Euro-wide drive to reduce waste

Merseyside and Halton are joining forces with the continent in an initiative to cut the amount of waste produced and to encourage changes of behaviour in everyday life.

The European Week for Waste Reduction 2013 aims to promote simple but effective ideas for reducing waste and local organisers Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) say it will help highlight the work being accomplished in the region.

MRWA Chairperson Councillor Graham Morgan said: “We know that local people are keen to engage in ways of reducing waste and we’re excited that the region is going to be represented once more.

“Last year we had 21 projects happening during the Week, if we can replicate that this time around it would be a great success.”

The quantity of municipal waste produced has doubled over the last 40 years. In 2011, 503 Kg of municipal waste was generated on average per person in the member states of the EU. Merseyside is sending almost half a million tonnes of waste to landfill every year despite a 36% recycling rate.

Projects for the week can be submitted from members of the public and on behalf of community and voluntary associations, schools, colleges and universities, businesses, public authorities, hospitals and cultural institutions.

Submissions need to relate to activities that can be carried out during the European Week of Waste Reduction which runs from 16 to 24 November 2013. Projects can include those that prevent the production of waste, can repair and reuse broken or unused items, or will encourage home or community composting.

Examples of projects which could be organised include community swap days, waste management information exchange, exhibitions or promotional films of activities, competitions, waste free lunches, collections of clothes and other items for re-use, retailers to promote products which produce less waste, repair workshops for bikes or learning to sew.

Submissions must cover one or more of the following themes:

Too much waste: make known the importance of our waste production and its environmental and economical impact
Better production: encourage businesses to put in place measures that allow for the reduction of large quantities of waste caused by their economic activity
Better consumption: raise consumer awareness about the impact of their purchases on waste production
A longer life for products: emphasise the means of increasing the life span of a new product (repair, reuse, etc.)
Less waste thrown away: demonstrate solutions that prevent waste being thrown away (paying attention to the use-by-date for the consumption of products, practising home composting, ‘No Junk Mail’ signs)

You can get involved with the EWWR by reading the Participation Charter and filling in the registration form available on www.recycleformerseysideandhalton.com/waste-prevention/ewwr2013/, by emailing ewwr@merseysidewda.gov.uk, or calling Tel. 0151 255 1444. The closing date for applications is 4pm on Friday 25 October .The most outstanding actions from five categories will be nominated for an overall European Waste Reduction award.

Carl Beer, Chief Executive of MRWA, said: “I would encourage everyone to take up this challenge, use their imaginations and come up with new ideas and hopefully pick up an award on a European level.”