EU and UK Friends of the Earth Campaigner in Gloucestershire

Zero Waste – A way to low carbon future

9th October 2010

John Beattie campaigner from Safety in Waste and Rubbish Disposal (SWARD) based in Bishops Cleeve talking to Adam Kennerley Chief executive Cwm Harry Land Trust
Barbara Farmer campaigner from Safety in Waste and Rubbish Disposal (SWARD) based in Bishops Cleeve talking to one of the panelists, Venk Shenoi, a District Councillor from the Forest of Dean
Panel for question and answer session, from left to right: Venk Shenoi (Con, Forest of Dean DC), Stephen McHale (Lab, Gloucestershire CC), Chris Harmer, (Green, ex Chair of Horsley Parish Council), Mike Birkin (FoE Campaigns Coordinator South West), Adam Kennerley (Chief Executive, Cwm Harry Land Trust),Michael Warhurst (Senior Resource Use Campaigner for FoE EU and UK), Martin Horwood MP (LibDem, Cheltenham)
Michael Pickering (MidCounties Co-operative), Adam Kennerley (Cwm Harry Land Trust), Michael Warhurst (FoE EU & UK), Mike Birkin, (FoE South West) and members of Gloucestershire Friends of the Earth Network
Speakers and some of the participants

Gloucestershire Friends of the Earth (GFOEN) believe that a new approach to dealing with waste is needed and are calling for a national pilot Zero Waste project to take place in Gloucestershire. They want local communities to have more say in how their waste is collected and dealt with, as they believe this would lead to higher recycling rates and help answer the challenge of climate change, the Big Society and create more jobs. To stimulate discussion and action they organised a Conference, "Zero Waste a Way to a Low Carbon Future" free and open to all.

Michael Warhurst, European and United Kingdom Resource Use Campaigner for Friends of the Earth was the key note speaker at the conference. Friends of the Earth have just released their Report, "More Jobs Less Waste" in which they show the value of recycling in job creation. Michael Warhurst said, "It's clear that achieving zero waste through preventing, reusing and recycling our waste is the way to both fight climate change and create new green jobs. The real question is whether local councils, and the national government, have the vision necessary to make this happen"

He was joined by Adam Kennerly of the Cwm Harry Land Trust presenting their "Slow Waste" pilot project for the Welsh Assembly in which the investment is in the community and not in traditional trucks. GFOEN believe this approach would work well in Gloucestershire. Michael Pickering, Social Responsibility Manager MidCounties Co-operative talked about co-operatives on the theme of "Co-operatives - Communities in action". The day finished with a panel from political parties and speakers for a question and answer session. They were Martin Horwood MP for Cheltenham Spa, Venk Shenoi, Conservative Forest of Dean District Councillor, Stephen McHale, Labour Gloucestershire County Councillor for Robinswood Gloucester, Chris Harmer, Green Party, ex Chair of Horsley Parish Council Stroud District, and the debate was chaired by Mike Birkin, Friends of the Earth Regional Campaigns Co-ordinator South West.

Mary Newton Waste officer for Glos FOE said, "We feel that that this conference and network day stimulated a lot of interest and discussion, now we hope that it will lead to action. Parish and Town Councils, Co-operatives, the Voluntary and Community Sector and small and medium enterprises all have a role to play in turning local waste into a local resource, reducing the carbon footprint and stimulating local businesses in the recycling and the recyclates industry."

The event was held at Bethesda Methodist Church, Cheltenham.


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