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Climate emergency and the future of waste collections discussed at cabinet

Plans for tackling Cornwall’s carbon footprint and the next steps in the transformation of waste and recycling collections were among the topics for discussion when the cabinet met at Lys Kernow on Wednesday (25 July).

The climate emergency plans were drawn up after consultation with around 3,000 people across Cornwall in the past few months, and the proposals include a forest for Cornwall covering around 32 square miles – about two per cent of Cornwall’s land mass.

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The plan also includes a planning shake-up to strengthen existing policies in the Local Plan to promote renewable energy, environmental growth and energy efficiency, and a whole-house retrofit pilot which would see energy efficiency improvements fitted to Cornwall Housing homes.

Councillors agreed to prioritise £1.7m to be spent on the first phase of the Forest for Cornwall and retrofit pilot, with money for the work also coming from a £16m fund already allocated for low carbon investments.

You can read a more in depth analysis of the climate change paper on our previous press release here.

The next steps towards changing waste and recycling collections across Cornwall were also discussed, with the council looking to move to weekly recycling collections, including food waste collections, and fortnightly residual waste collections.

It is hoped the changes will help boost recycling rates across Cornwall by between 10% and 15%.

Once the new contract is awarded, it is expected the changes to collections will be rolled out across Cornwall between June 2021 and May 2022.

The cabinet was also asked to consider allocating funding of up to £6.5 million for a bypass around Camelford on the A39. 

The scheme would help ease the traffic congestion and air pollution in the town, and improve economic and tourism opportunities in North Cornwall.

Also on the agenda was a look at the allocation of school places for the next six years, and refreshing the council’s maritime strategy.

Council leader Julian German said: “The climate emergency we declared in January is one of the most important issues we have ever faced as a council, and these first steps illustrate the innovative thinking that will be required as we take up that challenge.

“To have drawn up these plans with the views of thousands of our residents taken into account shows how determined we are to not only tackle the climate emergency, but to do so with the support and advice of those who these changes will most affect.

“We are also maintaining our focus on the council’s other priorities as well as creating a greener and more prosperous Cornwall. Today’s agenda also saw us taking decisions to transform waste and recycling, to help improve air quality and bring economic prosperity to a key town, and to ensure our maritime strategy enhances and improves our vital coastal communities.”