Merseyside community groups come together to help reduce waste

Seventeen community groups have met in Liverpool to come up with ideas to help the City Region reduce, re-use and recycle more.

The groups have all received funding from the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority (MRWA) and Veolia Community Fund 21/22, which has distributed £165,000 to help support local waste prevention, re-use and recycling initiatives.

Due to the Covid pandemic this is the first time that representatives from the organisations have been able to come together in person to discuss their plans to help cut household waste levels. The conference took place last Tuesday 14th September at No.1 Mann Island, the office of MRWA.

The 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.

Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), Councillor Tony Concepcion, said: “The event was a great opportunity to meet all our project partners. Year on year we’re seeing more success from our Community Fund programme and its influence on the whole region. This year there are a wide range of projects and a good mix of materials including food, furniture, plastics and textiles.

“The work of these groups is greatly appreciated, and we know the benefits go well beyond just managing waste. It’s been a tough 18 months for everybody, but hopefully the Community Fund can give local groups the opportunity to show that many of the things we put in the bin are actually valuable resources and not something which might be just thrown away.”

One of this year’s projects is being delivered by local charity Bridge2 whose remit is to welcome, serve, and assist asylum seekers, refugees, and local community throughout the central Liverpool area. Their ‘Reimgaine’ project will see textiles and furniture collected and donated to support vulnerable communities, furniture reuse courses and textile reuse workshops.

Lindsay Thomas, Community Arts Co-ordinator at Bridge 2, said: “It was wonderful to see all the community partners together in one place, as it gave us the chance to swap ideas and discuss how we can all work together to help local residents reduce waste and reuse what they can.”

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


Note to editors
– Image caption
MRWA_CF2021 – MRWA Community Fund projects event, 14 September 2021, with MRWA Chairperson Councillor Tony Concepcion (far right)
MRWA_CF2021A – (L TO R) MRWA Community Fund Officer Christine O’Brien with Lindsay Thomas and Justin Thomas of Bridge2

– The successful projects:

Big Help Project – No Waste Food Club: this will set up six new Community Food Partnerships to reduce food wastage, aiming for 200 new members per Partnership. Will also include access to other services such as debt advice, housing support, employability, skills training.

The Bread Streets Group – Waste Not, Want Not: this Liverpool-based project will hold six workshops on how to reduce and reuse food, plastics and clothes/textiles, plus a litter pick.

Bridge2 – Reimagine: this project will see textiles and furniture collected and donated to support vulnerable communities, three furniture reuse courses and four textile reuse workshops.

Brunswick Youth & Community Centre – Make a Meal of it: this project in Sefton will host 10 weekly food skills training sessions with local families. They will be taught how to grow their own produce, use leftover, cook on a budget and how to freeze food correctly.

Carmel Sixth Form College – Sustainable Steps Toward Sustainability: the College will hold 26 weekly workshops and events for students on how to reuse furniture, textiles and food growing.

Centre 63 – Remake Yourself Hub: this ongoing programme will continue to provide sewing classes and upcycling furniture workshops while supporting the skill development of young women. It will concentrate on unwanted furniture and textiles and the Centre 63 youth club will be focused on litter picking, repair workshops and food waste activities.

Changing Communities CIC – ReStore St Helens: the reuse and recycle shop in Sutton will host a series of furniture upcycling workshops, offer donations to local vulnerable residents and set up seven school reading corners.

Community Integrated Care – Sustainability in Social Care: CIC will establish five new community collection hubs, host waste reduction and re-use events (for example, textile & furniture swapping and food waste avoidance workshops) and look to reuse materials within the social care sector. They will also create a full-time waste prevention specialist and part-time food waste avoidance champion while supporting 20 volunteers, giving opportunities for people with care and support needs.

Dovecot and Princess Drive Community Association – Recycle, Refashion, ReCreate: includes clothes/textiles and food workshops to be held in local schools, five family food workshops, 13 sewing in the community sessions, seven re-fashioning sessions and a fashion show and recycling competition.

Farm Urban – Future Food Heroes: working with six primary schools this project will set up a food ecosystem in each class and help create future food ambassadors.

Halton Play Council – Make Use and Lend Halton: the Runcorn-based charity will use the funding to host 10 reuse & repair craft workshops, four swishing and textiles sales events, as well as collecting textiles for redistribution and a toy lending library.

Liverpool Cloth Nappy Library – Sustainable Starts: will look to reduce plastic pollution through a lending library which will provide a reusable nappy kit and advice to parents. Will look to engage with 50 families as well as host three community pop-up events.

Liverpool Lighthouse – Liverpool Re-Fashion: this will see 26 weekly refashioning workshops help, three enterprise workshops and an exhibition at a fashion show.

Liverpool World Centre – Fashion Fix: a clothes/textiles project for schools, trainee teachers and parents, engaging with 4,000 people. LWC will create 20 Fashion Fixers and Climate Champions to help raise awareness and influence reuse, recycling of textiles and reduction of textile waste.

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.

– Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority is responsible for the disposal of municipal waste on Merseyside. Established in 1986 following the abolition of Merseyside County Council, it is a statutory Authority that works with all the local authorities on Merseyside – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. MRWA takes a lead in advocating recycling, waste minimisation and safe and effective disposal of waste for Merseyside residents.

– The MRWA and Veolia Community Fund 2021/22 has seen 17 community groups from Merseyside and Halton receive a funding boost to help make the region a cleaner and greener place. The financial support will see the groups help reduce household waste, encourage recycling and resource re-use, and prevent carbon emissions. Funding total is £164,999.38