This project was a case study with a Local Authority (Charnwood Borough Council, Leicestershire) to research the options in response to the challenges of managing household waste. This research focused on establishing and analysing methods of improving the sustainability of household waste management operation within a Waste Collection Authority, where the interaction with a variety of external and internal stakeholders meant a holistic approach was needed.
Waste management practices and performances in Charnwood were evaluated and benchmarked against national standards and the demography of a semi-rural Borough. Waste management practices nationally were also reviewed. The performance of the LA was quantitatively compared with other UK LAs where higher recycling performances are achieved. Differences were separate food waste collection and treatment; a larger proportion of urban housing and the university with a transient population. Other differences included strategy and operational practices for garden waste, the storage, collection, transportation and treatment of waste.
A time series statistical model was modified and applied to investigate long term waste generation trends from the Boroughs official waste data returns to Defra. These were used to assess the success of interventions undertaken. This statistical model was able to differentiate interventions that were able to achieve lasting improvements in either waste minimisation or recycling.
The declaration of a Zero Waste Strategy was to capture the public imagination. A series of focus groups and public consultations were held to judge public reaction and develop and refine the strategy. These were used to adapt the Zero Waste idea to suit the local conditions. A major conclusion was that householder involvement would be crucial for successful implementation of the further separation of waste that would be required.
A dissertation thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the
degree Doctor of Engineering (EngD), at Loughborough University.