Waste Watch today holds a special Parliamentary Reception to celebrate the success of its waste minimisation project for charities, 3Rs for the 3rd sector.
More than 700 organisations have benefited from the service since it began in summer 1998, reflecting, says Waste Watch project organiser Jim Fielder, “a real demand by charities for help on improving green housekeeping particularly in reducing waste and recycling more.”
Waste Watch has found that 70% of users have introduced some kind of waste reduction or reuse measure, while
50% have set up new recycling schemes and
40% have started buying recycled products
Mr Fielder added: “The charity sector in the UK is large and largely neglected when it comes to environmental advice services. Many charity workers want to be doing more, but they're often busy and don't really know where to start. This is where the project really comes into its own.”
What does the project offer?
Charities can access the service in a number of ways:
Over the phone – Many people simply need the contact for a local service provider for example a paper collector or computer refurbisher. In this case a quick chat on the phone is all that is needed.
On-site visits – Others have found it helpful for a visit from one of the project's two dedicated support workers to carry out a waste audit and help identify where savings can be made. Some charities have found that getting their staff involved in waste initiatives has been the biggest challenge. In these cases, Waste Watch has given staff presentations, outlining practical ideas and tips for action in the office.
Workshops – Over the last 6 months, the project has also held over 20 “Your Charity's Rubbish!” lunchtime workshops to spread the message further.
Projects have been developed across the UK including:
Operation Mobilisation in Carlisle has almost halved its waste collection costs by introducing a paper and cardboard recycling service and by implementing waste minimisation measures including using the reverse of used copier paper for trial copies and office memos. The charity is also saving money by purchasing remanufactured toner cartridges.
Mersey Basin Trust has found that switching to 100% recycled paper for letterhead, reports and copying, has actually saved it money, says Waste Watch. The trust also donated old computers and electronic equipment to a refurbishment charity.