Derry becomes first Zero Waste City in Ireland and the UK
The European designation is the fruits of a deepening collaboration with Zero Waste North West and sees the Council area join a network of communities across the continent sharing learning and experiences of reducing waste generation while improving recycling rates and the quality of the resources captured.
This is the latest stage of the City and District's adaption of a Circular Economy/Zero Waste Strategy in December 2017, which aims to keep resources and products in use for as long as possible, extracting maximum value for the local economy, before recovering and regenerating them at the end of their life cycle.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Brian Tierney, welcomed the successful bid, which was endorsed last year by Council's Environment and Regeneration Committee while he was Chairperson: "This is a significant milestone in our work towards a Circular Economy Zero Waste District and I am proud that we are the first Council area in these islands to achieve this designation."
"Everyone can play their part in that journey and we have been working closely with local businesses to increase awareness of waste reduction and to make them aware of how they can use and recycle their waste more economically.", he added.
"I would like to congratulate our project partners at Zero Waste NW and Zero Waste Europe for their work in securing the designation and I look forward to our Council area reaping the benefits on a Circular Economy in the years ahead."
Jack McQuibban, Cities Programme Coordinator at Zero Waste Europe, said:
"Zero Waste Europe is proud and excited to welcome Derry and Strabane into our Zero Waste Cities programme. As the first Zero Waste city region in the UK or on the island of Ireland, this moment marks an important milestone in the growth of the programme, as more municipalities across Europe recognise the need for change, as well as the benefits adopting a local zero waste strategy will bring to the community."
"We recognise and are grateful for the leadership shown in Derry and Strabane to commit to this goal, as well as the continued support given by our local member Zero WasteNorth West. Together over the coming months and years, we look forward to working together with both parties to help achieve the Council's circular economy and zerowaste goals."
Maeve O'Neill, Chairperson at Zero Waste North West, said: "Zero Waste North West is today truly proud of our city-region, our political representatives, our Council Officers and all our zero waste stakeholders and citizenry.
"This represents the first step in authentically addressing and arresting the waste generation crisis that is polluting our air, land and waters, not just locally but globally.
"We can't recycle our way out of the crisis, here and across the globe we need to transition from our linear economy to a circular one. Then we expose what waste truly is, leakage from the circle.
"Year on year we must steadily reduce our generation of waste to zero. This is a jobs-rich innovation and direction, part of a new vision for a green recovery in our city region that prioritises the health and wellbeing of ourselves and the finite planet in which we live.
"It's a journey all of us have a part to play in. Thank you to all who played a part in bringing us to this first step towards innovation and regenerating our city-region economy. Let the journey begin."
A circular economy is about moving away from the 'extraction-production-consumption-throwaway' culture and closing the loop so that the resources that go into our products are reclaimed, recycled and valued forever. It aims to foster a new attitude to design in manufacturing as well as new attitudes among consumers while maximizing economic, social and environmental benefits in our local city-region.
For more on Council's Waste and Recycling Services visit derrystrabane.com/recycling.
Full details on Council's Circular Economy strategy can be viewed at derrystrabane.com/circulareconomy.