Mersey community groups secure £165,000 funding to help reduce waste

Seventeen community groups have been awarded a share of £165,000 to help the Liverpool City Region reduce, re-use and recycle more.

The money has come from the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund 21/22 which helps to support local waste prevention, re-use and recycling initiatives.

The seventeen organisations had to bid for the funding which will give them the financial resources to deliver waste-reducing behavioural change projects across the region.

Programmes include cookery clubs to reduce food waste, community recycling hubs, sewing classes and craft clubs, upcycling and restoration of unwanted furniture, clothes recycling and a cloth nappy lending library*.

Project applications had to 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 Liverpool City 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.

Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), Councillor Tony Concepcion, said, “There are a lot of communities concerned about climate change and sustainable living – giving groups the opportunity to look after the environment can bring benefits to all of us and can help appreciate items as valuable resources rather than something which might be just thrown away.

“Projects we have previously funded 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.

“There has been some disruption with the Coronavirus pandemic but we’re confident that these projects will go ahead. I wish them all the best and look forward to seeing the impact they have.”

One organisation to receive funding is Carmel College in St Helens which has clinched £8000. The Catholic Sixth Form College also received Community Fund money in 2018 for its Foundation Learning Department’s Sensory Garden, which was created using reclaimed materials.

Lauren Molyneux, Foundation Learning Tutor at Carmel College, said, “Our previous project used the funding to create an amazing space in what was previously an overgrown patch of ground, using unwanted and reclaimed materials. This time round we’re holding workshops which will equip students with the skills to reuse and repurpose old and unwanted furniture and clothes, plus teaching them how to grow their own food. We’re looking forward to getting started!”

The successful organisations have got until March 2022 to deliver their projects.

Wirral’s successful applications:

Make It Happen Birkenhead Ltd – Textiles as treasure: Make It Happen will employ a Textiles Champion to help establish a Community Shop, host 22 training sessions in sewing and crafts and sell the items in the shop.

Pioneer People Wirral – Street Ahead: this scheme will host a variety of neighbourhood exchange/garage sale events and 12 community centre events with donated items and upcycled items made by the Shed Heads project. Will also offer bikes refurbished at Liverpool Prison and send tools and clothes to Gambia to support local enterprise.

Wirral Change Ltd – Repaired Again: this project will work with ethnic communities to hold 20 food waste workshops, 20 textiles upcycling sewing classes and three community events.

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