Influencing could strategy and projects is a key role for local councillors. I’ve served on the Neighbourhood Scrutiny Commission for two years and one of its responsibilities is the oversight of council waste and recycling strategy and services. One of my key themes has been to get it modernised so that usable goods, materials, appliances and resources are reused and not recycled. Until recently the only option has been to recycle old items despite the established market via charities and other outlets for reused goods.
I therefore took the opportunity to speak strongly in favour of a budget amendment to devote funds to setting up reuse centres on household waste sites.
This has been influential as since then discussion has always been framed as support for reuse and recycling to maximise the benefits from avoiding waste.
Here’s what I said to Full Council, which was designed to revise a Labour Amendment on funding for the proposed Hartcliffe Way Recycling Centre (in the annual budget debate) – held in February 2016 http://bit.ly/1Xl4ddL – quick link to webcast recording.
The rationale is set out in our press release on the topic:
Press Release: ‘Recycling is good, but re-use is so much better’
Greens call for Hartcliffe way reuse and recycling centre
Tuesday 19th January 2016
The long awaited Hartcliffe way recycling centre for South Bristol will be discussed at Full Council tonight, following cross party pressure to progress the scheme. Green councillors are calling for a reuse facility to be a key part of the centre to reduce waste being sent to landfill.
Councillor Martin Fodor, who has proposed an amendment to a Lib Dem motion which calls for the Mayor to commit to funding the centre said:
“It is great to see cross party campaigning on this issue. If we are to meet our zero waste ambitions we must invest in reuse. Other forward thinking councils have an income at each site where re-use shops are based alongside the recycling facilities, and we need to update ours in line with this, starting with the new facility. We have already seen how successful the repair café in Fishponds has been. Recycling is good, but re-use is so much better.”
A recycling centre for Hartcliffe way was endorsed by all parties back in 2012, but the proposals have never been fully funded.
Tony Dyer, Green Mayoral candidate and long standing campaigner for Hartcliffe way reuse and recycling centre said:
“Integrating repair and reuse into the Hartcliffe way recycling centre is good for our pockets, good for the environment and has the added bonus of creating sustainable jobs. Every additional 1,000 tonnes of waste repaired and reused rather than sent to landfill or incinerated can support up to 20 additional jobs in the local economy.”
Assistant Mayor for neighbourhoods Daniella Radice said:
“We need to move beyond recycling to re-use and repair. A truly circular economy will save raw materials and create jobs.”
I also took an interest in the Reuse Pilot initiative by several local charities who are showing just what can be diverted from the skips at a household waste site. Here’s the press release we issued to highlight the wasted goods that can be put to work again: saving-bristols-scrap