Bid to become Zero Waste Elgin
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AN AMBITIOUS project led by Elgin Business Improvement District (BID) is aiming to boost the city centre's green credentials.
A large number of Elgin BID members have been involved in individual and collective actions to improve recycling and sustainability within the city centre.
As a result, Elgin BID is adopting Zero Waste Scotland's environmental principles – aiming to become "Zero Waste Elgin", which would acknowledge supporting businesses as "Zero Waste Businesses".
The process began with workshops for BID members where they put forward ideas and asked questions, and eventually created an action plan.
Activities organised by Elgin BID since include providing accredited training for businesses to help them operate more sustainably, and providing equipment such as new internal segregated waste bins to encourage responsible recycling. A resource library has been made available for members, ensuring they have easy access to information, examples of good practice and funding sources.
The aim of the project is to ensure that the waste produced within Elgin city centre and by its businesses is presented for recycling in the best way, and that as much waste as possible is recycled.
A number of the member businesses will act as "green champions" to ensure the ongoing focus.
Gill Neill, Elgin BID chief executive, said: "We all acknowledge the great work done by people like Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg to raise the awareness of recycling and waste management on a global scale, but we knew from our business members that there was a genuine desire to get involved in such an important issue and for Elgin to demonstrate the same principles here and act responsibly."
The actions taken by the businesses include ensuring they segregate their own waste, such as cardboard, plastics and used equipment, more appropriately, which allows it to be handled more efficiently by the council or other waste collections agencies. One retailer who receives a significant amount of bubble-wrap in their deliveries is now saving and passing it on to another, who can use it package their orders.
Elgin BID chairman Richard Cumming said: "It just makes sense to expend a small amount of effort to encourage better management of our waste and recycle in as effective a way possible.
"We don’t see this as a one-off recognition but want this to be the acknowledgement that Elgin and its business members will continue to care about the town centre, and want it to be as attractive and welcoming for local and visiting customers alike."