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Managing the waste of a new community of 15,000-45,000 people presents a significant set of challenges. But eco-towns provide an exciting opportunity to provide mechanisms, facilities and services that make it easier for residents and businesses to reduce and manage their waste in a sustainable way. If an eco-town matched the best performing authorities on household waste minimisation, recycling and composting, it would send less than half the amount of waste for recovery or landfill compared with an averagely performing town of the same size.
As exemplar developments, eco-towns should aim to achieve more than current best practice. They should be leaders in the transformation from a waste management economy to one based on resource management, and they should contribute to reducing the impacts of waste on climate change. By better realising the value of biodegradable wastes, for example, not only could heat and electricity be generated from the material, but its diversion from landfill would prevent its conversion to climate-affecting methane.
This Worksheet provides guidance to those involved with the creation of eco-towns on what these developments could and should achieve in relation to waste management and material resource efficiency. It provides details of pertinent regulations, case studies and sources of further information. It sets out the principles that should guide eco-town proposals and development, and spells out the expected outcomes of an eco-town. It then looks at each step of the waste management process – from minimising waste produced in the first instance, storage and collection, to maximising value through re-use, recycling and recovery. Suggestions are directed to those involved mainly at the masterplanning stage, with some further guidance provided on the construction and occupation phases.