VIDEO REPORT: Newcastle city council says it has made progress in becoming a greener and more sustainable city, a year on from announcing its new waste strategy.
The large north east England local authority, which has a population of around 300,000, launched its waste strategy with the aim of becoming a city which wastes less and recycles more.
In a first “anniversary” waste strategy statement, the council says it had taken it has taken “great strides” to reduce the amount of “rubbish sent to landfill, make its bin collections more environmentally friendly and encourage residents to put the right waste in the right place”.
The Your City, Your Home campaign linked to the strategy introduced an opportunity for residents to come forward and volunteer in working to keep communities clean, while “thousands of people” are taking part in projects to improve the amount of quality of recycling.
Below you can see an interview between letsrecycle.com’s Robyn White and Cllr Nick Kemp, cabinet member for environment and regulatory services at Newcastle city council, who discusses what steps the council has taken.
(Above: Robyn White of letsrecycle.com talks to Cllr Nick Kemp, Newcastle city council)
Cllr Kemp said: “We set out an ambition to transform the way we think about rubbish, inspiring both individuals and organisations to change their behaviour and take responsibility for what they throw away, and to encourage people to be proud of the environment we live in.
“I’m very pleased that has been taken to heart, with our Your City, Your Home campaign seeing hundreds of volunteers coming forward to work with us to keep their communities clean, thousands of people taking part in projects to improve the amount and quality of recycling, and innovative new ways being found to make choosing environmentally positive options even easier.
“As a council we have seen the percentage of waste being sent to landfill fall by more than 10 percent while the amount sent for reuse, recycling or composting increased. They are trends that, despite the current pandemic, will hopefully continue as our actions over the last 12 months have greater effect.”
A report to the authority’s cabinet on June 15 highlighted how a specific focus on modernising and digitising services has seen innovations such as the new WasteBot permits for recycling centres, which reduced a 14 day process to 90 seconds; sensors being installed in all litter bins, which reduced the number of overfilled bins and improved the efficiency of pick-ups; and a greater use of handheld technology to provide frontline staff with the latest work requests.
“Buying more fuel efficient bin wagons and a new contract that allows more plastic to be recycled is also helping to saving 30,000 vehicle miles annually, diverting almost 10,000 tonnes of waste – that’s almost one and a half Tyne Bridge’s worth – from landfill, ” the council said.