A ‘tip shop’ will be created at one of the Gloucestershire household recycling centres, enabling residents to pass on unwanted items rather than throwing them into the tip, thanks to a Green Party amendment to the Gloucestershire County Council budget.
The shop will enable unwanted but repairable items to be saved from the tip and reused, reducing the number of items sent to the incinerator or landfill, helping to reduce carbon emissions and giving residents the chance to do upcycling projects and avoid buying new products.
The amendment means that £120,000 will be available to set up a shop, which will help the Council meet its commitment to reducing waste and increase recycling rates.
Cllr Chloe Turner (Green, Minchinhampton) – pictured – said: “There are lots of benefits to having ‘tip shops’. They contribute towards a true circular economy, where things get reused instead of being thrown away. And there are social benefits including job and apprenticeship opportunities, the chance to create volunteer communities, set up repair cafes to build skills, run training workshops and school visits and create ‘men sheds’ and other fantastic mental health initiatives. The project would have a huge positive impact socially, environmentally and culturally; it’s a win-win for residents, the environment and our economy.”
Bristol, Thornbury and Newport – among other places – already have similar facilities, and Cllr Turner said: “Many of these ventures are financially independent, employing people and generating enough income to donate some profits to charity. It’s great that we in Gloucestershire now have a chance to catch up.”
A Green amendment to the budget also won £45,000 to hire a project officer to establish biodiversity projects on GCC land, ensuring that the council meets its new duties under the Environment Act regarding the protection and promotion of nature. The new officer will also work closely with the Local Nature Partnership and the council’s other partners in the Climate Leadership Group.
The county council budget – agreed on 16 February – already contained positive environmental initiatives to help meet the ambition of net zero by 2045 for the county. Cllr Turner commented: “Taking on these Green initiatives will help the Council to achieve important biodiversity targets and increase public participation in conservation activities, alongside the other projects already in the budget.”
Cllr Cate Cody (Leader of the GCC Green group; Tewkesbury), who proposed the amendments, said: “We are pleased that this budget starts to reflect the vision of a Greener Gloucestershire and will help us all enjoy today while considering future generations and our natural environment. The nature and climate emergencies are inextricably linked and biodiversity gains improve the quality of services. Nature is an asset and supports our wellbeing together with our economy. Most importantly, natural solutions can mitigate climate change at scale. The more biodiverse our county, the more resilient it will be.”