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Newcastle waste commissioners hold first meeting

Newcastle’s new waste commission has kicked off its business with a tour of the city to see at first hand some of the issues that urban environments face.

The commission was launched in February, and will examine Newcastle’s processes to see how the city can reduce the 142,000 tonnes of waste generated every year.

The commissioners took to a bus to visit a number of sites including the household waste processing plant at Byker, Newcastle Great Park – one of the UK’s biggest housing developments – universities, the Civic Centre and the city’s main composting site.

Three meetings will be held in Newcastle and two in London, during which the commission will operate like a Parliamentary select committee, hearing evidence and producing a report with recommendations before the end of the year.

Chair Heidi Mottram, chief executive of Northumbrian Water Group, said: “Today was just about getting to know each other and getting a feel for some of the challenges Newcastle faces.

“The commissioners were very keen to see for themselves what is happening on the ground before meeting stakeholders and residents in the coming months.”

Nick Kemp, Newcastle’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and regulation, who came up with the idea, said the waste commissioners were experts in their fields.

“I am delighted we have managed to bring together such an eminent group of individuals to shape the future of the city, which could have implications for other cities,” he said.

Commission members are:

  • Heidi Mottram
  • Dr Colin Church, chief executive, Chartered Institution of Wastes Management
  • Ben Webster, environment editor, The Times
  • Marie Fallon, director of regulated industry, Environment Agency
  • Peter Maddox, director of government programmes, WRAP
  • Paul Taylor, chief executive, FCC Environment
  • Andrew Griffiths, head of environmental sustainability, Nestle UK and Ireland

Church is not shown the photograph, which includes Kemp.

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