Local groups are invited to contact their local council with project ideas that will benefit the local environment. The money is landfill tax credit drawn from the disposal of domestic waste handled by UK Waste on behalf of GMWDA. Allocation of the cash is decided by the Greening Greater Manchester steering group who have indicated that the following types of projects will be favoured through this funding round:
* Community based recycling and waste awareness schemes
* Landscape improvements involving community forestry
Each district has an allocation of finance to support projects in that area. Local Authorities are gathering ideas and interested groups should contact the relevant contact officer.
There is around£64,850 available for projects in Manchester and ideas will need to be lodged by the end of May.
Manchester City Council deputy leader Martin Pagel is enthusiastic about the scheme: 'This fund is a welcome addition to the Bright and Clean Campaign and the Cleaner Safe Communities Fund. Manchester is committed to encouraging environmental improvements within local communities especially where this activity involves local people. I look forward to seeing innovative projects which show imagination and have a real impact in improving the quality of life for local residents.'
Cllr Bernice Garlick from Trafford MBC who chairs the steering group commented: 'We know that in our communities there is a rich source of ideas about ways to spend this money. It's not often that we get the chance to give money away, and I would encourage people to bring forward their plans so that we can brighten our boroughs.'
Claire Oliver from UK Waste added: 'UK Waste is pleased to help provided another big cash injection to support Greening Greater Manchester. We are delighted with the projects supported through round one and look forward to seeing equally exciting projects through round two.'
Environment minister Michael Meacher, speaking at the launch of the scheme, said: 'I am delighted that the Greater Manchester districts, UK Waste and Groundwork have had the imagination and commitment to set up this exciting scheme. It is right that some of the income raised through the government's drive to reduce the waste going to landfill should be ploughed back into the local community for environmental improvement and awareness raising in this way.'
This additional cash is on top of the£1.5m already pledged to the scheme which is supporting 109 different project being delivered by 19 different environmental bodies. These range from a major study into the potential restoration of closed landfill sites throughout the County to small amenity improvements involving community groups.
In October 1996 the government introduced the landfill tax of up to£7 per tonne for waste disposed of to landfill. On 1st April 1999 the tax for normal wastes was increased to£10 per tonne and it will increase at a rate of£1 per tonne each year for the next five years.
Up to 20% of this tax can, at the discretion on the landfill operating company, be diverted from the treasury to environmental bodies to be used for certain approved environmental purposes. These are in brief; promotion of sustainable waste management, amenity improvements, derelict land reclamation and repairs to historic and religious buildings.
The scheme is made possible by UK Waste making available landfill tax credit from its waste disposal contracts with the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority. GMWDA is made up of nine district councils in Greater Manchester (all except Wigan) and disposes of the domestic waste collected in those boroughs through waste disposal contracts. Of the£500,000 made available to the second round of Greening Greater Manchester,£450,000 is offset against UK Waste's landfill tax bill with the balance of£50,000 being made available by GMWDA.
The money is being held by Groundwork North West part of the country's leading environmental regeneration charity. Local Authorities are overseeing the promotion of the schemes in their area and gathering together ideas for projects. The final decision on which projects to support is made by the Greening Greater Manchester Steering Group, made up of nominees from UK Waste, GMWDA, AGMA, and Groundwork.