Priority 6: Reduce the amount of waste going for landfill or incineration from the district’s households and businesses

The main driver of climate change is consumption. The more we consume, whether food or goods, the more demand that drives for raw materials, the manufacture of products and the movement of those goods. Encouraging people to consume less, reuse more and recycle as much as possible is crucial to the global effort to tackle climate change. Locally it is more difficult to measure the impact of waste reduction as a lot of the emissions will be generated higher up the supply chain. However, disposal of the district’s waste at the Energy from Waste plant will be adding to carbon emissions elsewhere in the county.

The move to Alternate Weekly Collections in 2018 resulted in a drop in the amount of waste collected from households across the district of about 2,000 tonnes to 12,156 tonnes overall.

Without significant behavioural change though, waste from households is expected to rise in future years. Food waste is a particular issue, with about 37% of the district’s household waste estimated to be food.

Reversing this trend is crucial and will require investment to support significant behaviour change campaigns targeting both residents and businesses. In the future we may also need to explore alternatives to existing centralised waste collections, which may require changes to legislation.