Zero Waste Scotland unveils plans for 1,000-strong volunteer army to drive circular economy

Funding available for local groups to promote recycling, re-use, and tackle food waste

21 Apr 15

Local people could be at the heart of a grass roots circular economy revolution, under plans to recruit more than 1,000 zero waste volunteers across Scotland.

Zero Waste Scotland is calling for people across the country to join its mission to reduce food waste, boost recycling rates and promote re-use, repairing and sharing.

It is offering funding to organisations to help coordinate volunteer groups in their communities.  Volunteers would be required to engage members of the public and pass on information and tips to help reduce waste.  Activities could include zero waste cookery demonstrations, passing on skills for repairing or ‘upcycling’ items, helping people to recycle at major events, delivering talks, and organising swap-shops. 

A wide range of organisations can apply, including community groups, environmental networks, student organisations, local authorities and third sector organisations.  Projects need to be operational from July this year.

The new funding call builds on Zero Waste Scotland’s existing volunteer network, through which over 700 volunteers have engaged over 20,000 people in 50 local areas across Scotland, as well as playing a key role as Recycling Ambassadors during last year’s Commonwealth Games. 

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said:

“We know that people all over Scotland care about the environment and that hundreds are willing to give their time freely to help spread the zero waste message.  This ‘army’ of volunteers can have a huge impact, from reducing food waste, which can save the average family hundreds of pounds a year, to passing on and learning skills that mean people can repair and re-use more everyday items. 

“We want to build on the success of our existing volunteers and get even more behind this grass-roots initiative, so we’re calling on organisations all over Scotland to bid in now to help us with our mission.”

The deadline for applications is Monday 18th May 2015. Zero Waste Scotland will be hosting an Applicant Workshop on Thurs 7th May 2015 for potential applicants to find out more.

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