£165K waste prevention fund for City Region community groups

Everyone's Aigburth Community Fridge

A SHARE of £165,000 is up for grabs to help community groups make the Liverpool City Region a cleaner and greener place.

The funding has been made available for community and voluntary groups, schools and not-for-profit organisations, who can reduce household waste, encourage recycling and resource re-use and prevent carbon emissions.

The projects will also have to demonstrate wider positive impacts on the environment, health and education. The money is coming from the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund 2021/22, which has been running annually since 2006.

Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority (MRWA), Councillor Tony Concepcion, said: “We know that there are a lot of communities concerned about climate change and sustainable living. Giving groups the opportunity to get involved in looking after their environment can only bring benefits to all and can help us appreciate items as valuable resources rather than something which otherwise might be just thrown away.

“We’ve seen that previous projects have continued to deliver benefits beyond the first year, through their legacy and ongoing impact on behavioural change, and in many cases through new or continuing activities.”

Successful applicants can be awarded up to £30,000 for schemes which operate across all six districts in Merseyside and Halton, and between £1,000 and £8,000 for projects which work solely at one local authority level.

Bids must tackle one or more of the four priority household waste materials which have been identified by MRWA as key, namely Food, Plastics, Textiles and Furniture. An analysis of waste in the region highlighted that a greater amount of these materials could be re-used or recycled. Projects can also include other household waste materials, for example paper, card, metals.

Previous Community Fund projects have included local recycling guidebooks, cookery clubs to improve people’s diet and reduce food waste, restoring old furniture to sell for charity and refurbishing unwanted rugs for resale.   

One organisation to benefit from the Community Fund is the British Dietetic Association who received £25,000 in 2019/20 and £29,000 in 2020/21 for the Let’s Get Cooking and Let’s Get Saving in Merseyside projects. The funding has been used to reduce avoidable household food waste through a series of training clubs, school visits, a waste-saving tips pamphlet and a community event.

Community fridges have been placed around the region, which form a part of a national network. The fridges are maintained by local communities and each save on average half a tonne of food per month.

Let’s Get Cooking Project Manager Suzanne Mitchell said: “The funding was crucial in allowing us to run the Let’s Get Cooking and Let’s Get Saving initiatives over the past couple of years, which has helped the local community improve their cooking skills and reduce food waste, and to help those who need to access fresh and healthy food.”

Interested groups can download the application pack via the MRWA website www.merseysidewda.gov.uk. The deadline for submissions is 11.59pm on Sunday 14th March. If groups aren’t sure whether their project is appropriate for consideration then they can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via email to MRWA before Monday 21st February.

Successful projects should receive the funding by mid May 2021 and will have ten months to deliver their schemes by 31st March 2022. Organisations interested in this year’s Community Fund can:

communityfund.2021-2022@merseysidewda.gov.uk