A Journey Towards Zero Waste
Thanks to the Green Enterprise Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, VOICE was given the opportunity to establish Ireland’s first Towards Zero Waste community in Cashel, Co. Tipperary. The project ran from February 2017 until July 2018.
Residents embarked upon a journey to leave behind unsustainable consumption and waste creation and head towards wise resource use. There are Zero Waste communities all over the globe with best practices emanating from Scotland, San Francisco, Spain and Italy.
Instead of trying to figure out which bin our waste should go into, the residents of Cashel trialed various waste prevention initiatives and took personal pledges to reduce waste in their daily lives.
Zero Waste actions not only help the environment, they also save money through better consumption decisions and through a decrease in waste disposal charges.
It's been so exciting to see the great initiatives emerge from Zero Waste Cashel, below are just some of the highlights from the 18 month project;
- Creating the Zero Waste Map of Cashel to represent all of the efforts being made by businesses and groups towards zero waste.
- Many of cafe's and restaurants in Cashel were among the first to join the Conscious Cup Campaign, proudly displaying the CCC sticker in their windows.
- Installed six on-street recycling bins around the town to collect on-the-go recycling waste.
- The Recycling Ambassador Programme hosted a number of recycling workshops promoting the new recycling list.
- Hosted a Zero Waste Festival to showcase zero waste living to coincide with Earth Day and various workshops for Reuse Month
- Participated in the Sick of Plastic Day of Action in the local SuperValu store, urging local supermarkets to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging.
- After a Waste Characterisation Study found 22% of household general waste was food, a trial was set up to encourage the segregation of food waste for composting. 100 households are now using these kitchen caddies for food waste.
We'd like to thank all the businesses and community members for fully embracing the concept and playing such key roles in making it succeed. As Derry O'Donnell, Zero Waste Cashel Project Manager, explained in a VOICE blog post; "from day one we were keen to get as many local community groups involved as possible - consultation with the local community was a big part in making the project work."
Find out more on the Zero Waste Cashel website.
We have developed this Zero Waste Community toolkit based on our experiences and lessons learned during the Zero Waste Cashel Project. We hope that the toolkit can act as a guide and help you to build a Zero Waste Community in your area.