Mayor's conversation

Monday, 27 April 2015 09:32

Dear Meike

Thank you for writing to me about the provision for plastic bottle recycling at council leisure facilities.

As you rightly state in your email, recycling bins are present in staff areas (editor's note: only one very small paper recycling box actually) at all our Leisure Centres and are emptied by the council's Premises Management Unit on a monthly basis.

The current vending provision contract has now expired and the procurement process has commenced to award the contract to a new supplier. We aim to complete the process and award the contract to the successful contractor by August 2015.  As part of the vending contract and tender process the successful company will be asked to provide a plastic, cans recycling solution for all our Leisure Centre's.

During the interim period Liverpool Aquatic Centre Manager, Joe Twamley, will contact the Premises Management Unit to discuss the possibility of locating separate plastic, can recycling bins at all our leisure facilities.

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and if you would like to discuss this matter further Leisure Centre Area Manager Joe Twamley can be contacted by email to

In terms of the wider recycling issues you have raised, I can advise that managing rubbish and waste is a key part of the council's Sustainable Development Plan.  We respond positively to the changes set out in the National Waste Strategy, Waste and Emissions Trading Act 2003 and the 1999 EU Directive on Landfill.

We also have a Recycling and Waste Management Policy that outlines our key planned service improvement actions, and the council's contribution and response to the Audit Commission's recommendations for further development.

You can find out more about our recycling and waste strategy, sustainable development and more at

I hope this information is useful to you and thank you again for bringing it to my attention.

Very best wishes

Joe Anderson

Mayor of Liverpool

From: Meike Holzmann

Sent: 25 March 2015 13:03

To: Mayor

Subject: Waste management questions

Dear Joe

I am a Liverpool based musician, teacher and freediver, campaigning for plastic pollution reduction with my website and the (not-for-profit) TidyTide bottle, which not only highlights the problems but also offers a simple solution while supporting those in need.

Today I am writing to you to find out more about Liverpool Council's own recycling efforts, I would like to know how you collect and treat waste generated in your council facilities.

During the past weekend I ran a zero bottled water initiative during the Great Northern Freediving Competition held at Liverpool Aquatics Centre with great success - we had practically no disposable plastic bottles or plastic cups/spoons in our bins and only half a bin bag of 'general waste' in total - at a two day event with over 70 people!

Unfortunately I noticed that there are no facilities for staff and visitors to separate their waste apart from a small paper collection bin in the office, nor any adequate plastic recycling containers or strategies to collect 'recyclable' plastics - while 5 vending machines in the entrance area produce a continuos stream of what is effectively eternal toxic waste.

Staff members reported considerable struggle with plastic waste, especially after events where huge amounts of plastic bottles, cups and food wrappings are being discarded but no recycling facilities are provided by the council.

I am sure you are well aware of the facts that plastics can only be downcycled and they do not biodegrade but only break down into micro particles, which can be found in the remotest areas on Earth now, which have already entered the food chain and even made their way into our blood.

Plastic is a huge global problem and recycling it is only halfway ecological, ideally the sale of bottled water should be not encouraged - we should rather highlight the fact that UK tap water meets very high standards and underlies much stricter quality and safety controls than bottled water.

I am an idealist but also a realist - I don't think that people will stop buying bottled water overnight, but whoever provides the bottles should make sure that they will be collected and recycled at least, rather than ending up in a landfill somewhere.

I don't know what the situation is in other council facilities - but can we have separate bins, collection and recycling everywhere please?

Thank you your time reading this, I very much look forward to your reply.

Kind regards

Meike Holzmann


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