Bolton has carried out a borough-wide engagement programme to exchange residents’ 240-litre grey bins for 140-litre ones. The aim was to change residents’ behaviour and divert waste from the residual waste stream into recycling. By introducing slimmer grey bins the council aimed to save £1.25m in disposal costs per year. At the end of August 2016 the project had already delivered savings of more than £360,000 and was predicted to hit its target by the end of the programme.
Herefordshire CC is about to complete the conversion of all of its street and traffic lights, signs and bollards to LEDs. As a predominantly rural county that has parts of two areas of outstanding natural beauty in its borders and is adjacent to the Brecon Beacons International Dark Skies Reserve, Herefordshire was very aware of the issue of light pollution. Its five-year, £7m project has not only improved the fabric and feel of the county’s street lighting but is also set to deliver significant revenue savings of approximately £17m in the next 20 years. As the single largest project within its carbon management plan, this project will save 29,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over 20 years.
Peterborough City Council – Energy recovery facility
Peterborough’s £72m energy recovery facility uses pre-treated waste that cannot be recycled as fuel and has the capacity to process up to 85,000 tonnes a year of residual waste, instead of sending the waste to landfill, generating up to 7.25 megawatts of electricity. The council led the way by funding the project through prudential borrowing, securing the planning permission and environmental permit, and then entering into a competitive procurement process. The result of this was a partnership with waste management firm Viridor to construct, operate and maintain the plant to optimum performance levels.
Peterborough City Council – Energy strategy
Peterborough City Council has embarked on an energy strategy that generates renewable energy, reduces energy consumption, significantly enables regeneration, reduces carbon, gains financial benefits for the city and makes and saves money. By introducing non-domestic schemes and collective energy switching, adopting the Green Deal community fund, developing a scheme that enables free private residential roof solar panels and introducing the Peterborough Energy Tariff for residents in conjunction with partner energy supplier OVO, the council has done much to generate income to support its services, while addressing fuel poverty in the city.
Tower Hamlets LBC
Tower Hamlets’ ‘Adopt a Garden’ scheme has engaged and empowered the community to improve the quality of local environment. The community nominates publicly accessible areas that usually suffer from fly-tipping, litter and graffiti to benefit from the addition of raised beds filled with plants. Volunteers are given responsibility for site maintenance, with continued council support. The project has fostered a great sense of community ownership and provided wide-reaching health and wellbeing benefits through engaging volunteers in skill-building and ongoing maintenance, providing opportunities to make friendships and creating habitat for wildlife.
Warwickshire’s ‘Grey to Green’ food waste recycling campaign saw massive buy-in from local residents with thousands pledging to recycle all their food waste in their green biowaste bin instead of the grey residual waste bin. The campaign highlighted that there was enough food waste in residents’ dustbins to fill Warwick Castle to a depth of four metres and that if everyone recycled their food waste it could save a fortune in disposal costs. The behaviour change initiative achieved a 71% increase in food capture rates coupled with a 4:1 return on investment.
Eco-Schools is a global programme that encourages schools to look after the environment. Through a programme combining an extensive schools network, borough-wide engagement activities and bespoke support for schools, Wirral MBC has grown its schools’ environmental participation in the past five years. The local authority area now has the highest number of Green Flag schools of any area in the country.
A word from the award’s sponsor
Repic is extremely proud to sponsor the Environment award, which marks excellence in any aspect of a councils’ work in environmental services. We are delighted at the huge amount of effort shown by all councils involved. The inspiration and innovation displayed in addressing today’s challenges and environmental issues within local authorities clearly demonstrates to us the councils’ commitment to the environment and to looking for sustainable solutions to achieve their objectives. Repic would like to thank all of the councils that entered this award and would especially like to offer our congratulations to the winning council.
Andrew Blake-Herbert, chief executive, Havering LBC
Karime Hassan, chief executive, Exeter City Council
Lee Marshall, chief executive officer, Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee
John Metcalfe, chief executive, Isle of Wight Council