Give it a Grow this Compost Awareness Week!

‘Give it a Grow’ is the message being put out to mark the tenth annual Compost Awareness Week, which runs from 2 – 8 May.

This year, the Recycle Now campaign and Merseyside Waste Partnership are encouraging us all to try our hand at new composting activities in order to do our bit for the environment.

Although around 30 percent of us already compost at home, there are lots more things we can all try. For example, around 60 percent of people say they have never tried composting general household waste, such as scrunched up paper or the contents from a vacuum cleaner, and around 50 percent of people have never tried using peat-free compost.

Carl Beer, Director at Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, said: “This Compost Awareness Week we are encouraging everyone to give composting a go. Even those of us who are already composting at home could compost more things more often, or try new things, such as greener, peat free composts. However you choose to get involved, there are plenty of new things you can try, which will not only help the environment but also help your garden grow greener.”

Here are just some of the things we could all try this Compost Awareness Week:

New to composting? Why not give composting a go. Anyone with outside space can compost at home. To buy a compost bin, try your local garden centre or DIY store.

Already a compost champion? Think about additional things you could compost, such as eggs shells, tea bags or even coffee grounds and filter paper. Check the list of compostable items at  

Don’t know what to do with your compost? Try using your homemade compost to enrich your borders or to give your potted plants and containers an extra boost

Ever tried peat-free compost? It’s made from recycled materials – and that’s good news for the environment because it helps to cut down the amount of organic waste that is sent to landfill

Fancy being a wormery wonder? Wormeries are ideal for people who don’t produce garden waste or have limited outside space. Small amounts of garden waste can go into a wormery, together with some cooked food scraps.

There is often a belief that waste such as vegetable peelings or garden waste is harmless, but in a landfill tip they cause powerful greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere. Home composting is a simple alternative that anyone can manage if they have a garden or allotment – or even a patio or outside space.

What’s more, many of us are unaware of the environmental benefits of using peat free compost. 51 percent of us have never used it, and 24 percent say they are not aware of it, despite the fact that it can also make a significant environmental saving. [2] It can take anywhere between 500 to 1,000 years to replace every one metre layer of peat extracted in the UK, putting at risk wildlife such as birds, dragonflies and butterflies that depend on its natural habitat for survival [3].

All of Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres also offer containers for residents to deposit their green and garden waste. This waste (such as grass cuttings, bushes and tree branches) is then taken to local processors where it is composted in open windrows. The resulting compost is finally sold on.

For more information about Compost Awareness Week and to check what events are happening in your area, visit  



YouTube Chosen To Host Waste Story

Merseyside residents can learn the ins and outs of waste disposal by logging on to You Tube to see what happens to their rubbish.

Five new short films have been produced by Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority to reveal everything from monitoring gas levels at former landfill sites to processes used at a Wirral Materials Recovery Facility.

The films are part of an education drive by the Authority and focus on key elements of waste management in the region, explaining how various parts of the industry work.

They can be viewed on the MWDA website and on YouTube and all showcase what goes on at Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres, its Materials Recovery Facility in Bidston and its Waste Transfer Stations. The Authority’s work in monitoring gas and water at former landfill sites is also covered in the clips.

The five ‘shorts’ follow on from an educational waste film released by MWDA last year, which showed the journey of waste from kerbside through recycling and then final reprocessing.

Carl Beer, Director of Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, said: “We had some very positive feedback following the release of our film last year, so we’re glad to follow it up with these. They’re a bit more technical and feature a bit more detail than the last one did. The target age range is more specific as we’re aiming at secondary schools, colleges and university students. However, as they’re on our website and YouTube, they are accessible to everyone.”

The original film – called Get It Sorted – was released last November and has so far been distributed to and watched by approximately 2000 people, forming part of an information and education resource.

Like the previous film, the new shorts have been produced in conjunction with Liverpool media company Red Hot Media and have been narrated by local teenage actors Anneka Desai and Jack Mulhanney.

Richard Wallace of Red Hot commented: “To get the chance to work with Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority on another project has been a real privilege. These films will most definitely educate and inform viewers and with the input of the two fantastic presenters will certainly entertain.”

The new films can be viewed on the MWDA website, on YouTube by searching for Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, or by visiting  


Free Recycling Bag Giveaway

Local residents will soon be able to get their green fingers on free recycling bags.

From Sunday 1st August until Tuesday 31st August, waste officers will be giving away the heavy-duty, green-waste recycling bags at Kirkby and Otterspool Household Waste Recycling Centres.

