Bute in running to become Scotland’s first Zero Waste ‘Town’

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SONY DSC

Bute is one of six places in the running to become Scotland’s first ‘zero waste town’.

The island is part of a joint bid with Campbeltown put forward by Fyne Futures, the ‘sustainability’ arm of Rothesay-based housing association Fyne Homes (and before you point out that Bute isn’t a town, the news release on the subject issued by Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) states that the ‘towns’ involved are in fact “communities of 5,000 to 10,000 people, rather than traditional established geographic towns”).

Five communities have been invited to explore how higher recycling rates and more efficient use of local resources can help towards a ‘zero waste’ goal by 2020.

The release also says that each of the projects are “led by an organisations [sic] with a track record bringing partners together to deliver change”.

The five communities selected have all been awarded ‘seedcorn funding’ to help with the preparation of business cases over the coming months. They are Campbeltown/Bute, led by Fyne Futures; Dumbarton, led by West Dunbartonshire CVS; Dunbar, led by Sustaining Dunbar; Girvan, led by Aspire2gether; and Mull and Iona, led by the Mull & Iona Community Trust.

Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “This is a really exciting project for Scotland as it looks to increase momentum with innovative new ideas to deliver a zero waste society.

“We have been looking for organisations that can lead the gathering of evidence and show the vision, ambition and practical skills needed to pull off this ambitious model.

“The successful implementation of plans, from the new year onwards, will demonstrate the most effective ways that communities in Scotland can achieve zero waste by delivering the highest recycling rates and reducing residual waste, and that business in those places can significantly reduce their use of key materials, energy and water.”

The communities will receive targeted support and further funding to enable them to build comprehensive project delivery plans. Technical contractors may also be provided to support this development phase.

The ZWS announcement states that the project “has been developed in collaboration with a number of third sector networks including DTAS, Scottish Community Alliance, CRNS, Scottish Climate Change Communities Network”.

The project draws its inspiration from other similar initiatives including Italy’s internationally renowned Zero Waste Town programme, for which the Italian pioneer Rossano Ercolini, from Capannori, Tuscany, was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2013 in recognition of his efforts in stimulating community-led action and a new approach to waste management.

Capannori has a recycling rate in excess of 80 per cent, and works closely with local government having persuaded them of the benefits of recycling. Sr Ercolini helped establish the European Zero Waste Network, which celebrates and encourages community led approaches to waste management.

The business cases from the five competing ‘towns’ must be completed by the end of December.