Public sector decarbonisation: waste strategies
Ten top ideas for public sector decarbonisation from the recent PSE waste management strategies panel discussion.
By Joe Fuller
We recently attended a Public Sector Executive (PSE) ‘waste strategies panel discussion’, which asked how the public sector can use data and extract value to improve waste collection. As well as leaning heavily on public sector decarbonisation. The panelists discussed how local authorities can minimise waste, promote resource efficiency and reduce its carbon output. In this blog, we highlight ten ideas they came up with…
- QR codes on packaging to determine what is and isn’t recyclable.
Derek Rooney, Waste Programme Director, Local Partnerships (DR)
- Door knocking and direct mail is “expensive” but “necessary” to explain which items go in which bins. It “takes us all working together as an industry” to help fund and arrange such communications.
Trevor Nicoll, Assistant Director of Environment & Operations, St Helens Council (TN)
- One of the barriers is that people “don’t actually believe their waste is recycled. We encourage people to come and see for themselves that it is being recycled.”
Claire Preston, Waste Services Team Manager, North West Leicestershire District Council (CP)
- Software in collection vehicles can now pick up reports – including missed bins – from residents directly, improving response times. (CP)
- We can use existing technology such as GPS in different ways, such as commercial vendors receiving a warning that a collection vehicle is nearby. (DR)
- Driver ID fobs being able to identify drivers and their driving style, e.g. idling, harsh brakers, and wear and tear on the vehicle, will result in longer life for the vehicles and more efficient fuel consumption. (CP)
- Changing fuel in the vehicles will immediately reduce the carbon footprint, and it looks like hydrogen “could well be used soon”. (CP)
- “Collection routes are interesting: part of the tendering process for a new contractor involves rerouting the collections. But that is not a dynamic system. Can we reroute more dynamically, rather than following a set route for the contract period?” (DR)
- “Waste is well placed for a circular economy”. Can councils redirect people to charities collecting old sofas and beds? Could there be a ‘bring-back’ system where producers have to then sell an item secondhand? Can supermarkets sell secondhand items too? (DR)
- Supermarkets now have systems in place that tally up your shopping as you go. Could the same kind of technology be used to inform consumers of the carbon footprint of their purchases? (DR)