Tackling waste and the circular economy

Waste creation and disposal is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Food waste alone, for example, 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.

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The Circular Economy: a new life for waste and a new economic model

This briefing introduces the circular economy, a term often mentioned but possibly poorly understood, as an economic concept. followed by a discussion of the opportunities for local governments to participate in, and lead, changes towards achieving a circular economy. Read our content.

Recycling & Waste Management: Issues and Implications for Local Government

While waste management and recycling practices have largely been the domain of local government, they are increasingly of interest to state/territory, national and international bodies. This briefing provides a brief outline of initiatives in each State and Territory, along with specific issues and new directions of relevance to local governments. Read our content.

Organics as a resource: removing household waste from the waste stream

This briefing looks at household organic waste management: the size of the problem, how local governments are working to divert organic waste from landfill, and the supporting infrastructure and services required to make smarter use of organic waste. Read our content.

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.

In Conversation – Circular Economy: How to value waste and support innovation

Lisa Mclean, CEO of NSW Circular, recently spoke with SGS Economics and Planning’s Jeremy Gill to discuss the implementation of a Circular Economy in the Australian context: the specific barriers, opportunities, and the role of local government. This briefing is based on that conversation. 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.

Blog: The Circular City: building a circular economy in Glasgow

Cllr Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction for Glasgow City Council outlines the importance of the circular economy to the council and how they plan to reduce the city’s waste and the impact on the planet as well as improve living standards for residents in the council’s first circular economy route map. Read our content.

Supply chains, land use planning and the circular economy

This briefing, part of a series looking at the concept of a circular economy, explores the importance of understanding supply chains in order to effectively integrate circular economy goals with land use planning and economic development. Read our content.

Blog: Zero Waste Scotland: join our litter prevention campaign

As Scotland takes another step back to normality, with restrictions easing and people able to get back out to enjoy our beautiful green spaces and countryside, from woodlands to city parks and beaches to mountains, Zero Waste Scotland is calling on the waste and resources sector to back its award-winning campaign Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep it that Way. Read our content.