In order to claim a bag, residents will have to drop off a load of green and garden waste at either Recycling Centre, where they’ll receive a stamped voucher. If they drop off another load of green waste throughout August then they can get their voucher stamped a second time and will be entitled to the free bag which can be taken there and then.

The scheme is being organised by Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) and Veolia Environmental Services.

The giveaway promotion will run throughout August at Kirkby and Otterspool Recycling Centres, before moving on to Formby and Southport in September.

The scheme has already run successfully at Newton-le-Willows and West Kirby Recycling Centres during July, where around 500 bags have been given away.

Carl Beer, Director of MWDA, said: “We ran a giveaway scheme a few years ago and it was very popular – in fact we shifted around 20,000 bags. And our regular compost giveaways are always enthusiastically received by the public, so we know there is an appetite for recycling habits to be rewarded.”

Bag supplies are limited so will be issued on a first-come-first-served basis and while stocks last.

Alex Paterson, Director of Veolia Environmental Services, said: “The green bag giveaway has been successful in recent years across Merseyside – 20,000 bags distributed previously tells its own story. We look forward to supporting MWDA with the launch of the scheme in the coming weeks and also hearing the positive responses from our site users.”


Notes to editor:

Kirkby Recycling Centre – Depot Road, Knowsley Industrial Park L33 3AR
Otterspool Recycling Centre – Jericho Lane, Aigburth L17 5AR


Your Views Needed On Our Recyling Centres

Merseyside and Halton residents visiting the region’s Household Waste Recycling Centres later this month will get a chance to take part in one of the biggest recycling surveys of its kind ever carried out in the region.

Householders visiting the 16 sites, operated on behalf of Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) by Veolia Environmental Services, will be asked their opinions of the services on offer, and what they do and don’t like about the Centres. The survey will take place during the weekends of 20 -21st and 27th- 28th March 2010.

Alex Paterson, General Manager for Veolia Environmental Services Merseyside and Halton said: “This survey is key to our strategy in understanding the needs and perceptions of our site users. This is something we want to do annually so we can gather valuable data to make changes for the benefit of our site users and boost recycling rates across Merseyside and Halton.”

MWDA Director Carl Beer said: “The survey is an invaluable opportunity to find out what people really think about the services they’re getting when they turn up at the Household Waste Recycling Centres and how they can be improved.

“It is also a great chance for us as a waste authority, and for Veolia who operate the sites on our behalf, to get a better understanding of how our customers are using our Centres.”

People visiting the Centres over the two weekends will be asked to take part in brief one-to-one interviews to complete a series of questions about their experience and use of the HWRCs. The customer satisfaction survey is being conducted on behalf of MWDA in partnership with Veolia Environmental Services, the contractor which runs the sites.

Residents who use the Centres but have no plans to visit during the two weekends can still take part in the survey by logging on to from 20th March until 12th April 2010 and complete a survey online, or can log-on and complete one via their own Council’s website.

MWDA Chairperson Councillor Kevin Cluskey said: “The more people who take part, the more accurate a picture we can get of improvements and other changes needed to provide the best possible service to householders across Merseyside and Halton.”


Notes to Editors

(i) Household Waste Recycling Centres in Merseyside and Halton

Otterspool Household Waste Recycling Centre, Jericho Lane, Aigburth, Liverpool L17 5AR
South Sefton Household Waste Recycling Centre, Irlam Road, Bootle L20 4AE
Sefton Meadows Household Waste Recycling Centre, Sefton Lane, Maghull L31 8BX
Southport Household Waste Recycling Centre, Foul Lane, Southport PR9 7RG
Formby Household Waste Recycling Centre, Altcar Road, Formby L37 8EG
Bidston Household Waste Recycling Centre, Wallasey Bridge Road, Wirral CH41 1EB,
Clatterbridge Household Waste Recycling Centre Mount Road, Bebington, Wirral CH63 6JE
West Kirby Household Waste Recycling Centre, Greenbank Road, Wirral CH48 5HR
Huyton Household Waste Recycling Centre, Ellis Ashton Street, Huyton L36 6BJ
Kirkby Household Waste Recycling Centre, Depot Road, Kirkby L33 3AR
Newton-le-Willows Household Waste Recycling Centre, Junction Lane, Newton-le-Willows, St Helens WA12 8DN
Ravenhead Household Waste Recycling Centre, Burtonhead Road, St Helens WA9 5EA
Rainhill Household Waste Recycling Centre, Tasker Terrace, Rainhill L35 4NX
Rainford Household Waste Recycling Centre, Southern’s Lane, Rainford WA11 8EY
Runcorn Household Waste Recycling Centre, Picow Farm Road, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 4UB
Widnes Household Waste Recycling Centre, Johnsons Lane, Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 OSJ

(ii) Veolia Environmental Services have engaged Priority Research Ltd to undertake the research and interviews and a full report will be produced with analysis of responses. This information will then be utilised by Veolia and MWDA to improve HWRC services and customer experience at the Centres.

