Councillors and officers at Dorset Council have been celebrating success recently as their efforts to care for the environment and fight climate change have been recognised by several organisations.
Waste management and vehicle emissions are two of the most important areas of work Dorset Council is focusing on when acting to help prevent climate change, especially in the wake of their Climate Emergency declaration earlier this year.
Eunomia, an independent environmental consultancy, compiles the Local Authority Recycling Carbon Index each year which measures the environmental performance of councils' recycling services.
Now in its seventh year, the index gives councils an alternative and arguably better measure of the environmental performance of their waste and recycling services. With this indicator, it shows which local authorities recycling services deliver the greatest carbon benefits.
The latest Carbon Index for 2017/18 saw the Dorset Waste Partnership Dorset Councils waste services – return to first place in the list of over 120 English local authorities with 108CO2e which works out as the equivalent of 108 kilograms of carbon dioxide saved per Dorset resident.
In addition to this fantastic achievement, Dorset Councils Recycling Team recently won Best Team of the Year at the national Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) Conference Celebration Awards 2019. The award was in recognition of the teams contribution to raising and maintaining the councils kerbside recycling rate, which currently stands at 59.7% and is one of the highest in the country. This has generated savings of over £90,000 in the past year alone.
The Dorset Waste Partnerships Enforcement Team was also shortlisted for the Best Partnership Award, regarding its work to combat rural crime, setting up pro-active partnerships with Dorset Police, the DVLA and the community initiative Litter Free Dorset, as well as working with private landowners, the Environment Agency, Keep Britain Tidy, and various housing associations.
And finally, Dorset recently featured in the Top 20 local authorities recognised by Friends of the Earth (FotE) for its performance in mitigating climate change through eco-friendly working and sustainable initiatives.
FotE looked at every council area in England and Wales and graded its performance by reviewing data on various factors, including but not limited to household energy efficiency, eco-heating, renewable energy, and the reuse, recycling and composting of household waste. From this data, FotE awarded Dorset a score of 80%, placing it in the fourth highest-scoring band.
Cllr Tony Alford, Portfolio Holder for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services at Dorset Council, commented:
Congratulations to everyone that has been involved in these wonderful achievements. Were very proud of the hard work that has gone into transforming our waste services over the years and this recognition is proof positive that our efforts are making a huge contribution in the fight against climate change, as well as maintaining high quality services and saving money.
Cllr Ray Bryan, chair of Dorset Councils Climate Change Executive Advisory Panel, added:
Dorset has always had a strong legacy of caring for the environment. We will build on these recent successes as we put together our Climate Emergency action plans and seek to perform even better in the future. Well done everyone and keep up the good work.