New community grant to re-engage the public in recycling
A new grant was rolled out last week to dislodge any remaining confusion about what goes in our recycling bins and will support local communities to do their part in meeting our national recycling responsibilities.
The grant scheme is part of a campaign to re-engage the public in recycling and will be run by VOICE – one of Ireland’s leading environmental ENGOs tackling waste – and will receive significant funding from Repak.
The scheme is asking community groups to engage in face-to-face conversations with their neighbours to clear up recycling confusion and to understand barriers individuals face by documenting their views through surveys.
The launch of the grant follows the success of VOICE’s Recycling Ambassador Programme (RAP) launched last November.
This programme has already reached 3,500 people in face to face workshops around the country which help clear up confusion about recycling.
The unique aspect of the Recycling Ambassador Programme is that an environmental campaigning charity is able bring questions and concerns from the environmental sector and the public straight back to a powerful collaborative group, which includes representatives from the government and industry. Mindy O’Brien, VOICE’s coordinator, has worked to get all the stakeholders at the table in support of the programme.
The recycling list was created by the Government, in consultation with industry, to give the Irish people one simple and clear message about recycling. This list uses easily recognisable images of packaging found in Irish shops and homes, moving away from a focus on confusing recycling symbols used in the past.
VOICE is breaking very new ground due to the collaborative approach developed by VOICE coordinator Mindy O’Brien. No past Government has worked with an ENGO involving other stakeholders in this way – to listen to the direct feedback from the public and to enable face to face education engagement about recycling. It signals a new approach for Government.
 VOICE is rolling out a community grant as Repak get behind the Recycling Ambassador Programme with a fund of €42,000 to tackle the 28% rate of contamination in Irish recycling bins.