Please send me SCA's fortnightly briefing:

September 25, 2013

Final five get funding

Last month we featured the inspiring work of Rossano Ercolini, the primary school teacher from Tuscany whose one man campaign to change attitudes towards recycling continues to resonate. His championing of the value of community led approaches has led to the establishment of the European Zero Waste Network and has influenced Zero Waste Scotland’s decision to award five Scottish communities funds to help fine tune their ambitions to become Scotland’s first waste free community. 


18 September 2013

Zero Waste Scotland has announced the five communities invited to explore how higher recycling rates and greater local resource efficiency can help to achieving zero waste by 2020. 

Expressions of interest were sought from community organisations, social enterprises and others earlier this summer to examine over the next few months the feasibility for such a project.

The ‘towns’ are communities of 5,000 to 10,000 people, rather than traditional established geographic towns, with the proposed projects led by an organisations with a track record bringing partners together to deliver change.

The five communities selected have been awarded seedcorn funding in order to support the preparation of businesses cases over the coming months.  The five are: 

Campbeltown/Bute led by Fyne Fytures

Dumbarton led by West Dunbartonshire CVS

Dunbar led by Sustaining Dunbar

Girvan led by Aspire2gether

Mull and Iona led by Mull & Iona Community Trust

Once the business cases are developed, the intention is to select one or two communities who will be further supported to take their projects forward in 2014/15.

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland said: 

“This is a really exciting project for Scotland as it looks to increase momentum with innovative new ideas to deliver a zero waste society. 

“We have been looking for organisations that can lead the gathering of evidence and show the vision, ambition and practical skills needed to pull off this ambitious model.

“The successful implementation of plans, from the new year onwards, will demonstrate the most effective ways that communities in Scotland can achieve zero waste by delivering the highest recycling rates and reducing residual waste, and that business in those places can significantly reduce their use of key materials, energy and water.”

The communities will receive targeted support and further funding to enable them to build comprehensive project delivery plans. Technical contractors may also be provided to support this development phase.

The project has been developed in collaboration with a number of third sector networks including DTAS, Scottish Community Alliance, CRNS, Scottish Climate Change Communities Network. 

The project draws its inspiration from other similar initiatives including Italy’s internationally renowned Zero Waste Town programme. The Italian pioneer Rossano Ercolini from Capannori, Tuscany was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2013 in recognition of his efforts in stimulating community-led action and a new approach to waste management. Capannori has a recycling rate in excess of 80% and works closely with local government having persuaded them of the benefits of recycling.  He helped establish the European Zero Waste Network, which celebrates and encourages community led approaches to waste management.


1. Applications have been reviewed by a panel of organisations representing the community, third sector and business. 

2. All scoping/feasibility/business cases need to be completed by end December 2013. Zero Waste Scotland will provide additional guidance and support to organisations preparing these plans following their selection to go forward.

3. The pilot areas needed to demonstrate an established track record in collaborative working through community planning; have a current organisational/business development plan and have the commitment of other local organisations in the area. Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes would be used to support the local authorities, businesses, community groups and householders in those areas to maximise recycling rates and wider resource efficiency.

4. In selecting the possible projects Zero Waste Scotland looked for organisations with a demonstrable track record in building partnerships and engaging with local government, business and the wider community; should have been established for three or more years; have an organisational or business development plan; and could supply a set of financial accounts.

5. Zero Waste Scotland works to maximise the efficient use of some of Scotland’s most valuable resources – materials, energy and water – to achieve economic and environmental benefits

6. Zero Waste Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government to support the delivery of its Zero Waste Plan.

7. More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at



Samantha Fiander, Corporate Communications, Zero Waste Scotland, 01786 433930