Spelman unveils new ‘co-design’ of household waste collection

Environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, has unveiled plans to bring together householders, project staff and council teams in order to ‘co-design’ new systems of waste collection and treatment on a community basis.

The “groundbreaking concept” was unveiled at the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) annual conference, and will be trialled with a pilot project in inner London.

It was also revealed that the department aims to develop a toolkit to allow other councils to make use of the pilot’s findings.

Mrs Spelman acknowledged that there was “no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to waste collection,” saying, “we know that imposition is rarely as effective as participation.”

The move reflects the Coalition Government’s flagship policy, the Big Society, decentralising responsibility for waste policies from local authorities to the communities they serve.

Commercial recycler and social welfare charity, Recycling Lives, is already working to give communities the power to dispose of their own waste, with the revolutionary BulkyWaste service.

The BulkyWaste service allows householders to arrange collection of large waste items through a simple, convenient online process.

Charities and social enterprises in the local area work as Collection Partners, establishing an income stream by collecting, refurbishing and reselling the items.

Recycling Lives, along with other charities, use this as an opportunity to provide training and work experience opportunities for the long term unemployed.

The service aims to reuse or recycle at least 60 per cent of the waste received, with reusable items refurbished and sold on to charities or low-income families.

Recycling Lives ounder and Chairman, Steven Jackson, said: “The BulkyWaste service essentially allows householders across the country to dispose of their bulky waste items in an environmentally conscious manner, while providing further benefits to the community and the local economy.”

“BulkyWaste is an innovative and revolutionary concept, and has a big part to play in bringing the new vision of waste disposal systems into fruition.”