Leith is set to lead the way in becoming a zero waste town for residents and workers and drive forward Scotland’s waste-free revolution, as part of an initiative led by local environmental charity Changeworks.
Leith, along with Perth and central Edinburgh have been selected as the locations for Scotland’s third Zero Waste Town projects. Each will receive a share of nearly £900,000 in funding from Zero Waste Scotland and the European Regional Development Fund to ‘make things last’ in their communities.
Changeworks’ ambitious plan is to develop zero waste approaches to life and business in Leith working with community groups and partners and contributing to Scotland’s growing circular economy. Activities include using area-based street approach to tackling waste to develop a best practice model to roll out beyond Leith, engaging all stakeholders in school communities, a Zero Waste business charter, community clean up and campaigns to improve repair and reuse and cut fly tipping and food waste.
Changeworks’ plan will build on work already underway in the area, with benefits and legacy which go well beyond the funding end date of March 2020.
Teresa Bray, Chief Executive, Changeworks said: “We’ve had such a positive response to Zero Waste Leith from community groups, businesses, schools and residents across the community. We engaged with people living and working in Leith earlier in the year to inform plans for what will happen to tackle waste reduction – Leith is very much at its heart.
“We’re hugely excited to be working with the Leith community to cut litter, fly tipping and food waste and improve recycling, repairing and reusing to get the most out of what we have. We’re building on what’s already happening – adding capacity, resource, support and energy – to ensure Leith leads the way in becoming a new Zero Waste Town. This is a united front by businesses, community groups, schools and residents to improve quality of life and create better places to live and work.
“Leith will be part of a bigger Zero Waste Town movement, working alongside the Zero Waste Perth consortium and SHRUB, and learning from the previous experiences of Zero Waste Towns Dunbar and the Isle of Bute. We’ll see lots of opportunities for people to get involved and make a difference locally, as well as contribute to Scotland’s ambitious targets.”
Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Communities are right at the heart of delivering real, lasting behaviour change. With their new Zero Waste Town status these three areas will have new tools with which to build on their zero waste work – while contributing to coordinated action across the country to drive a more sustainable, circular, economy.”
Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, said: “Re-using and recycling more, and making the most of the food we buy and grow, is something we can all do to reduce waste and keep products and materials in high-value use for longer.
“In Scotland we are working towards ambitious targets on waste, with 70% recycled or prepared for re-use by 2025, and a commitment to reduce food waste by a third by the same year.
“Action from households, communities and businesses is crucial for us to achieve this. That is why I am delighted to announce this funding which will help Scotland’s Zero Waste Towns come up with new and innovative ideas to bring these targets within reach.”
The Zero Waste Towns initiative forms part of the Resource Efficiency (Highlands and Islands and Lowlands and Uplands Scotland) operations of the £73 Million Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund.