As we face the challenges of the new era we must recognise that making the best use of our resources, acting sustainably, is an essential and integral part of our strategies for surmounting the fiscal and economic crisis.
We simply cannot afford to waste and misuse our scarce energy resources. To do so increases the costs of production and places a major drag on economic activity. By contributing to climate change our over consumption of energy again undermines our economy and well being.
The management of waste is essentially a matter of resource efficiency. We need to make better use of resources and that means working to eliminate all forms of waste. Much of what we have been putting into landfill over the years is the result of ‘over consumption’ and it actually includes valuable resources such as metals, textiles, glass, plastic and paper. Many of the products were perfectly good (just no longer wanted) or could have been re-used or recycled at much lower cost (economically and to the environment) than by using virgin materials. Similarly, food that has ended up as waste is usually the result of buying/using more than was needed. Instead of being land filled, however, it can be treated to produce a compost material that can put nutrients back into the soil.
Working together local government and the Welsh Government have made very substantial progress in the recent past to manage waste better. Recycling rates have improved dramatically. Major collaborative procurements are in hand for facilities to convert food waste to compost and to convert residual waste into energy. These procurements are among the largest undertaken in Wales. They are a testament to the ability of local authorities to work together and in partnership with the private sector and the Welsh Government.
Keep Wales Tidy
Keep Wales Tidy’s website provides information and resources for many areas associated with waste management, not just littering, with which it is mainly associated. It also hosts the Eco-Schools programme in Wales.
The RecycleNow website hosts a large collection of resources for local authorities to use in communications for waste management.
Waste Awareness Wales
Waste Awareness Wales delivers a programme of support for local authorities in their waste communications to help achieve waste targets by encouraging public behaviour change and increased participation in using local authority recycling and other waste services.
Waste Improvement Programme
The Waste Improvement Programme is targeted at supporting authorities in increasing efficiency of waste management activities. This includes the collection of financial data on waste and the benchmarking of cost variations to identify how services can be delivered at lower cost.
Welsh Government – Municipal Waste Management
The Welsh Government website has a section on waste management where you can find out about the latest waste management policies and campaigns. You can also access good practice case studies to see how other organisations across different sectors have approached waste management.
WRAP Cymru works with businesses and individuals to help them reap the benefits of reducing waste, develop sustainable products and use resources in an efficient way.
Zero Waste Scotland
Zero Waste Scotland delivers a range of support programmes, campaigns and other interventions to help people and organisations on the journey to Zero Waste.