Martin Hill: Doing our bit to protect the environment

Whenever there’s a debate about climate change one of the main messages that comes across is how important it is to protect our planet for future generations.

This was recently brought closer to home when Lincolnshire County Council received a letter from an 11 year-old Lincoln girl. Quite rightly she was asking what we are doing to play our part in creating a more sustainable environment.

I was impressed with her knowledge and the points she raised, especially about saving energy and doing more recycling.

Her enthusiasm prompted me to look in more detail about the action we are taking.

I am proud to say that overall, since 2008, we’ve reduced our carbon footprint by 41%, and we are still working to reduce it even further.

We’ve installed solar panels, LED lighting systems and more-efficient new heating systems in a number of our buildings and schools.

We’re also really proud to have trained 900 local youngsters as Carbon Ambassadors who help us carry out energy audits within their schools.

With regard to looking at ways to increase recycling we are running a food waste trial in parts of Grantham. We are currently monitoring its success to see if it’s a scheme that could work in other parts of the county.

On top of this, as a member of the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership, we regularly promote the importance of domestic recycling especially with regard to putting the right kind of waste in the right bin.

One of our main achievements has been investing in the Energy from Waste plant at North Hykeham.

This creates energy from waste which isn’t recycled or composted – enough power for 26,500 homes. The ash left behind is used in road building and breeze blocks.

We are doing our best to continually reduce the amount of waste which goes in the ground – and for us this is now 92% less than it was 10 years ago.

By the end of this year, the Energy from Waste plant will have processed over 1 million tonnes of waste since it opened in 2013. It will have produced enough energy to power approximately 140,158 homes, 17.4million laptops or 255 million iPhones.

If you would like to see how the plant works for yourself, it has a fully-equipped visitor centre that is open to groups on pre-booked trips.

Find out how the site works through interactive displays, learn about recycling, the re-use of materials and wider resource management issues. To book a visit, email [email protected] or phone 01522 814318.

As you can see from all of this, the council takes environmental issues very seriously and we are committed to building on our achievements for the benefit of all.