ROGER Hemming is a man on a mission.
“I am determined to be as thorough as possible in my Borders-wide hunt for waste recycling, reduction and re-using projects,” he told us this week.
Mr Hemming, who describes himself as a “waste minimisation data researcher”, has recently been charged to conduct a study into the many and various schemes, including community composting initiatives, which have sprung up in communities across the region in a bid to create a Zero Waste future. And he hopes that, as a result of his research, gaps in waste reduction – along with opportunities to link and expand existing projects – can be identified.
Mr Hemming, who is based at the office of the Southern Uplands Partnership (SUP) at Lindean, near Selkirk, has been commissioned by BCCF Environmental, a green offshoot of the Berwickshire Community Councils Forum.
For the past two years BCCF Environmental has built up a membership of 25 volunteers and spearheaded or inspired numerous waste reduction programmes.
Although originally confining its operations to Berwickshire, the group has branched out to visit, advise and help communities across the Borders to set up composting schemes.
Mr Hemming’s study, which is already under way, will look at the good practice of these initiatives and seek to empower all communities to play their part in waste reduction, reducing greenhouse gases and radically cutting the waste which ends up in landfill sites.
“By identifying gaps in all forms of waste reduction, the results of my study will enable volunteers to target their efforts,” he told us. “Of course, it’s also important not to duplicate work already being undertaken or tread on toes where groups are running successful schemes.”
The research is being funded by WRAP (Waste Reduction and Awareness Project) with “in-kind” contributions from the BCCF, SUP and Scottish Borders Council, and Mr Hemming hopes to complete his study next month.
“In addition to my primary objective of producing a list of schemes already operating in the Borders, I may be able to put a project group in touch with a similar one elsewhere,” explained Mr Hemming. “Lessons learned, together with experience and ideas, could then be exchanged to mutual advantage.”
Information regarding Zero Waste schemes – or the lack of them – can be sent to Mr Hemming by email to Roger@BCCFEnvironmental.or.uk. Alternatively, contact him on 07917 378 988.