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.

PSE December/January 2024

PSE December/January 2024

Northumberland’s climate change resource is empowering the next generation

Dive into our latest edition for December/January. Discover insightful articles on climate change, innovation in nuclear decommissioning, fostering collaboration, and more.

 

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Public Sector Executive Podcast

Ep 48. Achieving Net Zero - Cllr Abdul Jabbar - Oldham Council

As central government aims for the UK to be net zero by 2050, councils around the country make plans for how to reduce emissions. This episode’s guest, Oldham’s Councillor Abdul Jabbar outlines the importance of coming together to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint, the benefits of achieving net zero, and how Oldham Council are working to do just that.
 

Touching on the role that the public sector can play in sustainability, Cllr Jabbar said:
 

“I think it’s really important that the public sector gives true leadership in this space. I think something like one third of the carbon emissions in the country come from the public sector, so obviously we’re a big polluter in terms of the emissions.”
 

Councillor Jabbar also spoke about challenges being faced by organisations:
 

“I think the biggest one has been finance. Clearly the local government sector in particular has had its grants cut from central government by a huge amount and that’s had a very big impact in terms of our plans to take forward projects in relation to climate change, so that’s a major issue.”
 

To hear what Cllr Jabbar has to say about the mission to achieve net zero carbon emissions, listen to the latest episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast.

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