(iii) Priority Research Ltd will conduct all interviews in accordance with the Market Research Society Code of Conduct and all information will be collected, stored and used in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.


£1.5m Recycling boost unveiled to Kirkby residents

Proposals to create a new £1.5M Household Waste Recycling Centre in Kirkby will be unveiled to local residents and businesses this week [18th June 2009].

The new Kirkby Household Waste Recycling Centre will be created on a vacant site (size 0.8 hectares or 2 acres) at the northern end of Knowsley Industrial Estate. The new site is approximately 300 metres from the existing facility, which it replaces.

The new Centre will increase recycling by providing more modern facilities including the capacity to receive 15,000 tonnes of householders’ waste a year, easier disposal of recyclables and more queuing space on site to cope with peak demand and avoid queuing on the highway.

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) is this week launching a major consultation exercise to make sure more than 6,300 businesses and residents living close to the proposed facility receive all the details.

As well as newsletters and community meetings, special public engagement days will be held on Thursday 2nd July 2009 (11.30 am – 5.30 am) and Friday 3rd July 2009 (11.00 am – 7.00 pm) at Kirkby Fire Station, Webster Drive, Kirkby, Knowsley, L32 8SJ, as part of overall efforts designed to exceed consultation requirements set by Knowsley MBC.

MWDA Director, Carl Beer, said: “This is a major investment in the area and recycling on Merseyside. It will be an asset for the people of Knowsley and it is vital that everyone living and working nearby has accurate information about the proposal. That’s why we are going to such lengths to get in touch with them.”

MWDA chair Councillor Kevin Cluskey said: “This is great news and will really add to the increasing array of facilities we need to put the region at the top of recycling tables.”

The Waste Disposal Authority will submit a full planning application later in the summer once initial consultation is complete and, subject to planning permission, the new site will be up and running by the end of 2010.

MWDA’s new contractor Veolia Environmental Services will operate the site following application to the Environment Agency for an Environmental Permit.

Details of the proposal are available here.



1. MWDA is a local government body consisting of nine elected Members, representing the five constituent district councils in the Merseyside area. MWDA is also working with Halton Borough Council to provide new recycling and waste facilities. MWDA is responsible for organising and managing the disposal of waste collected by the five District Councils of Merseyside and for managing the 14 HWRCs across Merseyside. See more at

2. Merseyside produces over 800,000 tonnes of household waste every year – of which only about a quarter is recycled (estimated at 33% in years ending 2008/09). Around 70% of the region’s waste is sent to landfill, and tough EU and government targets are designed to reduce this figure, with landfill tax currently at a rate of £40 per tonne rising by £8 per year to 2013.


The attached picture is a computer-generated image of proposed new household waste recycling centre.

All media enquiries to Jon Flinn on Tel: 0151 709 0505


£5K Grants on offer for green community projects

Local recycling groups are being encouraged to bid for grant funding under a scheme launched by waste officers next week (10th August 2009).

The fund has been made available by Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) to encourage and support community and non-for-profit organisations to get involved in small, local projects that can help improve the environment. Grants of up to £5,000 are available.

Applications forms are available from or by calling 0151 255 1444.

Carl Beer, Director of MWDA, said: “This funding scheme has been running for a couple of years now and we always attract some fantastic ideas and applications in – its great to see there are many people and groups out there who are involved in making the environment a better place for us all.”

The funding is part of MWDA’s Waste Awareness and Education Programme for Community Groups on Merseyside.

Successful projects must aim to reduce the amount of waste generated and sent to landfill; increase the re-use of materials; increase recycling or address carbon benefits.

This funding is for new projects that have not been supported by the Authority in previous years.

You can apply for an award under the Project Fund for Community Organisations 2009/10 if you are a:

Community or voluntary organisation
• Small to medium sized enterprise;
• Not for profit organisation
• Charity
• Parish or town council
• Youth group or
• Uniformed organisation.
Previous projects supported by the fund include equipment for testing re-used electrical items; community art projects using recycled materials and Community events that raise awareness to sustainable waste management issues. Priority will be given to applications demonstrating new and innovative approaches to sustainable waste related projects.

