Environment in Bristol

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Waste management[edit]

Bristol households currently have a 180 L black bin that is emptied every two weeks, previous to this there was 240 L bins but they were replaced between January and April 2012.

  • Black bin 180 L - Sorted at Avonmouth into recyclables and non-recyclables; the latter are incinerated for energy. Emptied every two weeks.
  • Chargeable green bins or 75 L sacks, for garden waste.
  • Brown bin - emptied weekly. Food waste.
  • Black box - emptied weekly. Paper, shredded paper, glass, clothes, shoes, batteries, spectacles.
  • Green box - emptied weekly. Aerosols, cans, cardboard, foil, plastics, tetra Pack.

Recycling banks normally include facilities for paper and card, glass, clothes, shoes, aluminium cans, plastic bottles and containers, plastic bags, books, mobile phones and cartons.

There are currently two household recycling centres located at Avonmouth and St Phillips with plans for a third site in Hartcliffe.[1][2]


Based on its environmental performance, quality of life, future-proofing and how well it is addressing climate change, recycling and biodiversity, Bristol was ranked as the UK's most sustainable city, topping environmental charity Forum for the Future's Sustainable Cities Index 2008.[3][4] Notable local initiatives include Sustrans, who have created the National Cycle Network, founded as Cyclebag in 1977,[5] and Resourcesaver established in 1988 as a non-profit business by Avon Friends of the Earth.[6]


Main article: Sustrans

Sustrans is a British charity which promotes sustainable transport. The charity is currently working on a number of practical projects to encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport, to give people the choice of "travelling in ways that benefit their health and the environment".[1] Sustrans' flagship project is the National Cycle Network, which has created over 10,000 miles of signed cycle routes throughout the UK, although about 70% of the network is on previously existing, mostly minor roads where motor traffic will be encountered. The first route created was the Bristol to Bath cycle path.

Bristol Green Capital[edit]

In 2007, the Bristol Partnership launched the Green Capital initiative in order to invite organisations in the city to play their part in helping tackle climate change and contribute to Bristol's ambition of becoming a leading UK green capital. Bristol aims to build on its strengths in the environmental technology and services sector, its ‘green' knowledge capital (Centre for Sustainable Energy, Sustrans, Soil Association, BBC Natural History Unit and many others) and the readiness of many of its citizens to adopt greener lifestyles.

The Green Capital Partnership has been funded by Bristol City Council and in 2010 a manager's post was established. The Council has adopted its own Green Capital Action Plan and is required as part of its Local Area Agreement to measure and report on national indicators for carbon emissions (NI185) and climate change adaptation (NI186).

The Partnership is run by a Momentum Group and a Steering Group. The Momentum Group meets quarterly and is open to anyone who has signed the Green Capital pledge "to help make Bristol a low-carbon city with a high quality of life for all". The Steering Group is made up of the chairs of sub-groups and key partner organisations. Their role is to agree the way the operating budget is spent and to direct the manager's work programme.

Whilst there is no recognised standard for what constitutes a green capital, in the UK Forum for the Future produces an annual Sustainability Index which ranks cities against 3 criteria: environmental impact, quality of life and future proofing. During 2008, the EU launched a Green Capital competition to find Europe's green capital for 2010 and 2011. The EU competition set out a performance framework which it used to evaluate and benchmark applicants - download the technical evaluation to see how Bristol performed.

Bristol re-entered the European Green Capital Award in 2010 and was runner up to Copenhagen. Bristol is still the only UK city to have been shortlisted for the award.


  1. ^ http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/New-waste-recycling-centre-cards/story-18836036-detail/story.html
  2. ^ http://www.bristol.gov.uk/press/bristol-city-council-sets-annual-budget
  3. ^ Staff writer (9 November 2008). "Bristol is Britain's greenest city". Evening Post. Bristol News and Media. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  4. ^ "Sustainable Cities Index 2008". Forum for the Future. 25 November 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  5. ^ Sustrans, 2002. The Official Guide to the National Cycle Network. 2nd ed. Italy: Canile & Turin. ISBN 1-901389-35-9. Relevant section reproduced here [1].
  6. ^ "Resourcesaver: Home Page". Beehive. Bristol News and Media. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 

External links[edit]