Council to take part in Zero Waste Europe pilot scheme
Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Environment and Regeneration Committee today voted in favour of Council participating in a pilot accreditation programme that is being taken forward by Zero Waste Europe as part of Councils ambition to achieve zero waste status.
Members attending the meeting were provided with an update on the Council’s current status relating to recent adoption of the Circular Economy / Zero Waste Strategy and the actions contained in the strategy to transition the City and District to a circular economy and a zero waste community.
The Head of Environment with the Council, Conor Canning advised members that since adopting the Strategy Council has applied to and been accepted as a member of the Zero Waste Europe community and has taken forward a range of initiatives and actions as set out in the strategy to ensure that it meets the strategy objectives.
He explained that the Zero Waste Europe have recently contacted Council with a proposal in respect of an accreditation scheme that they are developing in terms of zero waste. The certification process is being developed as an aid to managing all the phases of implementing zero waste strategies and not just a formalisation of the process. Zero Waste Europe see this as a tool that municipalities can use as a framework to design and monitor the implementation of their respective zero waste plans and as a tool to protect and promote zero waste champions.
Setting out the benefits to participation in the scheme, Conor Canning said Council will have access to a Zero Waste Europe network of nearly 400 zero waste cities currently and there is a possibility of Council being a Pilot ZW Certified City to a handful of European municipalities that have a solid local affiliate and whose location makes strategic sense for bringing adjacent municipalities on board. In view of the leadership shown by the Council so far, they are very keen to extend this invitation to Derry & Strabane.
He explained that following the pilot phase, there will be the chance to become one of the first fully Zero Waste Certified Cities in Europe and that as Council builds on the certification and the supporting work of its Mission Zero Academy, it can then begin to charge fees to become certified.
He said being one of the first will result in these fees being wavered for the first 3 years and that the certification can be used by the Council to structure the design, roll-out and implementation of the strategy within Derry & Strabane, ensuring the city region has the foundations in place for success and gets off to a great start.
He added that being a Pilot ZW Certified City will mean that Council staff and those from the local community will be given privileged and subsidized access to training resources and opportunities provided by our newly developed Mission Zero Academy. He said it will also further enhance Council’s ability to communicate with residents and other cities and regions.
Concluding Conor Canning added that there is no fee for agreeing to participate in the pilot at this time but that the expectation is that once the pilot concludes and the scheme is implemented those seeking accreditation will be expected to pay a fee.
The Chairperson of the Environment and Regeneration Committee Alderman Maurice Devenney welcoming the decision by members to participate in the pilot accreditation programme, said it was a very proactive and positive approach taken by Council.