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Gloucestershire Business News

Local community help needed to improve waste reduction

Forest of Dean District Council will soon be seeking input from the local community to influence our thinking on how we should be dealing with waste and recycling.

Following interest shown by a number of community groups and local residents, the FODDC Cabinet has decided to set up a working panel - comprising councillors, officers and members of the public - to look into what we throw away and review the possibilities and opportunities for improvement, taking account of the requirements of the District for the next ten years.

Leader of the council Tim Gwilliam says: "It's fair to say that media coverage, including BBC's 'Blue Planet' series, has invigorated and stimulated public interest in waste and recycling. Compared with many other local authorities we provide an excellent service but that doesn't mean we are not open to constructive criticism and advice. If we wish to be an innovative and sustainable Council we have to be open to all views and suggestions and then we have to try to give the public the service they need from us. Whilst existing contracts may limit the changes that can be made in the short term there is scope to improve our communication and promotion of the service, ensuring it is understandable and accessible to everyone.

"The proposed working panel will have access to key elements of waste and recycling issues to inform their study, including the pros and cons regarding various possible initiatives, estimated costs and potential savings. This should enable the panel to develop proposals that will give FODDC Councillors a valuable steer on our future direction, including the requirements we will need to specify in our future waste and recycling contracts.

Chris McFarling, cabinet member for environment, adds: "Our throw-away culture needs to change quickly, before we completely pollute the natural world and destroy the ecosystems upon which we depend. Reducing the waste we discard will help save the environment and cost us less. Reusing and repairing some of the items we currently send to landfill or incineration will help too. Recycling everything else will eventually reduce waste to zero. That's the challenge.

"When we work together, openly, transparently and in a positive way, we can take on that challenge, and transform our world for the better - for us now, and for our children and grandchildren to enjoy for years to come."

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