Derry City and Strabane District Council is one of the first local authorities in the UK and Ireland to have a Zero Waste Circular Economy Strategy
The strategy, developed by Eunomia Research & Consulting, brings together the principles of zero waste and the circular economy, and aims both to move the management of waste up the hierarchy, and looks to foster the development of the regional economy through keeping resources and products in use for as long as possible, extracting maximum value before recovering and regenerating them at the end of their life cycle.
Building a sustainable region and developing our Council's Zero Waste Circular Economy is a key part of our Strategic Growth Plan.
DERRY AND STRABANE COUNCIL LEAD CIRCULAR ECONOMY WORKSHOP IN BELGIUM
Derry City and Strabane District Council led a high-level workshop in Belgium with eight Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland cities and regions alongside five expert cities in Belgium, Flanders and the Netherlands sharing experiences of good environmental practice as we transition towards a circular economy.
The high-level international workshop was organised in cooperation with and funded by the European Commission in the frame of the TAIEX-EIR Peer 2 Peer<http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eir/p2p/index_en.htm> programme, a practical tool launched by the European Commission in order to facilitate peer learning between environmental authorities of European Member States.
In September 2017, Derry City and Strabane District Council published their Zero Waste Circular Economy Strategy, and in an effort to progress with its implementation, they identified a number of programmes and opportunities for learning from other organisations including the TAIEX-EIR Peer to Peer programme which took place in early March in Leuven, Belgium.
The event helped find practical solutions to bridging the gap between innovative urban circular economy policy and citizen engagement, embedding circular economy policy into corporate city strategies and local job creation arriving from emerging SME opportunities.
With its 2015 Circular Economy action plan the European Commission has given high priority the transition to an economy where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste minimised. Growing urbanisation in recent decades have put a strain on urban resource use, and are challenging many city leaders to think up new ways to use the shift to circular economy to create economic and social benefits for their citizens. Cities are the right scale and provide the perfect environment in which to test out new models, with some becoming city labs.
Karen Philips, Director of Environment with Derry City and Strabane District Council said the the workshop was hugely significant and a very positive step forward in our commitment to becoming a circular economy and zero waste city.
She said: “This workshop will gave us a great insight into how we as a Council can raise our capacity to improve our resource efficiency and develop a circular economy roadmap. It provided information on eco-innovation business hubs as well how the circular economy can create local-level jobs and commercial regeneration opportunities.
“We are delighted to be part of this initiative and to have received funding and organisational support to lead on its delivery. It was an interactive and informative event that will allowed us to identify solutions to bridge the gap between innovative urban circular economy policy and citizen engagement. Embedding circular economy policy is one of the key objectives of our Strategic Growth Plan and we remain committed to creating jobs and identifying opportunities for SMEs.”
In addition to attending the conference in Belgium on 04-06 March, Council officials are arranging with our partners Donegal County Council and DG Environment and DG Grow, a number of networking and showcase events prior to and after the conference to promote and seek the support for a range of initiatives and opportunities that assist across the region.
Karen concluded: “Our participation in this workshop is a step towards achieving sustainable waste management while creating local jobs that are linked to waste recovery and treatment systems.”
The TAIEX – Peer 2 Peer event will took place on 04-06 March at the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe, Leuven, Belgium. Presentations are available to download here.