Vicar raises waste issues

A Church of England vicar has launched a campaign for the church to promote sustainable waste management.

The vicar for Crawley Down in West Sussex Jon Hale, who used to be a planner, has taken a sabbatical to look at how the church can be involved in waste issues.

He argues that the church is well equipped spiritually and has a branch in every community to promote a cultural shift over waste. "Local authorities are looking to engage communities and the church is well placed to do so," he said.

Hale's report investigates ways in which the church can get involved in promoting waste reduction, reuse and recycling through small schemes with communities and local government. Hale also suggested making church land available for waste facilities.

He is working with the West Sussex Waste Partnership, which is looking at the possibility of organising free collections of waste and recycling from churches.

The project comes as the Environment Agency published a list of "50 things that will save the planet". This ranks the need for religious leaders to get involved at number two.

"The world's faith groups have been silent for too long on the environment," commented Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management executive director Nick Reeves.

"It is time that they fulfilled their rightful collective role in reminding us that we have a duty to restore and maintain the ecological balance of the planet," he said.

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