26/09/2022 - Permalink

Let’s talk rubbish 

Related topics: Climate change / environment / Partner organisations

Shropshire Council is encouraging residents to think about their rubbish, and in particular, what more they can do to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost, as it reveals that Shropshire has one of the highest quantities of waste per household in the country. 

Not only is this bad for the environment, but it also costs the council over £33.5 million per year to collect and dispose of, which equates to 6% of the council’s entire budget. 

Shropshire’s residents can justifiably be proud of how they have responded to the call to recycle during the last two decades. From a countywide performance that was in single figures, to now consistently recycling and composting well over half of Shropshire’s household waste, is a fantastic achievement. However, more now needs to be done to reduce waste and allow the council to invest the money saved into delivering other essential services.  

In order to do this, the council has recognised the need for a new Waste Minimisation Strategy, along with the appropriate resources needed to research, develop, consult upon and deliver it. This ask will be considered by councillors at the Place Overview Committee on Thursday 29 September 2022, before being considered by Cabinet later this year. 

Joyce Barrow, Shropshire Council’s Chairperson for Place Overview Committee, said:-

“Despite our best efforts, we are still producing too much waste. It’s not sustainable and we all need to do something about it. 

“Climate change is impacting us all every day. We see some signs more visibly, but others are less evident. We have seen the impact of extreme weather events at home and overseas. In Shropshire we have experienced flooding and have more recently experienced extreme summer heat and drought.

Climate change reduces our ability to grow crops and impacts harvests. It impacts on water and energy supply chains and leads to biodiversity and habitat loss. We are already seeing the cost of our weekly shop increase following the hot, dry summer we have just experienced.  

“We, as a council, have made our commitment to address climate change, and we’re working with our partners to deliver the Climate Action Plan. However, we need to keep doing more, both within Shropshire Council as an organisation, and as individuals.  

“There is a lot of work to do, but we can start to make a difference now by carefully thinking about the things that we buy, how we use them, and ultimately how we dispose of them.” 

There are a number of things people can do to save money and reduce waste, such as:-

  • Reducing food waste by only buying what you need, checking use by dates, learning which foods can be eaten safely beyond best before label dates, freezing food, planning meals to use up leftovers. 
  • Composting at home (your garden and plants will benefit). 
  • Choosing products with minimal packaging and using reusable containers and bags. Try to avoid purchasing disposable products such as wipes, plastic cups etc. 
  • Buying in bulk (where there is less packaging per quantity) or buying refillable containers. 
  • Avoid purchasing plastic bottles and other plastics. Think about using a milkman rather than plastic milk bottles. 
  • Stop your junk mail (work to avoid receiving unwanted items). 
  • Repurpose – eg reuse paper and card for making your lists and notes. 
  • Donate unwanted items to charity shops, local reuse and free item networks (eg freecycle) etc. 
  • Minimise your use of energy and water. 
  • If you can – think about hiring rather than buying.
  • Buy things that will last and if something breaks – see if it can be repaired rather than replaced. 

For more information and tips, people should visit the council’s website (https://shropshire.gov.uk/recycling-and-rubbish/  

The Place Overview Committee meeting will take place on Thursday 29 September 2022 at 2pm at Shirehall, Shrewsbury. People will also be able to watch the meeting live on the council’s YouTube channel.