A raft of innovations in the way Wiltshire Council works is having an impact on making the local authority considerably more environmentally-friendly.
The new approaches making a difference across council departments include:
- The implementation of a Carbon Management Plan for Wiltshire Council buildings, which aims to see 11,823 tonne reduction per annum of CO2 emissions by 2016/17, compared with 2010/11 figures. Absolute usage figures for both electricity and natural gas associated with operations on the corporate estate have fallen 35 per cent on 2010/11 figures. Data has not been weather-corrected
- 23 fast charging points are now available for electric cars across Wiltshire (14 sites), in addition to six rapid chargers
- A 20 percent reduction in energy costs for street lighting is being realised through the implementation of our streetlight dimming policy with a new management system and supporting infrastructure to be substantially completed and operational by the end of 2015 – leading to an estimated 1,958 tonnes of carbon being saved annually
- The Housing team is retrofitting 23 bungalows with air source heat pumps and solar PV systems – eight out of 25 heat pump installations complete, 75kWp solar PV installed
- Wiltshire has already met its landfill reduction target to landfill less than 25 percent by 2014. In 2014/15 only 20 percent of waste was landfilled. This has increased slightly in 2015-16 to just under 22 percent but remains well within target. We divert waste from landfill by recycling and composting, but also by sending 50,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) to an energy from waste plant and 60,000 tpa to the mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plant in Westbury
- Wiltshire is on course to meet its target to recycle 50 percent of household waste by 2020. In 2014/15 the recycling rate was 46.4 percent
- We also currently divert 78.63 percent of all the waste we collect from landfill. This is achieved through recycling and composting, but also by sending 50,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) to Energy from Waste and 60,000tpa to the mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plant in Westbury, Northacre Resource Recovery Centre (RRC)
- In addition, the new MBT also has the largest local authority owned single roof photo-voltaic generation installation in the country. The 1,248 panels, which were installed in August 2014, cover an area the size of seven tennis courts. The photovoltaic (PV) solar panels will generate more than 280,500 kWh of electricity each year, the equivalent to the annual energy use of 85 homes, all of which will be consumed on site at Northacre RRC, powering the mechanical biological treatment process used to turn household waste into solid recovered fuel (SRF). Over a 20 year period it is estimated that the PV solar panels will save Wiltshire Council more than £1.5 million, and avoid CO² emissions of more than 2,720 tonnes.
Toby Sturgis, cabinet member for the environment, property and waste said: “It’s clear that real progress is being made to make Wiltshire Council a greener and more efficient organisation. There is still work to do, but we are certainly heading in the right direction.”