News in Brief – 14/10/21

3000 Bristol families take part in citywide zero-waste school challenge

Bristol Waste and Bristol City Council have partnered in order to deliver an inter-school challenge to pupils across the city that will see their waste reduction skills being tested.

Over 3,000 families from 11 primary schools are set to take part in the Waste Nothing Schools Challenge, which was launched on 7 October at Victoria Park Primary School in Bedminster.

Waste Nothing Schools ChallengeTasks within the initiative range from making a plastic-free lunch, to sorting the recycling and picking up litter. The participating children will be aided by a team of “Zero Waster” characters who have set each of the challenges for the pupils.

The Bristol Breakfast Rotary Club is sponsoring the challenge, contributing a £500 prize for the winning school. The funds will go towards a project, determined by the needs of the winning school, to help them further their ‘Waste Nothing’ ambitions.

Tony Lawless, Managing Director of Bristol Waste, said: “These young people will inherit our wonderful city and we want to inspire them to create a future where resources are plentiful, and the city’s streets are clean. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of Pro Zero and her friends to teach pupils how to reduce their waste.

“We created this challenge to be a fun, exciting and easy way to get children and families across the city involved. From making their own plastic-free lunch to litter picking, or talking to friends about why litter is bad, there are loads of ideas for how to become a zero-waste hero, and potentially win a prize for your school.”

Biffa supports Scottish homeless charity

Biffa is launching a partnership with Simon Community Scotland (SCS) to tackle homelessness in the country.

SCS is a charity that provides support to homeless people via their street teams, drop-in support and advice centres, and 24-hour helpline, operating across Glasgow, Edinburgh and Central Scotland.

The partnership with Biffa will bolster the services that SCS provides as well as raising awareness for the charity. Biffa is sponsoring a street team in Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as the cost of the helpline throughout the month of October to give advice to those in need.

On the streets, Biffa operates over 140 vehicles in Scotland with some of these carrying the SCS logo and helpline number as they complete their rounds in central Scotland.

Prior to this, Biffa has worked to raise awareness of the dangers of people sleeping in bins, issuing a call to action on waste management companies to make their bins harder to access. Biffa introduced its own approach to the issue by implementing warning stickers, locks and even trialling human detection technology.

Gavin Money, the regional manager at Biffa, commented: “This is a really positive, socially-engaged organisation that I am excited to be a part of with Biffa. The reality is our collection teams are on the streets every day and come across people that need support, and we want to be able to do as much as we can to help. Our partnership with SCS will allow us to educate our staff, volunteer, and make a difference to people’s lives.”

Devon Authorities Shared Saving Scheme wins LARAC award

The Devon Authorities Shared Saving Scheme was recognised as the ‘Best New Idea’ at the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) Celebration Awards 2021.

The award was accepted by Devon County Council working with and on behalf of five of Devon’s waste collection authorities: East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, Teignbridge and Torridge District Councils.

The scheme has allowed the five authorities to change their kerbside collections, as well as supporting the introduction of separate weekly food waste collections and partly subsidised separate garden waste collections which have both improved the amount of refuse collected, the council states.

According to the council, the scheme has led to savings of £6.8m in treatment costs with half of this extra money being shared back with the five authorities, enabling them to improve their waste collection services.

Average recycling levels within the five District Council areas have improved overall from 47.9 per cent to 55.2 per cent with a reduction in waste volumes of 25kg/head (six per cent).

Lead Member for the Environment at North Devon Council, Councillor Netti Pearson, commented: “I am so pleased that Devon’s councils have worked together on this scheme and been recognised nationally for their hard work. Not only have we managed to increase efficiency and reduce costs but we have also improved our recycling rates which is brilliant news for the environment.”