What is a Zero Waste Town?

Zero Waste Town’s is a programme from Zero Waste Scotland. In this programme a Zero Waste Town is a community of between 5000 and 10,000 people where there is a concentrated drive of activity to test how increased recycling activity and greater local resource efficiency can help to achieve zero waste. The Zero Waste Towns are supported by Zero Waste Scotland to boost activities including recycling from both households and businesses, rolling out food waste collections, increasing ‘recycling on the go’ facilities and working with businesses to help them reduce their use of resources.

Dunbar’s submission was the first successful application to be funded, following an open call for communities to come forward to become Zero Waste Towns. Through the Zero Waste Town programme Zero Waste Dunbar was funded until March 2017.

Further information on Zero Waste Scotland’s Zero Waste Town’s programme can be found by contacting Zero Waste Scotland via www.zerowastescotland.org.uk .

  • How Did Dunbar become a Zero Waste Town?

Dunbar is Scotland’s first community to be awarded a Zero Waste Town by Zero Waste Scotland, but how did that happen?

The proposal to become a Zero Waste Town had two phases. Following Dunbar’s response to an initial open call for submissions Zero Waste Scotland chose Dunbar as one of five communities to carry out a funded feasibility study to become Scotland’s first Zero Waste Town. Facilitated by Sustaining Dunbar in November 2013 a local consultant was recruited to lead the development of Dunbar’s winning proposal.

Dunbar’s proposal was developed in consultation with key community stakeholders and managers of community facilities, working also with interested parties, individuals, and local businesses and, crucially, in partnership with East Lothian Council. The proposal submitted a series of subprojects which could be future developed through a Zero Waste Dunbar programme. Throughout the development of the proposal progress, information and best practice examples were shared on the Zero Waste Town website.

In late August 2014 it was announced that Dunbar had won the competition to become Scotland’s first Zero Waste Town. Following an open recruitment process in November 2014 Zero Waste Dunbar appointed their Project Manager and the Zero Waste Dunbar programme started.

Who was consulted in the proposal phase?

During the proposal the local community and businesses were engaged in a number of ways include: through an open meeting, advertised in the East Lothian Courier; a local household survey, a survey sent to local business by email and additional face to face visits with over 50 local businesses along with attendance a meeting of the Dunbar Trader’s Association in November 2013. Further community and business consultation will take place through the Zero Waste Dunbar programme.

What subprojects were submitted with the proposal?

Through the Zero Waste Dunbar proposal a number of subprojects were suggested to be further explored and developed through a successful Zero Waste Dunbar programme. These proposed sub-projects included: support to local businesses and community facilities; engagement work with the local community; work with local schools; support for the area during the role out of service changes from East Lothian Council; development of a re-use hub to divert furniture from landfill at the local Recycling Center; improvements to local bring banks. These subprojects are not finalised, they were submitted as suggestions and provide an indication of what the project could deliver. Further engagement with key stakeholders including community and businesses was carried out to finalise and deliver subprojects of benefit to the local area.