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21 September 2021

Local authorities on the journey to COP26:
Cutting emissions from waste

 

Waste creation and disposal is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Food waste alone accounts for between 8 to 10 percent of global emissions. This means that how we extract, purchase, consume and dispose of resources needs to change in order to tackle the global climate crisis.

Local authorities across the world have the chance to play a central role in this change. From raising awareness and investing in infrastructure, to modifying their own procurement policies and supporting the growth of the circular economy, there are numerous ways in which councils can promote more sustainable waste management.

With COP26 just a couple of months away, this is an important opportunity to demonstrate to the world the importance of local places in catalysing a green recovery from Covid and a just transition to net zero.

To find out more about our Global Local service,
please visit our website. If you would like to share a story on our blog or a strategy from your council to be featured on LGIU’s platform, fill in this simple form.

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From LGIU
Circular economy:
What does it mean for local government?

Briefing by Jeremy Gill, SGS Economics & Planning
Video by Alice Creasy, LGIU

Watch: Our 3 minute video clearly sets out what the circular economy means, how it matters to local government and why it is such a hot topic now.

Read: This briefing explores the potential economic benefits of the circular economy to local governments and how existing processes can evolve.

The briefing highlights innovative Australian local government case studies, including a Hume City Council pilot that made roads from plastic bags and printer cartridges, which inspired similar initiatives across the country.

Find out what you can do
More from LGIU
Bundle: Tackling waste and the circular economy
This bundle, released as part of our COP26 focus, explores how local authorities can support and enable sustainable waste management, highlighting best practice examples and areas for potential innovation. View the bundle here.
The Circularity Gap: An opportunity for local government leadership and practical change
This briefing explores how local governments can include reporting on the circularity gap as part of their wider annual reporting processes, measuring their role in transitioning to a circular economy alongside other key local government metrics. Read our content.
Doughnut Economics: a lifebelt for the planet?
This briefing examines the concept of ‘Doughnut Economics’ as an increasingly popular model around which to structure change at a local level. For local government, this model offers a guide to policy making that re-centres value by setting out the social and ecological parameters for decision-making while fostering collaboration and inter-departmental working. Read our content.
Innovation and Inspiration

Australia: Council’s new factory produces tiles from used mattresses

Shoalhaven City Council has begun building a microfactory with the capability to turn discarded mattresses into ceramic tiles. Solving a growing used mattress dumping issue for the Council, the mattress fluff can be combined with crushed glass to produce the ‘green’ tiles for use as a sustainable building material. 

Government News / Judy Skatssoon

Related: Kenyan startup turns recycled plastic into bricks stronger than concrete World Architecture 


South Africa: Industrial symbiosis programme makes one company’s trash another’s treasure

The Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Program, initiated by Western Cape Government, works with companies of all industrial sectors to identify potential mutually profitable opportunities. Otherwise wasted resources and materials from one company or sector can be reprocessed or reused by another; including water, energy, materials and expertise. So far, the programme has diverted over 100,000 tonnes of waste from landfill and saved over 300,000 fossil GHG emissions, alongside creating numerous jobs.

Cape town etc / Lucinda Dordley

Related: Ontario’s circular economy business accelerator helps businesses find new uses for waste materials and opportunities for waste reduction Environment Journal / Connie Vitello
 

Singapore: Convenient e-waste recycling points installed in shopping malls

More than 300 electronic waste bins were placed in Singapore supermarkets and retail stores in July in a bid to recycle over 20,000 tonnes of e-waste annually. The Singapore Government initiative allows e-waste from laptops to fridges to be recycled. Participants can gain points to use on bicycle-sharing and food delivery services through a linked app.

The Straits Times / Adeline Tan

​​Related: ‘Urban Miners’ e-waste recovery project steps up to fill New Zealand recycling gaps Stuff / Lawrence Gullery
 

Australia: Fresh ways to improve food waste’s billion-dollar cost and climate impact set out

An innovative report identifies steps to reduce Victoria’s food waste by half by 2030, down to 1.2 million tonnes per year. The steps include converting food waste into animal feed, increasing food recovery and donations and tracking waste patterns through analytics. The report recommends prioritising actions targeting waste dairy, bread, meat, tomato and apple, which have the highest climate impacts.

Sustainability Victoria

Related: Rome businesses offered tax rebates for cutting food waste TheMayor.EU / Tzvetozar Vincent Iolov

Resources: Circular Economy
 
To help you develop your own circular economy strategy, we’ve brought together a selection of useful policies and tools from across the globe.
 
Resources and events 

The European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform brings stakeholders together from across Europe and hosts a range of resources and events on the circular economy.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has developed a circular economy toolkit for policy makers which identifies key insights, details policy options, opportunities and barriers, and uses case studies to demonstrate how the tools may be applied.

Circle Economy aims to empower businesses, cities and governments across the world to accelerate the transition to the circular economy. Their platform offers practicable, scalable solutions to implementing the circular economy.

The World Circular Economy Forum 2021 was held virtually in Canada last week. You can watch the event replay on their website or sign up to attend one of many global side events taking place this month.



Inspirational case studies 

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has collated a database of circular economy case studies from across the world.

The ICLEI Circulars platform includes an actions framework for circular development and place-based case studies from regional hubs in Africa, China and Europe.

 
Interested in other LGIU Global content?
Global Local Community Champion:
2021 Cllr Awards nominations closing soon!

There is only ONE WEEK left to nominate an elected representative from outside of Great Britain for the Global Local Community Champion Award. This award recognises councillors who have used council structures to bring about positive change for their communities. Nominations can be made by anyone and are open until midnight on Friday 24 September. 
Make sure your council doesn’t miss out – nominate a councillor today!
Bundle: Smart cities
In case you missed it, our latest Global Local Recap primed local authorities on smart cities, by examining their opportunities, limitations and sustainability credentials. This bundle contains new blogs on using data to improve health in Nordic Smart Cities, how leaders can apply digital skills effectively and how the smart cities wheel framework can support quality of life. Read our content here.
Thanks for reading!

Our next monthly COP26 newsletter will focus on a just transition to net zero, looking at the opportunities cutting emissions can bring for local employment, environments, and equality – and the importance of engaging communities along the journey. Make sure you’re signed up to our 'Climate action and sustainable development' topic or the 'Global Local Recap' in your preferences to get the next edition at the end of October.

Next week's edition of the Global Local Recap explores how local authorities can support refugees. We'll highlight how councils are helping refugees from Afghanistan and feature best practice case studies of initiatives to assist new migrants at the local level.


If you would like to share a story on our blog or a strategy from your council, fill in this simple form or drop me a line at ingrid.koehler@lgiu.org. Please forward this free newsletter to a colleague or share it on social media to help us reach even more people who value local government globally. We tweet from @GlobalLocalLGIU.

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