Councillor Kevin Cluskey, Chairperson of MWDA, said: “If a group has an idea which they think can reduce waste or improve how we handle waste products then we would encourage them to apply for funding.”


Notes to Editor:

1. Organisations wishing to apply to the MWDA Community Fund, should contact:
Waste Project Fund, Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, 6th Floor North House, 17 North John Street, Liverpool, L2 5QY, Tel: 0151 255 1444, or email Application forms are also available to download on

Applications are only accepted via the application form provided by MWDA and will be subject to evaluation by MWDA. Completed applications must be returned to MWDA by Friday 25th September 2009.

2. Successful applicants will:

• Have a recognised legal and constitutional status. Compliance (by organisations that hold charitable status) with the accounting framework for charities and appropriate guidance for the Charity Commission
• Be financially viable; and
• Have clear management structures which adhere to recognised principles

Media Inquiries to Jon Flinn on 0151 709 0505


Summer Time Brings Longer Hours For Recycling Centres

All 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) on Merseyside are switching to longer summer opening hours this week.

From Wednesday 1 April the Centres will be open from 8.00am until 8.00pm* – three hours longer than the current winter service.

The 14 HWRCs are currently operated by Mersey Waste Holdings Limited on behalf of Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA).

Householders can use the Centres to recycle almost everything – from cans, car batteries and cardboard to garden waste, glass, paper, scrap metal, textiles and timber, and more.

Carl Beer, Director of MWDA, said: “The Recycling Centres are an excellent resource for people across Merseyside to do their bit and help tackle the region’s waste mountain.”

MWDA is also urging people to re-use items before throwing them away.

Under strict government targets Merseyside could be paying up to an additional £30m every year if it does not reduce the amount waste it sends to landfill over the coming years.


Notes to editors:

From April 1st until September 30th 2009 Merseyside’s Household Waste Recycling Centres will be open from 8.00am until 8.00pm. The Centres can be located at:

Bidston – Wallasey Bridge Road, Birkenhead – CH41 1EB
Clatterbridge – Mount Road, Clatterbridge – CH63 6JE
Formby – Altcar Road, Formby – L37 8EG
Huyton – Ellis Ashton Street, Huyton Industrial Estate – L36 6BJ
Kirkby – Depot Road, Knowsley Industrial Park – L33 3AR
Newton-le-Willows – Junction Lane – WA12 8DN
Otterspool – Jericho Lane, Aigburth – L17 5AR
Rainford* – Southerns Lane – WA11 8EY
Rainhill* – Tasker Terrace, Rainhill – L35 4NX
Ravenhead – Burtonhead Road, St. Helens – WA9 5EA
Sefton Meadows – Sefton Lane, Maghull – L31 8BX
Southport – Foul Lane, Scarisbrick New Road – PR9 7RG
South Sefton – Irlam Road, Bootle – L20 4AE
West Kirby – Greenbank Road – CH48 5HR

*NB. Rainhill: Open 9.00am–6.00pm on Saturdays; 9.00am–3.00pm on Sundays
Rainford: Open 8.00am–6.00pm on Saturdays; 8.00am–3.00pm on Sundays


Gypsum disposal change at Merseyside Household Waste Recycling Centres

Seven of Merseyside’s 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres have introduced dedicated gypsum waste recycling points on site.

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) – which provides the Recycling Centres for local residents – now requires that gypsum waste such as plaster and plasterboard has to be separated so it can be recycled.

Previously, gypsum waste was deposited along with general rubble and processed for beneficial use in land reclamation, but following a change in Landfill Regulations such waste must now be managed separately. Recent research by the Environment Agency has identified that treating gypsum with other biodegradable waste can lead to the production of odorous and toxic hydrogen sulphide gas.

The seven Recycling Centres will provide new containers and the waste will then be sent to a local processor and recycled for use in the cement industry.

Carl Beer, Director of MWDA, said: “We support the move by the Environment Agency to separate out this waste for recycling and recovery and we’re happy to follow their lead. It’s important that this waste is handled properly and we prevent potentially harmful substances from being generated further down the line.”

Local householders will be able to recycle plaster and plasterboard at the following Recycling Centres only:

Formby – Altcar Road, Formby – L37 8EG
Huyton – Ellis Ashton Street, Huyton Industrial Estate – L36 6BJ
Newton-le-Willows – Junction Lane – WA12 8DN
Ravenhead – Burtonhead Road, St. Helens – WA9 5EA
Sefton Meadows – Sefton Lane, Maghull – L31 8BX
South Sefton – Irlam Road, Bootle – L20 4AE
West Kirby – Greenbank Road – CH48 5HR

Such waste will not be accepted at any other Household Waste Recycling Centres.


