Resource Use

Veolia opens up funding for Merseyside waste and recycling projects

Veolia opens up funding for Merseyside waste and recycling projects
A family fun day with clothes swap event at St Bede’s church in Toxteth with Granby Toxteth Development Trust, which received MRWA funding
Veolia’s latest Community Fund for 2019/20 is now open for applications, with £115,000 to be shared amongst community groups to help make Merseyside and Halton a greener area.

Voluntary groups, schools, faith groups and not-for-profit organisations can all apply for a portion of this waste prevention fund, as long as they will use the money to reduce household waste, encourage recycling and reuse or prevent carbon emissions.

Additionally, the projects will have to demonstrate a wider positive impact on the environment, health and education across all six districts in Merseyside and Halton. One recipient of the previous fund (2018/19), Northwood CommuniTree 4aRts, is using the money to develop a creative arts and crafts programme working with recycled material.

The waste prevention fund is donated by the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) and the Veolia Community Fund 2019/20 – an annual fund which has been operating since 2006.

If successful, applicants will be awarded up to £25,000 for their scheme, and £8,000 for projects which work solely at one local authority level.

Focus on four priority areas

This year, each bid must tackle at least one of MRWA’s four priority household waste streams: food, plastics, textiles or furniture. MRWA analysed household waste in 2015 and 2016, and found these four materials had the greatest potential for being reused or recycled when compared to other materials such as paper or cardboard. For instance, 43 per cent of residual waste in Liverpool was made up of food waste.

MRWA Chairperson, Councillor Tony Concepcion, said: “We’ve made this money available for new and existing projects which can have an impact on their local community and make Merseyside and Halton a cleaner and greener place for us all to live and work.”

The 2017/18 fund supported 12 projects, which together had a far-reaching impact: 28 full time equivalent jobs were created or safeguarded; 486 volunteers participated; almost 30,000 people were directly engaged; 1,222 tonnes of waste was diverted from landfill; and there was a total reduction of 1,181 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Concepcion continued: “Giving groups the opportunity to get involved in looking after their environment can only bring benefits to all and can help us appreciate items as valuable resources rather than something which otherwise might be just thrown away.”

Previous Community Fund projects have included:

  • Developing a sensory learning garden made out of reused materials at a college in St Helens
  • Developing a shop in Wirral which sells used clothes and offers to develop sewing and textiles re-use skills
  • Repairing unused furniture for redistribution to the local community in Halton
  • Creating a bicycle repair and maintenance workshop in Knowsley
  • Teaching a charity shop in Sefton how to improve online retail skills
  • Using cookery clubs across Merseyside and Halton to improve people’s diet, learn how to reduce food waste and save money

Dr Jane Lindsey Guy is Chief Executive of Granby Toxteth Development Trust (GTDT), an organisation who used the community funding to engage residents with waste reduction and recycling messages.

She said: “We have been delivering recycling and waste management projects for several years around the Granby Toxteth area, and recently more further afield. Funding from MRWA and GTDT’s own Big Lottery funding – L8 Living Sustainably – has enabled us to develop a transferrable model which works successfully with many different communities and groups.

“For 2017/2018 we continued to work with these and new communities, as well as working with MRWA to develop our models of good practice within communities to create packages of support which promote good reuse and recycling practices and help to change people’s behaviour.”

MRWA will be holding a Community Fund Application Workshop on 6 December to advise groups thinking of applying for funding. Successful projects will receive funding in April 2019, to spend over the following year. The deadline for the submission of stage one applications is Friday 4 January 2019.

The first stage application form can be found on the MRWA website.

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