16 Sep 2014

Waste opportunity?

A new report by Cambridge Econometrics estimates the UK economy would be 1.1 per cent bigger in 2030 if it met its carbon targets, with households £565 a year better off. “And that is before you even consider the climate change benefits that may result from decarbonisation,” writes James Murray in businessGreen.

That runs in a totally different direction to what we usually hear. Politicians from other parties, and industry folk tend to view anything green as an expensive, anti-business project. However, sustainable approaches do not have to be a sort of martyrdom. We could, as a country, live well by making better use of our resources in the first place. It’s also worth noting that climate change is going to be expensive. Flooding isn’t cheap, nor is the erosion it so often causes along with the havoc for home owners, farmers, and businesses. Damage from high winds has a price tag, dangerously hot weather and bitterly cold winters cost us as well. The more unpredictable the climate becomes, the bigger the costs, on every level.

You’d think that every last ‘suit’ with an eye for the bottom line would already be paying attention to this. With Greenhouses gasemissions hitting record highs,  the need for radical change is truly urgent.

In Stroud we’re looking at how to get a circular economy around waste. Re-using resources, rather than sending them to landfill, is much better in terms of carbon impact than sourcing from raw materials in order to bury them in the ground. New waste strategies, developed after 3 research reports and extensive public consultation, will bring some real benefits when contracts change in 2016. Green Cllr Simon Pickering has led the way in getting food waste collected.
Stroud has a good record in terms of what we send to landfill per person, but our percentages of waste recycled are not what they could be. The current waste collection contract doesn’t cover food waste, but when that changes, we’ll be moving closer to our target of recycling 60% of waste.

Click here for more about waste in the local news.

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