Community recycling scheme hailed a success

By Josie Timms

A flagship fund set up to encourage Merseyside community and voluntary groups to spearhead a revolution in the regions recycling habits has diverted more than a thousand tonnes of waste from landfill, slashed carbon emissions by a similar amount and helped create or secure almost 100 local jobs, a report reveals.

The report into the Merseyside Waste and Recycling Authorities £236,000 investment in the local community and voluntary groups has hailed the scheme a success.

The Authorities Community Fund Scheme invited community and voluntary groups across Merseyside and Halton to submit funding applications, discussing how they would reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.

The scheme funded 16 project proposals in 2013/14 and during this time the groups successfully diverted 1,194 tonnes from landfill, cut the region’s carbon emissions by 1,152 tonnes and created or secured a total of 98 full time jobs.

The report also reveals how the fund delivered dozens of other benefits. 24,255 individuals, 100 schools and all three Liverpool universities were directly engaged in projects run by the funded groups; over 4,000 families were shown how to reduce kitchen waste, and through one project 435 vulnerable families were supported with emergency furniture packs created from recycled items.

Another project also funded by the Community fund opened a shop in Bromborough selling pre-loved goods to help raise money to re-launch a meals on wheels service. It also supported an eco-garden in St Helens, awareness raising initiatives, a school uniform re-use scheme to help out lower income families and a scheme training young unemployed people in furniture restoration skills. 80% of volunteers taking part in the Wirral scheme subsequently found employment and over 100 items of furniture were donated to local residents in need.

MRWA chairperson Councillor Graham Morgan says: “Investing so much money in community groups was a big step for a public authority at a time like this but it has paid off.

“The environmental benefits in terms of direct cuts in landfill costs and changes in recycling habits are huge but the human benefits are just as big. Above all, the scheme has proved that the imagination, focus and hard work of community groups can play a leading role in transforming our recycling habits.”

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