Southend on Sea
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is pleased to announce the successful launch of a new commercial plastic recycling project.
PlastiCity is a three year, European funded, research project that aims to increase the amount of commercial and industrial plastics recycled in the 2 Seas region – United Kingdom, Belgium, France and Netherlands. The 2 Seas region has been identified as a significant producer of commercial and industrial plastic waste.
The project is led by the city of Ghent, Belgium, and brings together 2 Seas partners from the four countries. Southend-on-Sea is the only town in the UK to be part of the project, with University of Portsmouth assisting with research.
The aim of the PlastiCity project is to research and develop strategies and solutions to identify, collect and process more commercial and industrial plastics. This research should provide opportunities for businesses in the 2 Seas region to increase their overall recycling rates to 50%.
The council is now looking for ‘actors’ – local businesses, restaurants, schools, civic buildings and more – to register their interest in the project to gain support and guidance on how to recycle their plastic waste responsibly.
Increasing the amount of plastics recycled has the potential to benefit living conditions of more than half a million residents in the 2 Seas region by reducing the amount of plastic waste travelling through the oceans, polluting water and beaches and harming flora and fauna.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “The global amount of plastic not being recycled is totally unacceptable and this strategic approach to educate and support businesses in the recycling of commercial and industrial plastics is a big step in the right direction.
“It is a great opportunity for local businesses to become actively involved in learning more about the consequences of not recycling plastics properly and improve their own recycling rates, whilst developing the prosperity of their own environmental profile.
“Locally, we know more can be done. It gives me great pride that we’re the only UK town involved in this project and with the University of Portsmouth assisting with research, I am sure we can inspire residents and businesses alike to get involved and focus on keeping future generations safe and well.”
Further information about PlastiCity or to register an interest in signing up to the project, please contact PlastiCity@southend.gov.uk
Please follow the link for further information: www.interreg2seas.eu/en/PlastiCity
Visitors to Southend’s City Beach this bank holiday got a preview of a nine-foot fish sculpture which is being constructed to alert people to the devastating effects of litter on the marine environment.
Cllr Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, took the sculpture – which is nearing completion – to City Beach on Bank Holiday Monday as part of a litter pick she carried out with fellow Leigh Ward councillor, Cllr Ashley Thompson, and assisted by staff from Veolia.
The artwork, which doubles up as a bin, is being constructed by local sculptor, Dave Taylor, and will soon be completed and painted before being installed in a prominent position along the seafront. Although it will be removed during the winter season, it will be reassembled in the spring to catch the first of the high-season visitors.
Cllr Mulroney said: “I am delighted to see the sculpture taking shape so quickly. We couldn’t miss the opportunity to let visitors have a sneak preview during the litter pick.
“People of all ages responded really well to it. It’s a great way of getting people talking about beach litter. Several people had their photos taken with the fish and the children in particular liked to ‘pop in’ their plastic drinks bottles.
“In total, Ashley and I collected eight bags of rubbish in just two hours, in addition to the truck loads that Veolia were collecting. It was an extremely hot day and they did a magnificent job of keeping the bins emptied – of which there were many.
“We also handed out rubbish bags to beach-goers so they could bag up their own rubbish. People were friendly and some gathered their rubbish right away and disposed of it.
“If this new sculpture – along with Veolia’s litter cube – can get people thinking about the impact of rubbish in our seas and on our beaches and change habits, then that can only be a positive for the environment.”
Any residents who are interested in volunteering to help with beach-cleaning operations – particularly during mornings and evenings on busy seafront days – are asked to email email@example.com or to visit www.southend.gov.uk/streetchampions for further information.
Caption: Cllr Mulroney and Cllr Thompson with the fish sculpture at City Beach.
Every year, British households throw away approximately 7million tonnes of food waste and lots of this ends up in landfill, where it decomposes and produces harmful gases and liquids.
This is why Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and its waste and recycling contractor, Veolia - the UK’s leading environmental solutions company – want residents to recycle their food waste to reduce this and at the same time save money.
Veolia collects the blue food waste bins weekly in split-bodied vehicles which allow black sacks and food waste to be collected separately. The food is sent to an Anaerobic Digestion plant to be used to produce fertiliser and generate electricity for the National Grid. You can now discover the journey of your food waste and how Veolia recycles it in a new video available on the Council’s website.
If you have enough space, you can also compost your garden waste and some of your food waste at home. Home composting can be tricky, so Veolia is offering training for composting champions who will learn the basics of how to design or choose a bin, what to put in the compost and how it all works.
The composting champions will also have the opportunity to visit a composting site and learn how to spread the word in their community. The first training day takes place on Thursday 26 September. If you are interested, please contact Veolia recycling officers by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “The council works with Veolia to ensure we are increasing the amount of food waste being recycled locally. But we need to do more, much more.
“Many people don’t know the issues surrounding food waste, and the harmful gases it produces which have a major impact on the environment, so we must act now to prevent this.
“Food waste recycling has increased, and we now want to ensure that residents have all the information they need to allow them to recycle their food waste, including through composting it themselves, and we want members of the public to register their interest in becoming a composting champion.”
Keith McGurk, Regional Director for Veolia, said “Residents are doing a great job of recycling their materials and we want to thank them for it. By promoting the food waste services, we’d like to increase the number of residents who recycle in Southend.
“For residents who would prefer to compost at home, we are also launching a composting champion scheme. We will offer training to residents who’d like to start composting at home and help spread the word within their community.”
To know more about our services and order new rubbish sacks, bins, boxers or liners, please visit www.southend.gov.uk/foodwaste