MRWA’s mission statement is to: “ensure that we reduce the impact of our actions on climate change and improve the sustainable management of waste and resources.” We have a shared moral responsibility to act. Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) is committed to achieving zero waste and zero carbon and are actively working with partners and stakeholders across the Liverpool City Region to deliver our commitments.
As we shift from the traditional linear waste management model of ‘make, use and dispose’ with its intense embedded carbon emissions, to the foundations of a new economy that will become circular and ensures unwanted resources are retained in the system through new ways of working. This will include practices such as re-manufacturing, repairing, reusing, and recycling, which will conserve resources, protect and enhance biodiversity and limit emissions to air, land, and water.
There will be greater efficiency and economies of scale which will deliver wider social and environmental benefits. Achieving our commitments is dependent on the behaviour and buying habits of consumers who ultimately hold the key to protecting the inhabitants of our planet with their capability to reverse climate change. MRWA will apply the aims and objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to effectively manage consumption and production, deliver climate actions and support the growth of a socially just, sustainable and circular region.
SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITIES
Over the last decade, MRWA and Veolia’s Community Fund has continued to expand both in value and impact. With a clear emphasis on waste prevention, reuse, and recycling, during the five years from 2014/15 to 2018/19, sixty projects were supported.
Together, community groups diverted 4,079 tonnes of unwanted household items from disposal which helped to avoid the emissions of an estimated 5,252 tonnes CO2-equivalent. In 2018/19, the importance of social value (volunteering, well-being, affordable living, and pride in the community, etc.) was reported for the first time.
Changing the habits of a lifetime. MRWA is committed to making a real difference, but recognises that it cannot do this alone. MRWA needs the support of consumers. Throwing away old items is a lifetime habit that has become the norm.
We are working to change behaviours by raising awareness of the issues around finite resources, wasted resources, embedded energy, carbon emissions and climate change. MRWA is enabling consumers to make informed choices before they decide to dispose.
To aid the delivery of our commitments, MRWA is also continuing to develop a range of resources to support residents make the right informed choice. This includes advice and guidance on recycling across the city region, promoted by our Recycle Right campaign. For more information visit https://www.recycleright.org.uk
In addition, we’ve been working on ‘How to’ guides, which cover topics such as home and community composting, organising a Swishing event, Give and Take days and more.
Living together in harmony: MRWA is aware of its duty and responsibility to protect and enhance biodiversity within the estate it manages. Our estate includes Household Waste and Recycling Centres, Waste Transfer Stations, Material Recovery Facilities, a Rail Loading Transfer Station, and closed landfill sites.
In total, the area of the estate is 167.61 hectares. Protecting biodiversity is closely monitored as part of our accredited environmental management system ISO 14001. We have enhanced biodiversity by changing our approach to land management. The mowing regime on closed landfill sites has been rescheduled to consider the growing season of plants and the brooding period of ground nesting birds such as Skylarks, which are classified in the UK as a Red List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern.
Some of our closed landfill sites have been transformed into wildflower meadows and Sefton Meadows has become an important fuelling station for migratory birds. At our busy Household Waste and Recycling Centres, we have taken the opportunity to put up bird and bat boxes, insect hotels and re-wilded grassed areas that are not used by people.
The Bidston closed landfill sites was planted with trees and is now an integral part of the Mersey Forest. More widely our focus on reducing consumption and moving to a circular economy conserves natural resources and will help protect and restore habitats and biodiversity.
CHANGING HOW WE USE RESOURCES
Less waste more value: MRWA realised many years ago that we could not continue sending precious and finite resources to landfill and we needed to recycle much more. We set ourselves challenging goals to retain resources that could be used again, either as they were intended or transformed into something that could be of higher value.
We worked with our community groups and contractors to identify opportunities to avoid waste going to landfill. Our 14 Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) accept a wide range of materials for reuse and recycling. We continue to seek new opportunities to expand reuse and recycling at HWRCs.
Your household recycling collection is taken to our Material Recovery Facility (MRF) where it is separated into material streams and sent around the UK to be turned into new products.
Waste thrown into your household bin, has to end up somewhere. Our Resource Recovery Contract (RRC) diverts household residual waste from landfill by sending it by rail to an Energy from Waste (EfW) facility where heat and power is produced through combustion.
The energy that is recovered enters the National Grid and provides enough energy to power 54,971 homes. While this is better than sending waste to landfill, it is not the answer and we will continue to work with partners and residents to move towards zero avoidable waste. Find out more at www.suezmerseyside.co.uk