Today’s guest blog comes from from Cllr Steve Pearce, Cabinet Member for Waste, Commercialisation and Regulatory Services.
Did you know that this week is Zero Waste Week?
Since 2008 Zero Waste Week has helped individuals, businesses, schools, universities and community groups reduce their landfill waste, save money and preserve resources.
At a time when we are all becoming more aware of waste and our own environmental responsibilities the movement has mushroomed. It began with 100 participants and it has reached over 56 million people just 10 years later. This national award-winning campaign has even been recognized by former Prime Minister Theresa May (who of course was famous for recycling her EU withdrawal bill multiple times). You can join the mailing list to find out more about how it can help us all as individuals, at work or as we engage through schools or community groups.
Bristol has led the way on this issue, with the best recycling rate of any of the English Core Cities. Award winning initiatives such as the ‘Slim my Waste’ campaign have captured the public’s imagination, and led to a direct increase in food waste being recycled.
But we know we can do more, and Zero Waste Week is a great opportunity to highlight our own responsibilities as individuals and as organisations. It can be a challenge to engage our residents with their recycling and it is sometimes a struggle to create a buzz. So we also need to produce tangible, solid results through education, investment and improved services as we strive to lead the conversation.
This is why we have invested in a new efficient, sustainable, safer and reliable fleet of recycling vehicles for Bristol Waste. They will help drive recycling rates while reducing other environmental impacts.
As we transform the Avonmouth “tip” into a Household Reuse and Recycling Centre it shows how we have to change the mind-set to one of the potential of our ‘waste’ as a ‘resource’. The improved site will include a reuse shop, selling pre-loved items from the waste stream. (Please check the website for the changes in opening hours while the upgrade takes place).
And of course the Hartcliffe Way Household Reuse and Recycling Centre is moving forward. This will deliver our pledge to make it easier for people in the South of the city to dispose and recycle household waste in an easier, more accessible and environmentally sustainable way.
Zero Waste Week’s mission is to empower us all to think again about what we call ‘rubbish’ and think of it instead as the valuable resource it really is. They encourage us all to make those small changes that can lead to more sustainable consumption patterns. They educate so that we can easily and effectively reduce landfill, save money and participate in the circular economy – in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
As individual householders, if there are things in your bin that you don’t know how to eliminate, or if your Zero Waste lifestyle is causing stress, threatens to overwhelm you or causes you to feel guilty, you can join the programme and contact the Zero Waste team for 1-2-1 coaching.