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Help shape the future – 5th Oct 2010

“With landfill costs already high and set to increase further over the coming years, we need to look at ways to reduce and manage waste in Merseyside”.

That’s the message from the Merseyside and Halton Waste Partnership as it announces the launch of a major public consultation across the region.

With a collective recycling rate of 33%, Merseyside has made significant improvements in its recycling performance in the last few years. However, more needs to be done. The cost of disposal to landfill is increasing and officials are committed to ensure the region continues to improve all aspects of waste management in the face of changing and new legislation and an ever-present need to divert more and more waste away from landfill.

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) in partnership with the five local authorities – Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton, and Wirral Council – is conducting a review of the Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy for Merseyside (JMWMS) to identify the best ways forward in delivering sustainable waste management for residents over the next twenty years.

The Partnership is responsible for the total management of waste, which equates to 767,000 tonnes, generated each year by 1.6 million Merseyside residents. MWDA also manages 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres across the region, four waste transfer stations and the Materials Recovery Facility at Bidston, with individual districts responsible for collection from households and local bring sites.

The Strategy was first published in 2005 and set out the guiding principles for the delivery of sustainable waste management on Merseyside over the period 2008-2020. This was updated in 2008 bringing it into line with changes in legislation, policy and performance but kept the original aims and objectives. There was a commitment in the original Strategy to review the document after five years and that is what the Partnership is now doing.

A review of the Waste Strategy for England is due to be published next year by the coalition government and the Partnership is keen to ensure that the JMWMS is robust enough to meet the new challenges it faces over the coming years. Carl Beer, Director of Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, explains:

“We need to ensure that we maximise the use of our natural resources we produce as a society The types of waste being produced and the way in which waste is managed and controlled is changing rapidly. We know that landfill costs will continue to rise so we need to ensure we continue to work towards diverting as much as we can from landfills because we also know that budgets are likely to shrink too. It’s vital that our plans for waste management in Merseyside are appropriate to the challenges ahead but provide waste management services of a high quality that offer good value for money and take account of the environmental, economic and social benefits of waste management activities.”

The Partnership has pledged to engage with residents on the development of the Strategy and recently announced that it is to launch a major public consultation during the autumn. Carl Beer continues:

“The Partnership is committed to ensure that the services it provides meets the needs of the people it serves and to do this we will be consulting from a diverse and broad cross section of the community as possible so we can seek to understand their concerns, listen to their ideas and discuss the options with them. We need to ensure that the revised Strategy reflects the views and aspirations of the wider community. The ethos of the consultation is simple – to make sure people living in Merseyside really ‘Don’t Waste Their Say’!”

The Don’t Waste Your Say consultation will provide a variet