Notes to editors:

MWDA is a local government body with nine elected members from the five constituent councils in Merseyside. It organises and manages disposal of all waste collected by the five councils and operates 14 Household Waste Recycling Facilities (Recycling Centres that accept gypsum waste are in bold):

Bidston – Wallasey Bridge Road, Birkenhead – CH41 1EB
Clatterbridge – Mount Road, Clatterbridge – CH63 6JE
Formby – Altcar Road, Formby – L37 8EG
Huyton – Ellis Ashton Street, Huyton Industrial Estate – L36 6BJ

Kirkby – Depot Road, Knowsley Industrial Park – L33 3AR
Newton-le-Willows – Junction Lane – WA12 8DN
Otterspool – Jericho Lane, Aigburth – L17 5AR
Rainford – Southerns Lane – WA11 8EY
Rainhill – Tasker Terrace, Rainhill – L35 4NX
Ravenhead – Burtonhead Road, St. Helens – WA9 5EA
Sefton Meadows – Sefton Lane, Maghull – L31 8BX

Southport – Foul Lane, Scarisbrick New Road – PR9 7RG
South Sefton – Irlam Road, Bootle – L20 4AE
West Kirby – Greenbank Road – CH48 5HR

Media enquiries:
John Lally
0151 255 2568


Fashion students say green is the new black

Teenage fashion students know they’re heading in the right direction after transforming a pile of old maps in to a unique piece of haute couture.
The novel costume is just one of 15 garments crafted out of recycled objects – everything from CDs and old rags to scrap metal – by talented students at Liverpool Community College.

The recycled garment collection, sponsored by Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, went on show last night [Wed 18th June] at Sefton Park Palm House as part of Liverpool Community College’s end-of-year fashion show.

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority Director Carl Beer said: “There’s some incredible imagination and flair gone into creating these costumes and making a very serious point.

“So much of the stuff we throw away everyday can have a new life if we just think about it creatively. Merseyside produces far too much waste and we are at the point where no-one can afford to ignore the recycling message.”

A total of 55 first year fashion students on Liverpool College’s National Diploma course spent eight weeks working in groups to create the collection.


Picture Opportunity: 10.30am, Wednesday 18th June

Students can be pictured modelling the costumes, with Chris O’Brien from MWDA, at Sefton Park Palm House at 10.30am on Wednesday 18th June.

Photographers attending should ask for Chris, or Lucy Chapman, of Liverpool Community College, on arrival.



Merseyside enters final stages for 3bn pound waste contracts

Elected Members of Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) have moved the choice of new contractors for its £3 billion waste contracts into the final stages at the Authority’s Annual General Meeting (27th June 2008).

The two new contracts consist of:

A Waste Management and Recycling Contract to manage all of Merseyside and Halton’s existing Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs), Transfer Stations, Material Recycling Facilities, and provide new facilities to increase the level of recycling.
A Resource and Recovery (PFI) Contract to manage energy from residual waste (i.e. waste which hasn’t been recycled).
The Authority is procuring both the new contracts using the European Procurement rules, Competitive Dialogue process.
The final bidders for the Waste Management and Recycling Contracts are: SITA UK Ltd  and Veolia.  These bidders will now be asked to present the Authority with Final Tenders.  The Authority expects Final Tenders to be submitted and the contract awarded in April 2009. 

The final bidders for the Resource and Recovery Contract are: SITA UK Ltd, Covanta, Shanks Group plc and Resource From Waste Alliance (United Utilities Contract Solutions, Land Securities, Trillium). These companies will now be asked to submit Detailed Solutions to the Authority as part of the Competive Dialogue stage of the Procurement, for evaluation.  These will be submitted to the Authority and further evaluation will take place.  It expected that this contract will reach Call for Final Tenders in August 2009 and the contract award is expected in January 2010.

Councillor Kevin Cluskey, Chairperson of the Waste Disposal Authority said,” The Authority is very pleased with the progress of both contracts and the quality of the proposals that are being brought forward. We are confident that the next stages of the process will result in cost-effective and sustainable solutions to Merseyside and Halton’s future waste and recycling needs.”

MWDA has been awarded £90M in Private Finance Initiative funding by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to help deliver the new waste facilities and contracts for the Merseyside and Halton area and aims to increase recycling performance levels to above 40% by 2020. The area currently sends over 70% of its waste to landfill although recycling levels are increasing and are expected to reach around 30% in 2007/2008.