Headlines: February 26th, 2001

A waste reduction group is celebrating the success of a targeted campaign to change behaviour.Waste Watch’s 3Rs for the 3rd Sector project has been running for two years in London and the North-West, working with not-for-profit organisations to promote waste reduction, reuse and recycling.

The pilots there have been so successful that Waste Watch is now planning to continue the projects in these regions, and expand into the East Midlands, West Midlands and the North East, all for a further two years.

The free consultancy programme helps charities and not-for-profit organisations reduce their waste and buy more recycled products through tailored support ranging from on-site visits and waste audits, to advice on local services. Waste Watch has a number of bids in to find funding for the expansion of the programme this spring, including for the use of funds gathered from the landfill tax to pump prime further reductions in the need for landfill.

Over 800 organisations have benefited from the service, with 70% introducing some kind of waste reduction or re-use measure as a result.

Among the organisations to change behaviour is the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Spurred into action by news from Westminster Council that charities would no longer be exempt from paying waste disposal charges, they set up a number of initiatives such as paper recycling, a cardboard pick-up service which worked out cheaper than disposal, the collection of toner cartridges for recycling and obsolete computer equipment sent for re-use.

Cleaning contractors were required to switch their products to more environmentally friendly brands and polystyrene cups were changed to a recyclable version which is collected by Save-a-Cup.

Project users have been supported by the 3Rs for the 3rd Sector publication ‘A Practical Guide on how to reduce, reuse and recycle your waste’ and a dedicated website – www.wastewatch.org.uk/3rs/index.htm