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waste strategies England waste strategies England

A critical review of a key Waste Strategy Initiative in England: Zero Waste Places Projects 2008–2009

In 2007, in England, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published Waste Strategy 2007 for England. To help drive the required behaviour change for increased sustainable practice the Government in England signalled up in the Strategy the intention to launch a Zero Waste Places (ZWP) initiative to develop innovative and exemplary practice. By inviting places (including cities, towns and rural communities) to bid for ZWP status, the successful applicants were then expected to become exemplars of good environmental practice on all waste issues. The ZWP programme commenced in October 2008 with the selection of 6 distinct places based upon an application by a partnership containing a Local Authority or in one case a Regional Development Agency. The places ranged in size from the very small (one street of 201 properties) to a Region of England (5 million population). These 6 were chosen from an initial list of 12 applicants via a rigorous selection process against fixed criteria that were designed to support Zero Waste practice. The funding was £70,258 and the mean was £11,709. The overall assessment suggests that the Local Authorities and their project partners rose to the challenge of zero waste and in most cases met or even exceeded their objectives (meeting at least 80% of aims and planned actions) and achieved high value for money in terms of Government funded initiatives. Evaluation suggested that there is a requirement to link, in the future, ZWP initiatives with other recent developments such as Transition Towns, Eco-Town and Total Place developments within Local Authorities. A Certificated Standard for ZWP was developed and is perceived as being both useful and valuable and it is hoped that it will spur a large number of new ZWP applications.