Newcastle City Council has set up an all-star team of industry experts to review its waste strategy, aiming to reduce the 48,000 tonnes it landfills each year.
The authority’s Newcastle Waste Commission includes Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) chief executive Colin Church as well as:
- FCC Environment UK chief executive Paul Taylor
- Environment Agency director of regulated industry Marie Fallon
- WRAP director of government programmes Peter Maddox
The panel will be chaired by Northumbrian Water Group chief executive Heidi Mottram, and also include Nestle UK head of environmental sustainability Andrew Griffiths and The Times’ environment editor Ben Webster.
Meetings will be conducted in a select committee-style, with businesses, groups and individuals able to apply to address the panel, giving their opinions and experiences. The first will be on 21 April.
Each meeting will focus on a particular theme such as waste minimisation, reuse, recycling, emerging technologies and the role of communities.
It will then produce recommendations for the whole of the city to consider.
Newcastle councillor Nick Kemp, who has responsibility for waste strategy, set up the commission to tackle the “inordinate amounts of waste” the city produces and landfills each year.
He said: “We want a new approach. Something that challenges each and every one of us to change our behaviour for the world today and the world tomorrow. We owe this to future generations.
“I want Newcastle to become a model of excellence in how it deals with waste, a city that is emulated all around the world in tackling this global problem.”
Church said: “This is an exciting attempt to take a forward-looking approach to addressing the issue of resource and waste management in a complex urban environment.
“I’m keen to share the CIWM’s expertise and, in turn, to learn from the expertise of the other commission members as we work together.”
Griffiths said: “By bringing together representatives from local and central Government, business and NGOs, who have a passion for dealing with waste, we have a fabulous opportunity to create a model in the north-east that could help to develop a blueprint for the UK.”
Maddox said: “We know there are real challenges in managing waste in city regions, so it’s really encouraging that Newcastle has set up this commission to drive change in recycling.
“If we can help people and businesses to see waste as a valuable resource, it can create local employment and wealth and, at the same time, reduce its impact on the environment.”
Taylor said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to create a vision and a strategy for dealing with waste management in Newcastle for the next 20 or 30 years.
“Recognising the real value of discarded resources, balancing the need for environmentally sustainable solutions in an economically efficient way and supporting the needs of householders and business in a deliverable model that can be a blueprint across the region.”
Newcastle council currently has an in-house collections service. It collected almost 142,000 tonnes of waste in 2015-16, with more than 48,000 tonnes of this landfilled and a similar amount recycled.