Dunbar to become Scotland’s flagship Zero Waste Town

Zero Waste Scotland has launched a new initiative to help Dunbar become Scotland's first 'Zero Waste Town' in a pilot project announced today (6 August) by Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead.

Under the project, Dunbar in East Lothian will introduce a number of community-led initiatives, including a new materials re-use centre, a local engagement drive to help households reduce food waste, educational programmes in local schools and initiatives to reduce street litter.

Through collaboration between Zero Waste Scotland, East Lothian Council and local community group Sustaining Dunbar as well as engagement from local businesses and residents, the plan is to totally transform attitudes to waste in the town and, ultimately, eliminate waste altogether. The ambition has led to Dunbar being dubbed Scotland’s ‘Zero Waste Town’.

Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “This innovative programme will help the town recycle more, send less to landfill and use our precious resources more efficiently. I wish everyone involved in this initiative the best of luck and I hope it will create valuable experiences that other communities around Scotland can benefit from as we strive to make Scotland a zero waste country.”

Positive response

Scotland has set ambitious waste targets, aiming to achieve a 70% recycling rate and reduce overall waste produced by 15% by 2025.

Sustaining Dunbar chair Brian Grindley welcomed the opportunity to lead the way in reducing waste in Scotland. “We have already spoken to a wide range of organisations, businesses and individuals throughout the community and received a hugely positive response to this project,” he said.

Dunbar was selected for the pilot scheme following an open call for submissions from interested communities in 2013.

“Getting everyone in Scotland’s communities on-board with our vision to eliminate waste for the benefit of local economies and the environment is absolutely vital,” added Zero Waste Scotland’s director Iain Gulland.

“Working to becoming a Zero Waste Town will be a great way to bring communities together, working towards a shared goal. Hopefully the pilot project in Dunbar will provide great examples of best practice which we can recreate in other towns across Scotland.”

Scotland has seen multiple initiatives to reduce waste in order to move the country towards a circular economy. In May, Zero Waste Scotland, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation urged Scottish parliament to make the circular economy movement a ‘top priority’ to stimulate economic growth.

Matt Field

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