£165,000 fund launched to help community groups reduce, reuse and recycle

A share of £165,000 is up for grabs to help community groups make the Liverpool City region a cleaner and greener place.

The funding – made available via the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund 2022/23 – is for community and voluntary groups, schools and not-for-profit organisations, who can reduce household waste, encourage recycling and resource re-use and prevent carbon emissions. The projects will also have to demonstrate wider positive impacts on the environment, health and education.

Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority (MRWA), Councillor Tony Concepcion, said, “We know that there are a lot of communities concerned about climate change and sustainable living. Giving groups the opportunity to get involved in looking after their environment can only bring benefits to all and can help us appreciate items as valuable resources rather than something which otherwise might be just thrown away.

“We’ve seen that previous projects have continued to deliver benefits beyond the first year, through their legacy and ongoing impact on behavioural change, and in many cases through new or continuing activities.”

Successful applicants can be awarded up to £30,000 for schemes which operate across all six districts in Merseyside and Halton, and between £1000 and £8,000 for projects which work solely at one local authority level.

Bids must tackle one or more of the four priority household waste materials which have been identified by MRWA as key, namely Food, Plastics, Textiles and Furniture. An analysis of waste in the region highlighted that a greater amount of these materials could be re-used or recycled. Projects can also include other household waste materials, for example paper, card, metals.

Previous Community Fund projects have included local recycling guidebooks, cookery clubs to improve people’s diet and reduce food waste, fruit and veg gleaning, restoring old furniture to sell for charity and refurbishing unwanted rugs for resale. In November last year one project held a mock COP26 climate change conference with schoolchildren from across Liverpool City Region to help highlight wasted clothes and textiles.

One group to have previously received funding was Bootle-based Regenerus, who were awarded £8000 in 2020 to deliver their Taking Root project. Visiting local farms and orchards, volunteers were able to pick fresh fruit and vegetables that would have otherwise been disposed of or left to rot, then learned about the different ways to preserve and cook the produce at food workshops.

Ruth Livesey, Business Development Manager at Regenerus, said, “The MRWA Community Fund helped us to deliver a project which stopped food being wasted and that food then got into the hands of those who needed it the most. We were able to rescue all sorts of fruit and veg, including cabbage, cauliflowers, onions and pumpkins. We took groups along to our gleaning expeditions, bringing back fresh food which was shared out at our community cook and eat events, as well being distributed to local residents with the help of South Sefton Foodbank.”

Interested groups can download the application form via the MRWA website www.merseysidewda.gov.uk The deadline for submissions is 11.59pm on Sunday 20th March 2022. If groups aren’t sure whether their project is appropriate for consideration then they can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via email to MRWA before Sunday 27th February 2022.

Successful projects should receive the funding by mid May 2022 and will have ten months to deliver their schemes by March 2023.

Organisations interested in this year’s Community Fund can:


Image: The Renegerus Taking Root team on a glean at a local farm for cabbages

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