Aberdeen Forward is an environmental charity which runs a number of different projects in the city and across Aberdeenshire. The organisation aims to develop a portfolio of projects in the field of sustainable development. Traditionally working in sustainable waste management, Aberdeen Forward is now moving on to look at projects that expand the use of existing facilities in innovative ways to address community needs (e.g. a drop-in cafe, or a museum education room for use by the community). Also projects that improve the quality of, or create parks, play areas, green spaces, indoor and outdoor sports facilities, amenity green space and provision of facilities for teenagers and children in order to improve quality of life
Funding for projects has, in the past, come from the landfill tax credit scheme, national government grant programmes and through the national lottery. Recently the organisation has made the decision to become a social enterprise and is working to become more self-financing and to reduce the need to continually chase grant funding.
Examples of project types supported by Aberdeen Forward;
Grampian Real Nappies
The Grampian Real Nappy Project aims to promote the use of cloth nappies as an alternative to disposables. The Grampian Real Nappy project offers:
• £30 cash back incentive – for parents trying cloth nappies
• free nappy trials – if you want to try before you buy
• advice on using real nappies – information about different brands and styles
Aberdeen Forward has worked to help Aberdeen City Council establish 10 community composting sites by 2010. This target has already been achieved in 2006 – 4 years ahead of schedule. These community composting sites will contribute to the targets set out in the Grampian Area Waste Plan, the National Waste Plan: Scotland and the Landfill Directive, limiting the amount of biodegradable waste that can be sent to landfill.
Community composting enables waste to be treated locally to where it has been produced, and community participation in such schemes can have additional benefits, such as acting as a focus for community education and training events, and for increasing awareness about recycling and waste issues in general. The achievements of the Community Composting Projects have recently been recognised by winning Best Community Initiative from the Composting Association.
The Creative Waste Exchange has been developed with donations from local businesses and is being developed as an independent social enterprise that will work on a membership basis.
Aberdeen Forward moved to a new warehouse in Dyce to set up the Creative Waste Exchange. The new premises being based behind BP, has helped Aberdeen Forward build a working partnership with BP since moving to Dyce. The initiative has begun setting up a special computerised stock control system and obtained a licence to collect waste from businesses. They are thinking of renting furniture and are looking to make notebooks made from quality waste paper, working in partnership with AyeCan. There are a number of other initiatives being looked at such are recycling tyres, office materials, on-line recipes, etc.