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Southport & Mersey Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 17 December 2007

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Your Christmas gift to the planet

LIVERPOOL City Council is urging residents to give the planet the best Christmas present ever and recycle everything they can during the festive period.  Last Christmas, the people of Liverpool recycled more than 2,000 tonnes of household waste – equivalent to the weight of 44,000 premiership football players or 500 Liver Birds!

The city’s environment chief Councillor Berni Turner is launching a campaign to double the tonnage this year and push Liverpool higher up the recycling league table.

Councillor Turner, said:- “This year, it’s predicted that Liverpool people will use enough wrapping paper to cover 500 football pitches and will throw away more than 6 million glass bottles and jars.  I’m delighted that we recycled so much last year, especially as the wheelie bin service was relatively new.

This Christmas I want our figures to double. So far this year, our figures have shown that thousands more people are using the service and wheelie bin recycling is proving really popular – so there is really no excuse for it not to rocket over the festive period.”

All glass bottles and jars, food and drink cans, wrapping paper (without the sticky tape), cards, plastic drink bottles and newspapers should be put in the blue wheelie bin.  Residents who have a green wheelie bin can fill these with their real Christmas trees and leave them at their kerbside ready for collection.  Liverpool’s recycling rates are over 20% for the first time since the service was introduced in 2003.

What goes where this Christmas:-

· Glass, cans, paper, magazines, newspapers, wrapping paper (without the sticky tape), Christmas cards, cardboard food boxes, egg cartons, toilet or kitchen roll inners, plastic drinks bottles (milk, fizzy drinks), washing up liquid bottles, shampoo bottles, phone directories including Yellow Pages – blue wheelie bin

· Real Christmas trees – with green wheelie bin

· People in Liverpool will use enough wrapping paper of Christmas to cover 500 football pitches.

· Over 6 million glass bottles and jars will be thrown away.

· More newspapers and magazines are bought over Christmas than at any other time of the year.

· Residents in Liverpool will send around five million Christmas cards this year.

· On average each person in Liverpool throws away about 7 times their body weight in rubbish every year. Over half of this could be recycled. Recycle for Liverpool.

· Over the Christmas period, 30% more rubbish is produced.

· 7.5 million Christmas cards will reach Liverpool homes this year, and most will end up in the dustbin

North West Comes Last In Jewson Sustainability League

THE North West is the UK’s least sustainability aware region, according to new research by Jewson, the UK’s leading supplier of timber and building materials. With the HIPs legislation having been rolled out to all properties on the 14 December 2007, Jewson’s research highlights the lack of awareness not just in the North West, but across the Nation when it comes to energy performance and sustainability.

Based on a nationwide sample of 1,408 adults, the research indicated that people in the North West are less likely to understand sustainability issues and undertake practical steps to improve energy efficiency in the home than anywhere else in the UK.

The research indicated that:-

* Only 57% of people in the North West are familiar with the new Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) which will form an integral part of the Home Information Packs, compared to 64% in the UK.

* People from the North West are less willing to pay just a 5th more for sustainable products that will lead to long-term savings (41%).

* 91% of people from the North West are not interested in reducing CO2 emissions.

Jewson, which plays an industry-leading role in promoting sustainability in the construction sector, commissioned the research by Tickbox to find out how much the British public understand about energy efficiency. The survey focused on what type of sustainability considerations they made when doing any home maintenance or improvement projects, and what affected their decision to implement more sustainable solutions into the home.  Nationally, it showed that while a relatively high proportion of people (65%) would like to consider ‘green’ factors when doing maintenance or home improvements, for the majority of people (82%) cost issues are the overriding concern with people more focused on spending as little as possible rather than investing in energy efficient solutions that deliver long term cost savings.

Key highlights of the national survey include:-

* 36% of those surveyed had not heard of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s) and only 2% fully understood what the implications of EPC’s were.

* Only 3% of those surveyed felt confident in their own understanding of environmental efficiency and sustainability

* 90% were concerned about tradesmen’s knowledge of environmentally friendly solutions for home maintenance and improvement

* 82% cited cost as the biggest concern when conducting home improvements with only 16% citing whether the materials used were more sustainable as a main consideration

As one of the UK’s leading industries, the construction industry has an important role to play in sustainable development. Jewson, with its vast experience in the public and private sector building industry, has placed sustainability at the top of its own internal agenda and plays an industry-leading role in driving improvements in sustainable practises across the construction sector. The company works closely with its customers and suppliers to help ensure the delivery of a more sustainable future for the industry, and is committed in its role to educate its customers in line with government sustainability guidelines.

Steve Millward, Sustainability and Quality Director for Jewson said:- “While the people interviewed in the North West showed a lack of understanding around sustainability issues, there is room for improvement across the UK. The research demonstrates a clear need for more guidance and education on a local and a national level, by organisations such as ourselves, tradesmen and the Government.”

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