14th Mar 2016

The first difficulty with contamination is that what you see is not what you get: the vast majority of problems are below the ground surface. I recently advised about a town-centre retail property that was in great condition, apart from the buried remains of an old gasworks that turned out to be severely contaminated. This would never have been found without carrying out an environmental investigation, or until the toxins started leaking into the neighbouring river.

Freecycling website screenshot
14th Jan 2016

In Brighton, where Argyll Environmental are based, there is a very strong Freecycle group. Freecycling is the practice of giving away your unwanted possessions to other people for nothing. It is a way of sending your stuff off to a better home instead of chucking it in the landfill.

13th Jan 2016

It is tempting to assume that rural property is, by its nature, free from environmental blight. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. Common examples of trouble are old tips that until recently were entirely unregulated and which can contain a heady cocktail of chemicals; they can and do cause damaging pollution when located in the wrong place. I have recently been involved with a farm that had polluted a neighbour’s drinking water abstraction well, which proved both highly expensive and disruptive. A different farm was not causing pollution, but had a tip that was full of jagged metal and situated next to a footpath, thereby being an accident waiting to happen.

playing with github
11th Jan 2016

The Argyll Product Development team plan and manage work through Agile processes in two week blocks. More importantly (for us) the reward for completing a block is a hack afternoon where Developers can explore anything and everything, sort of like Google 10% time. Here is what I did with mine this time.

9th Jan 2016

We had a chap from the Plain English Campaign in the office giving us training on our use of language in written communication. The original idea was just to train the consultancy team but it was extended to include the product development team. We are a jargon rich office. The consultants use it about potential contaminants and flood risks, and write mainly for a legal audience. We, the product development team, use programming/technical infrastructure jargon. We are all a good audience for this content.

christmas tree recycling
29th Dec 2015

Now that Christmas is well and truly over and the decorations have been taken down and packed away for next year, spare a thought for all those Christmas trees that have been dumped on the sides of roads, le abandoned in alleyways or shoved unceremoniously in bins.

This is a common sight each year, yet in our modern society where recycling is so prominent, should this really be the case?

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