What if …?
“Trash to Treasure” Share Offer Summary
A ground-breaking community-led, sustainable enterprise to provide economic, social and environmental benefits for Gloucestershire by treating our waste as a valuable resource.
Trash to Treasure is a new initiative by volunteer group CommunityR4C to treat rubbish as a valuable resource. Our first project is to help set up a local commercial recycling plant which will recover and recycle more than 90% of the county’s black bag waste instead of burning or burying it.
Recyclates and recovered material – glass, plastic, paper, metals and high quality fuel pellets – will be sold. And 25% of profits will go into a community chest to fund other ‘circular economy’ projects to improve the way we deal with waste.
We are hoping to raise funds to:
- encourage more community involvement
- persuade district councils towards recycling in place of incineration
- support the establishment of the recycling plant itself.
Why are we doing this?
We live in a world of finite resources. We can no longer treat waste as something to dispose of and forget about. In Gloucestershire, even after household recycling, 146,000 tonnes a year of household black bag waste goes to landfill sites which are already nearly full. Recycling rates are actually dropping at present.
The County Council’s planned solution is to build a huge “mass-burn” incinerator into which everything in our black bags will be thrown with no sorting or pre-treatment, costing the taxpayer an estimated £600 million over 30 years, creating greenhouse gases and risk of widespread pollution, and destroying valuable materials forever. With regulations heading towards recycling, recovery and climate protection, this project may soon be heavily taxed and/or unusable.
The Trash to Treasure initiative will support the creation of an independent recycling plant to recycle / recover over 90% of it by sorting recyclates for use as raw materials, and by creating sustainable fuel in the form of high quality biomass pellets. For this it will use R4C technology – the latest in Mechanical Biological and Heat Treatment.
Your investment and how it will help
Funds raised through this community share will support development of the recycling plant – specifically:
- Facilitating practical aspects – enabling the recycling plant to acquire a site, negotiate with funding partners and undertake the approval process.
- Community engagement – informing and involving the community in all aspects of the project, including developing ideas for future projects.
- Political engagement – persuading local district authorities to send their waste to the plant. Some, like Stroud District Council, have already expressed interest.
- Professional communications and media relations – ensuring that people and the press locally and nationally are aware and up-to-date with what we are proposing and how we are progressing.
Please note that we will not fund capital costs of building the plant – this requires major commercial investment which the support we provide will help to secure.
If we raise more than we need, further funds will directly support local projects and ventures which
- Preserve the Gloucestershire environment
- Educate on healthy approaches to waste
- Stimulate a local circular resource economy
As a Community R4C shareholder you will have a direct influence over which projects receive funding support from this initiative.
What you stand to gain
Environmentally and socially – first and foremost, if this project is successful, Gloucestershire will have the means to treat its black bag waste in a cleaner, healthier, cheaper way that does not threaten our beautiful landscape, nor create risks to our health and that of our families and farms – and it will be thanks to you!
The community benefits twice over:
- from the practical service provided by the plant
- from the support to local educational and social enterprise/small business ventures that promote a healthy approach to waste.
What is “ground-breaking” about this project?
It turns on its head the traditional procurement process that councils employ for public services like waste. The usual model is: corporations bid, councils choose and the community has to like it or lump it. This way round, the community says what it wants, supports an independent company to provide it, and invites councils to take advantage. Imagine what could happen across the UK if other communities followed our example…
And don’t just take our word for it…
“This is an inspiring project in so many ways. Viewing waste as a resource is a fundamentally rational approach and the environmental benefits are clear. At the moment, many completely recyclable items end up being incinerated or buried in land-fill. This project addresses the problem, recovering vastly more useful material than traditional refuse schemes and leaving very little actual ‘waste’.
“It’s the way all rubbish should, and hopefully will, be treated in future. This is also a fantastic example of a community taking the initiative and setting the agenda when it comes to dealing with their own rubbish. Here’s hoping that other stakeholders will leap at the opportunity to support such an innovative and important project”