Wales launches toolkit for partners engaging the public in materials management
3 April 2007, News release from Hyder Consulting Ltd
A new resource launched today has been designed to support the waste sector's drive to improve public engagement with waste facility planning and operation.
The Welsh Assembly Government, the Welsh Local Government Association, Waste Awareness Wales, Environment Agency Wales and Caerphilly Council teamed up to commission the production of a comprehensive toolkit. Developed with the input of a range of stakeholders the new toolkit provides practical advice and guidance to the sector and useful information for the public.
Communicating the essence of sustainability has never been easy, so the underlying concept of managing today's waste whilst planning for the future is promoted in the toolkit to support the sector's pressing need to promote acceptance and understanding of materials management processes.
A review of the wealth of guidelines, reports and related material already in existence was carried out and a handy quick guide to this is included in the pack. The guide indicates how each report may be of use to potential readers via a rating system relating to various disciplines including communications, planning and evaluation.
The pack includes a series of 'How to...' guides (tips relevant to media and community engagement and planning and timing, for example), an FAQ sheet and a sample presentation. A set of factsheets, supported by case studies to reassure and inspire readers, is included for wider distribution - to the public. These cover why and how we need to treat our 'rubbish' and go on to explain the planning process and waste technologies.
As more facilities are needed in Wales, the toolkit's many contributors are keen for the messages to be disseminated widely.
Kevin Bishop, Director of Environment and Regeneration, Welsh Local Government Association, is sure that the Toolkit will be of use to local authorities and their partners, "A key objective of the last few years has been to make effective use of public monies to roll out and promote recycling schemes across Wales and encourage the public to use them. It is vital that local authorities encourage consumers to take the next step, that is to accept that we need to invest in the technology and plant required to manage their recyclate, biodegradables and residual waste - sustainably".
It is the process of stakeholder involvement in the development of the toolkit that had been most valuable, says Andy Rees, Head of Waste Strategy Implementation, Welsh Assembly Government, "All contributors, from Wales and other parts of the UK, wanted to ensure that the needs of the environment and the wellbeing of individuals and local communities were addressed via the toolkit".
Everyone involved in the project was keen to ensure that all organisations with information in the public domain relating to waste management had the opportunity to be involved in steering debate and output relating to waste management options and priorities. Last year, a series of workshops invited a range of organisations from the public, private, community and voluntary sectors to discuss the issues facing waste management professionals and concerning consumers and community representatives. Participants and non-participants alike can now access the kit on www.wasteawarenesswales.org.uk/partners.