Stroud District Council sees sharp rise in carbon emissions due to recycling scheme
AN increase in the amount of recycling and a doubling of gym membership has led to a sharp rise in the carbon emissions generated by Stroud District Council, the Gazette can reveal.
SDC’s target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 has taken a hit after its own emissions rose by over a third in one year.
From 2011 to 2012, the amount of carbon dioxide (C02) emitted into the atmosphere by the council’s vehicles was 958 tonnes – this year it was 1,482 tonnes.
In addition the amount of C02 produced from the council’s buildings in 2011 to 2012 was 1,141 tonnes, which rose to 1,377 tonnes this year.
Overall SDC has produced a record high of 2,859 tonnes of pollution – 760 tonnes more than last year.
A SDC spokesman said the 36 per cent rise in emissions was accounted for by a significant increase in activity.
He said the new recycling system introduced last year, and the associated increase in recycling, meant the council had to introduce a new fleet of larger collection vehicles.
Increased usage of Stratford Park Leisure Centre was also a factor, with some areas of the centre, such as the gym, seeing membership double in the last year.
"Furthermore, following changes in government legislation, we have expanded our council housing operations to support our new house-building programme," he said.
"Underneath these figures there have been many energy saving improvements, but these major projects come with major energy usage."
SDC’s environment committee is set to meet tonight (Thursday) to discuss the performance and consider future carbon-saving plans.
The report outlining the increase in pollution states that to reach the 2030 carbon neutral target, the council needs to build the equivalent of five wind turbines, two anaerobic digestion plants, 50 hydro-power schemes or 22,820 solar panels across the district.
Current carbon-saving plans include installing a hydropower scheme at the SDC’s office at Ebley Mill at the cost of £360,000.
The council is also to launch a new loan scheme, with the aim of financing energy-saving installations in domestic households.
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