A fresh approach to waste

18 January 2017

Newcastle generates 142,000 tonnes of waste, enough to fill one third of St James’ Park every year.

More than 35 per cent of it ends up in the ground as landfill, placing a massive environmental and financial burden on the city.

As population grows and trends like online shopping and packaging become more common, the problems associated with waste and the toll on the local environment continue to grow.

Exactly what the city can do to tackle its waste mountain is the subject of the latest Policy Cabinet to take place on Wednesday, January 25 at The Great North Museum.

By law, the council must have a waste strategy and its current one has not been updated for nine years so it is taking the opportunity to have a completely fresh approach to waste in 2017.

As everyone is responsible for waste, the council wants to start a conversation with its communities and partners. It wants to stop looking at waste as a problem and instead view it as an asset through innovative new ways of recycling, reusing and turning waste into energy.

The city council wants Newcastle to become recognised around the world for how it deals with waste.

More than 90 groups are registered with the council to tackle waste and improve the local environment – an enviable resource for any city - so the council wants to work with them as it seeks to break new ground on this issue.

Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, Cllr Nick Kemp, said: “The amount of waste created in the city is a huge challenge, it effects everyone and has a huge impact, both environmentally and economically.

“There is a lot of good work taking place by many different groups, but there is much more to be done.

“There are many interesting examples of how waste is dealt with, looking at every part of the waste journey, from packaging, and behaviour right through to actual waste treatment. I want us to take a completely fresh look at how we deal with it from the moment it is produced, to when we dispose of it.

“We want everyone to get involved in this. The council does not have all of the answers but if we come together as a city I’m confident we can do some amazing things.

“Some of what we end up doing will be incredibly challenging, but there’s a real opportunity here to be truly radical and I want us to seize it.”

The meeting starts at 4.30pm.