Leader's blog - 8 February 2023
Published: Wednesday, 8 February, 2023
"Recently I visited the Materials Recycling Facility where our recycling is sorted. It was amazing to see what happens there: a jumbled mix of green bin recycling winds its way on a conveyor belt through a complex series of processes - magnets, rotating sieves, optical identification, air jets, vibration and hand picking. By the end, streams of cans, glass and each type of plastic are ready to be baled and sold to the next user. Nothing is wasted: even a ‘confetti’ of small fragments is used as the raw material for a nearby concrete manufacturer.
Stroud district residents are fantastic recyclers, amongst the best in the UK. We can do better still by keeping plastic bags out of the green bin, as they can’t be recycled in this way (supermarkets have collection bins) and can damage the machinery. And although recycling is far better than condemning reusable materials to the incinerator, it does still have a – smaller – environmental cost, largely due to the energy needed to reprocess the materials. Better to avoid the waste in the first place – locally-run group Action on Plastic has great tips for avoiding the unnecessary packaging that fills up our bins.
It’s budget time at the council, and we’re looking at all the ways we can best use our funding to deliver local services and tackle climate change. Enabling active travel – safe ways to walk and cycle over short journeys rather than drive – is another way we can reduce carbon emissions. The county council, as Transport Authority, leads on this, so we are working with it on strategic routes such as the cycle spine that will eventually link Stroud with Gloucester. But we are also funding smaller, local projects, and the Environment Committee has proposed to Council a further £0.5m of funding over two years to help remove barriers to active travel. We’re also recruiting for a Bicycle Mayor like those elected in Bath and Cheltenham, a local champion for using a bike to get around - could that be you? The application window has been extended to February 17th, more here."
This week's blog was written by Cllr Chloe Turner
Chair, Environment Committee