First a quick overview: I am Hossein; doing an engineering doctorate in water engineering. My Charity Insight project is with the Friends of the Earth (FOE), Birmingham.
FOE is an international network of environmental organisations operating in 74 countries. There are many different campaigns at local, national and international level that FOE is involved with. At the local branch in Birmingham, FOE are currently running few campaigns one of which is the ‘waste campaign’; this is the one I am currently working on.
The issue is quite straightforward; a lot of waste and not the best way to deal with it. The campaign is calling on Birmingham city council to implement a greener waste management system. This mainly includes making it easier for people to recycle more types of waste, recycling food waste and using local companies to process the waste.
Birmingham is not doing great in recycling, and around 70% of the waste goes to incinerator, that means “burned”! Well, trying to make some electricity from the process, but not very efficient and also not very good for CO2 emissions… it is estimated more than 40% of the residual waste sent to the incinerator is organic matter; and if this is taken out, it can be treated in much better ways, e.g. anaerobic digestion, to generate renewable energy. Of course, it is better to follow the waste hierarchy to reduce what waste is actually produced.
Waste hierarchy (courtesy of: Wikipedia)
Here we are campaigning for the council to take a better waste management strategy for when the current contract of waste burning comes to an end (2019). I am doing background research to investigate what other councils are doing in this matter and also what capabilities exists in the area to deliver the new waste plan.
Watch the space, more update coming as how I and the campaign are doing 🙂