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Make 2006 Dundee's Environment-Aware Year say Dundee Liberal Democrat Councillors

January 4, 2006 10:17 PM
Dundee Liberal Democrats put the environment and recycling to the top of the agenda

Dundee Liberal Democrats put the environment and recycling to the top of the agenda

Dundee's Liberal Democrat Councillors Helen Dick and Fraser Macpherson have called on Dundonians to make 2006 the City's Environment-Aware Year.

The City Council's Liberal Democrat/Labour administration has put environmental and sustainability issues at the core of its priorities. Helen is the Council's Vice-Convener of Environment and Sustainability, and Helen says she's proud of the City's achievements in the past few years, including one of the highest recycling records amongst Scottish local authorities.

Dundee was awarded £26m from the Scottish Executive's Strategic Waste Fund in mid-2004, to help meet the targets set in the Tayside Area Waste Plan. The funding is to be spent between now and 2020, and there are strict short, interim and long-term targets in terms of % waste recycled, % energy-from-waste, landfill diversion, etc. As a result, Dundee's long-established kerbside recycling schemes for paper and garden waste have been extended, and a pilot scheme has been introduced, where a 55 litre box has been given to 6,000 households in 8 areas of Dundee. The box allows householders to recycle aluminium cans, plastic bottles and glass bottles and jars - the contents of the box are separated at the kerbside by collection operatives. Data from this pilot is being gathered at present, with a view to extending the scheme in 2006.

All of the household recycling schemes have been addressed by Scottish Waste Awareness Group-style education and awareness campaigns (for more info visit www.wasteawarescotland.org.uk) which have been successful in terms of increasing interest, tonnages and participation in kerbside recycling.

The City Council has also been working with schools around Dundee - primarily in delivering waste and recycling education, and more recently in introducing a specific schools recycling programme. All schools in Dundee are now offered paper recycling (with receptacles in each classroom and office as appropriate), as well as plastic bottle and aluminium can recycling. This has been funded as a result of the internal waste audit carried out in early 2004 as part of Dundee City Council's response to the Tayside Area Waste Plan. Other improvements in internal waste management are also being made as we improve in-house performance.

In sustainability terms key priorities have included:

• Significant investment in wastewater treatment infrastructure and improved visitor facilities resulted in the local Broughty Ferry beach being awarded 'Blue Flag' status in the international Seaside Awards.

• Development of 'Paths for All', a sustainable transport project linking greenspaces in Dundee as well as the development of Sustainable Travel Plans for four of the city's major employers - University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital, Scottish Enterprise Tayside and Dundee City Council.

• £3,500,000 funding investment for the restoration of Baxter Park to its former glory as a Victorian park of national significance.

• Dundee declared Scotland's first Fair Trade City in March 2004.

• Dundee Sun City initiative set up to promote economic opportunities and stimulate demand for renewable energy and energy efficiency enterprise in Dundee.

• The City gained national recognition in efforts to tackle graffiti and litter and use of new powers to issue fixed penalty notices for dog fouling.

• One third of all schools have joined the European Eco-Schools programme designed to raise awareness of environmental stewardship amongst children and young people.

• Award winning projects carried out by local community groups including Broughty Ferry Environmental Project and Dighty Environment Group.

• Energy efficient systems and innovative energy technology incorporated into Council refurbishments, including geothermal installation at Morgan Academy.

• Tayside Biodiversity Partnership led a series of initiatives to protect and enhance wildlife in Dundee including the Dundee Red Squirrel Project.

Fraser said that he's very much welcomed the introduction of a new City Centre recycling centre last Summer and the proposal to site four litter-type recycling bins for the City Square in early 2006. These will be double units and will collect newspapers, plastic, aluminium and residual waste, and will enhance an already extensive recycling network across the City.

Liberal Democrats take environmental issues seriously; we welcome your views on environmental matters - e-mail us at environment@dundeelibdems.org.uk

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