PSE365: The public sector role in encouraging recycling

Waste is an important part of the conversation when it comes to effective decarbonisation, if perhaps sometimes overlooked. One of the most impactful ways of improving the environmental impact of waste is through successful recycling initiatives, encouraging households within local authority area to reduce the waste going to landfill and incineration.

Speaking at PSE365’s Decarbonisation virtual event, during a dedicated waste management and strategy panel, Andrew Jenkins, Waste Promotions Lead Officer at Buckinghamshire Council, explained some of the work they’ve been doing locally to encourage residents to recycle more.

He explained: “We have been looking at how we manage our waste internally, which should be quite easy for local authorities. But we’re also teaching residents to do it every day – it’s an easy way that we can encourage households to recycle more.

“Prior to the last five years, the focus was on safe natural resources and energy. Now we’re really focusing on how recycling more and reducing your waste could impact on carbon emissions.

“For lots of residents, the big ticket items are big changes to make in their life – whether to change what car they buy, or whether they move towards a vegan diet – but recycling more at home can have a quite big impact across what they do.

“They can do it every single day, so they feel empowered. We can encourage residents to recycle items, pop into the refill shop instead of getting new plastic bottles, and such.

“Waste isn’t your biggest ticket item, but it is something that both local authorities and individuals can change today and make a positive impact.

“I also think as a waste industry we could do a lot more work in terms of moving towards that carbon impact of your waste – changing the message from ‘if you recycle a tin can, you can make a new tin can’ – to instead us needing to put that into the carbon common language.”

Also joining Andrew on the panel were Cindy Gardener, Head of Waste & Recycling at London Borough of Hounslow, Ray Parmenter, Head of Policy & Technical at the Chartered Institution of Waste Management and Natalie Naor from London Borough of Havering.

The session can be watched on demand above and in the PSE365 platform.

Register now to the PSE365 virtual events platform to stay up to date with upcoming virtual events.

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