A smart, healthy city – fit for the future

Waste – a Zero Waste Strategy for York

Cities around the world and in the UK are making good progress in implementing ‘Zero Waste’ policies. This is crucial to prevent damaging climate emissions from both landfill and incineration and to prevent valuable resources going up in smoke – as York’s domestic waste does now at Allerton Park (via a 25 year Private Finance contract with Amey Cespa). York Green Party has always opposed this approach and believes that York can achieve zero waste – if we have the political will to do so.

We will:

  • Work with city partners, the voluntary and community sector and residents to develop a York Zero Waste Strategy.
  • Begin with a much higher target for kerbside recycling in York – currently stuck around 45%.
  • Look immediately into how our contract with Amey Cespa can be renegotiated to better deliver on York’s climate change targets and the strong desire of York residents to recycle more. (The possibility of a Government Incineration Tax in the near future adds to the urgency here.)
  • Immediately commission studies into extending the range of plastics the Council collects from the kerbside and reducing the use of plastics in the city. This should include promotion of a reuseable York cup, requiring all city festival traders to use recyclable materials and promoting a plastics-free kitemark with local businesses.
  • Immediately commission a study into implementing kerbside food waste collections. Separate food waste collections allow the production of an end product fit for use in food growing – not the case when mixed with toxic general waste at Allerton Park.
  • Aim to offer all households with gardens but no green garden waste bin the option of a green bin or a free garden compost bin and home composting advice.
  • Work with partners to improve commercial recycling systems in the city centre.
  • Ensure that wherever there is a litter bin in the city there is also an appropriate, easy to use recycling bin, with well-designed city centre provision.
  • Improve information and support for recycling for residents in shared houses and flats with communal bins.
  • Reduce the cost of bulky waste collections to reduce fly-tipping.
  • Review how the Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (Hazel Court and Strensall) operate and commission a study into setting up Re-Use Shops at each centre on the model of Devon County Council’s Re-Use Shops.
  • Set up a fund to support and work with York’s growing network of supermarket food waste re-direction cafes, reduce, re-use and repair initiatives.

recycling bins

Allerton Park waste processing

Devon Reuse Shop sign (waste)

Devon Re - Use shop (waste)