Waste reduction and reuse project to help tackle climate change – A Little Bit of Stone

Residents and businesses in Stone and across Stafford Borough will be encouraged to reduce their waste and re-use items as part of a new campaign.

Waste reduction pledges, a directory of local businesses selling reusable products and an bid to reduce contamination of recyclable items are three of the measures being considered by Stafford Borough Council in its work to tackle climate change.

The waste reduction and reuse project follows on from a vow by the authority to cut down on single-use plastic items in 2019. And the latest campaign was backed by cabinet members at their meeting on Thursday the 8th of September.

Residents and businesses will be encouraged to make pledges to reduce waste – and those who sign up will receive resource packs to help them take action. An interactive map will be produced to show the location of waste recycling and disposal facilities in the borough.

An accreditation scheme is being considered for local businesses who sign up to the pledge, as well as a directory of those selling reusable products that can be an alternative to single-use plastics. And a communication campaign aims to reduce contamination of waste collected from the kerbside.

Councillor Jonathan Price, the cabinet member for climate change, said:

“Climate change is at the forefront of all the work we do here. Since declaring a climate emergency in 2019, the council has been working to ensure the sustainability of the council and borough increases.

“There is a recognition that waste reduction has a role to play in ensuring climate change and green recovery objectives of the council are met. In 2019 Stafford Borough Council passed a motion addressing the council’s usage of single-use plastics, and it included five actions the council would seek to achieve.

“One is support for the eradication of single-use plastics and for this policy to be made clear to all suppliers. Others are to encourage our community to stop the use of single-use plastics, actively promote the reduction of single-use plastics, work with other agencies and local authorities to reduce the use of all single-use plastic products as soon as possible and make the reduction of single-use plastic products part of the implementation of our climate emergency declaration.

“It is suggested that the waste campaign looks at the reduction of waste more generally. This is because the greatest environmental gains come from reducing waste production, and where it is unavoidable, recycling waste wherever possible.”

Councillor Mark Winnington, the cabinet member for environment, added:

“A lot of environmental impact can be achieved by reducing the production of certain items; things like fertiliser are an example of that. But in terms of the real benefits and gains on CO2 reduction, we’ve got to make sure we do the very best job of reusing and collecting waste – and also making sure that the general public knows what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.

“This is not a new thing; anyone of my generation will remember the pop bottles where you had a 5d deposit. And then we had this innovation called milk bottles that were being recycled and reused again on an electric vehicle.

“We’ve got to look at what we’ve done in the past and consider did that work or not. The most important thing here is we work with our partners, which is Veolia on the collection side.

“Our partners who can really make a difference here are the residents themselves. Stafford Borough has demonstrated time and time again that they are avid recyclers, and long may it continue.”