night of wind and rain. The beach was noticeably cleaner after out efforts, but you can clearly see how plastics are breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces. Impossible to to retrieve.

It wasn’t all work. Anyone who knows me knows I’m no dancer, but there was ample opportunity for volunteers who wanted to to express themselves. And they did. Dancing


around the lawn as they collected litter.

Volunteering at HebCelt was a great experience. I got to enjoy the music, contribute a little bit to sustainability and enjoy the craic with like-minded people.

On Saturday night/ Sunday morning there was an opportunity to relax in a local bar after a quick clean up of the site. The main cleanup being on Monday. On Sunday there was an afternoon buffet for volunteers.

Both evenings I enjoyed the camaraderie, the conversation and the craic over a few pints and a couple of whiskeys.

It was only today when I got my laundry done that I realised that the only ckean clothes I had left were my cycling clothes. I haven’t actually done much cycling in the last fortnight.

That’s about to change. Today I cycled to Tolsta. And I set off tomorrow morning to cycle the length of the Outer Hebrides to Barra. The wind this last while has had a northerly element to it. I’m hoping that doesn’t change for the next few days.


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#Bin #HebCelt #Festival #Stornoway

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