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A NEW WASTE-FREE ROSS-SHIRE!

Ross-shire Waste Action Network's (RoWAN) Waste Free Household Project came to an end in September 2004 with the project a seminar held in Dingwall to disseminate the project findings. This was a well-attended, positive day, bringing the project to a successful conclusion. The projects' aim was to recruit volunteer households and to support them in becoming as waste-free as possible with meetings, events, fact sheets, bulletins that were organised by Project Officer, Sheila Wickens.

Throughout Ross-shire, many people took part, with about 130 households attending events and receiving the Project's literature, and a dedicated set of 50 households regularly measuring their waste. Volunteers gathered data by sorting and weighing their rubbish, to give RoWAN figures both on their weekly rubbish going to landfill via council wheelie bins, and also information about different materials and what happened with them - recycled, composted, landfilled etc. While the data gathering was one of the hardest parts of the project, this data proved invaluable in assessing the projects' success. Findings showed that waste going to landfill decreased by 58%, while total waste for each household (which the local authority counts as landfill & recycling) was reduced by 39%, showing that householders successfully managed to carry out waste avoidance through careful shopping. Recycling and composting rates had also increased. The results that were achieved showed that with ongoing information and encouragement, people found the motivation to make huge changes. Best of all, it would seem from everyone's comments, that these changes are permanent! In December, the success of the project was recognised when RoWAN was presented with The Highland Council, Ross & Cromarty Committee's 'Community Award' for the 'Best Recycling Project'.

RoWAN is now keen to take forward the success of this project to more homes in Ross-shire, with a new project called 'Waste Free RCV' (RCV stands for refuse collection vehicle). The plan is to employ a project officer to provide intensive support to 4,000 households on one RCV route. RoWAN will also give each household feedback on the amount of waste it sends to landfill, as each wheelie bin will get an electronic tag on it, and the RCV will be fitted with weighing equipment. It is hoped that by giving people direct feedback on their waste, this will provide the motivation to take action. RoWAN is delighted to have been awarded £96,000 from Transforming mWaste (part of the Big Lottery) to undertake this project, and are now working hard to find the match funding which will enable the project to start.

For more information, please contact Chris Pamphilon on 01349 861822.

 

 

 


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