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Greens encourage Mayor to reduce "tide of waste" by investing in reuse and repair centre

- Greens say redevelopment of Hartcliffe Way depot must include repair and reuse facilities

- Greens call for new approach to waste, treating it as a highly valued resource

- Latest step towards Green Party goal for Bristol to send 0% of waste to landfill by 2020

The Green Party are calling on the mayor to invest in developing a Repair and Reuse facility in South Bristol to reduce waste being sent to landfill.

Spokespeople from the Green Party today put forward suggestions for a reuse and repair facility to be built on the site of the proposed Hartcliffe Way Recycling Centre, adding additional value to the recycling facility to not only create jobs but also put materials destined for landfill back to use.

Councillor Charlie Bolton (Southville) said

"In 2013/14, Bristol sent some 53,000 tonnes of domestic waste to landfill (1) – if this waste was instead diverted to reuse and recycling, it could create some 700 sustainable jobs. At the same time it would allow Bristol to move a significant step closer to the goal of sending zero waste to landfill and creating sustainable jobs."

The Green Party refer to evidence that placing greater emphasis on repair and reuse offers the opportunity to reduce waste whilst retaining greater value from existing products and materials.(2)

At present just 0.1% of Bristol’s domestic waste is reused, despite estimates that, for example, 40% of discarded large kitchen appliances are still in working order and current reuse of T-shirts and sofas nationally save the UK over 500,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year. (3)

If Bristol were to set and meet a target of recovering 10% of its domestic waste for reuse and remanufacture by working with the many waste recovery organisations in the city, there is the potential to create up to 300 permanent jobs whilst saving consumers well over £1.5m in costs.

In addition, increasing the level of recycling to 70% to eliminate domestic waste sent to landfill offers the opportunity to create up to 400 additional jobs creating an overall total of up to 700 new sustainable jobs for the city

Councillor Carla Denyer (Clifton East) said

"The tide of waste that we see go to landfill in our city increasingly includes repairable high value items, like laptops or washing machines. With sufficient partnership working with skilled repair and recycling professionals, we could stop this trend, repair much of our waste, and see jobs and goods created from our efforts. It's a no-brainer."

She continued

"Sending 0% of our waste to landfill is achievable by 2020 if Bristol as a city commits to ideals such as reusing (rather than replacing), swapping and sharing, second hand markets, being willing to visit repair centres and more. This, alongside investment in clean waste to energy technology to dispose sustainably of the limited landfill waste that we will create, would make zero landfill a reality. This ambition is what should be expected of a European Green Capital."

 

Earlier in July, the Green Party launched a call for the city to send zero waste to landfill by 2020 (4). Calls for greater repair and reuse facilities in the city, as exemplified in many other European cities, are central to the achievement of this goal. 

 

Councillor Martin Fodor (Redland) said “Waste needs to be seen as a highly valued resource whose proper utilisation can improve both our environmental and socio-economic performance. We would like to see the Bristol Waste Company play a full part in innovations and experiments that encourage reuse and repair working in partnership with other Bristol organisations and groups, and drawing on other services the council runs. I have been pressing for this as lead Green councillor on the scrutiny of this service, with the full support of our Assistant Mayor, Daniella Radice.”

Notes:

1.    Bristol Development Monitoring Report 2014, page 113 http://www.bristol.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/planning_and_building_regulations/planning_policy/local_development_framework/AMR2014Bookmarked.pdf

2.    http://www.backbench247.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Green-Alliance-More-jobs-less-carbon.pdf

3.    http://www.waste-management-world.com/articles/print/volume-13/issue-3/features/kickstarting-reuse-in-europe.html

4.    http://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/news/greens-call-for-bristol-to-send-zero-waste-to-landfill-by-2020

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