Waste prevention pays off

Four Merseyside community organisations have received £22,000 of funding between them – and they all have waste prevention at the forefront of their plans.

The money has been awarded by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority as part of its Community Fund 2012/13. The annual Fund – which is supported by Veolia Environmental Services – looks for local projects that encourage waste prevention, reuse, recycling and carbon reduction among the region’s communities.

All four projects will aim to reduce the amount of waste currently going to landfill, through waste collections, education and workshops that will teach people new skills. They include make do and mend sewing lessons, clothes recycling, food management and furniture re-use.

Chairperson of MRWA, Councillor Joe DeAsha, said: “These applications have shown a real innovation in dealing with waste prevention and reduction, and at a grassroots level in the community that we sometimes cannot reach. We’re hopeful that they’ll have a positive impact on everyone who gets involved and we’ll see an actual decrease in materials going to landfill.”

The projects are:

St. Helens First Network (Newton-le-Willows) – Eco Knit and Crochet

This project will see workshops held throughout five schools in St Helens where children will be taught how to sew, knit and crochet. Items from clothing to plastic carrier bags and bed sheets to newspapers will be transformed into new items instead of going to landfill. Examples include turning old polo shirts into sports holdalls, cutting up old clothes and bed sheets to make simple rugs, and using strips of carrier bags to make hard-wearing purses. Voluntary ‘Eco Clubs’ will be set up in each of the schools where the items can be sold for profit, and the skills learnt will be passed onto other schools.

Liverpool World Centre (Toxteth) – The 20 Tonne Textile Challenge

The LWC has received funding to help reduce the amount of clothes and textiles going to landfill. The project will enlist 20 schools who, in total, will look to reuse or recycle 20 tonnes of textiles by March 2013. Initially, an information fact sheet about textile waste will be sent to 680 schools across Merseyside, and then training workshops will be delivered to 40 interested schools with 20 of them being supported to actively achieve a one-tonne reduction in textile waste. Four schools will be chosen to create case studies about recycling textiles which will then be showcased at an end-of-project event. As well as directly diverting textiles from landfill it will also help raise awareness of waste prevention amongst hundreds of schoolchildren.

Liverpool Lighthouse (Anfield) – Glorious Food

Food waste is a huge topic at the moment, with research showing that families waste around £50 a month buying food that ends up in landfill. Liverpool Lighthouse’s Good Food project will look to engage with 55 families in Liverpool with the aim of educating them to better manage the food they buy. Through workshops, events and competitions the families will be given advice on how to budget for food shopping, buying the right types of food to make the most of quantity and quality of meals, creating healthy menus and using leftovers. The project will culminate with a Glorious Food celebration, featuring a presentation of awards to the families involved.

Bulky Bob’s Furniture World (Liverpool) – Fresh Start

The Fresh Start scheme will see Bulky Bob’s supply used furniture to crisis referral families. Bulky Bob’s collects old and/or unused furniture and similar bulky items from households which are then sold at official Bulky Bob furniture stores at reduced prices. The funding will pay for repair, refurbishment and delivery of crisis furniture packs. It is anticipated that Fresh Start will divert at least 35 tonnes of bulky furniture items from landfill, with the reusable furniture going free of charge to people in receipt of crisis vouchers.

All of the four projects are being partly funded by the Community Fund, with separate funding coming from other sources.

Carl Beer, Chief Executive of MRWA, said: “We get so many applications looking for funding that it’s a tough choice picking out who should be the recipients. These projects reflect our own commitment to waste prevention – that waste is a resource that can be used elsewhere, or transformed into something new, instead of sending it to landfill.”

The £22,000 is part of an overall £60,000 fund. A further funding pot of £10,000 is currently available to schools only, whilst a pot for £28,000 of funding recently closed.

Pictured are Carl Beer (MRWA), Cllr Joe DeAsha (MRWA), and Paul Smyth (Veolia) at the launch of the Community Fund earlier this year.



Liverpool Waterfront