As a country, we are producing mountains of waste every year. It’s costing billions of pounds to deal with it and we can’t go on just producing more and more while doing the same old things. 

In Newcastle we think the time has come do something truly radical. We assembled a group of leading industry and policy experts to take a completely fresh look to see how our city can do something groundbreaking when dealing with waste.

The Newcastle Waste Commission, which is independent of the council, listened to evidence on a wide range of waste issues; recycling, waste to energy and re-using waste to name just a few.

It listened to what people and organisations had to say and produced a report which you can read here.

That report made a series of recommendations. It will now be up to partners across the city to decide how many of them it can implement so we can reduce the 142,000 tonnes of waste we produce every year. It could save us money, make us healthier and give our environment and the planet a helping hand.

Andy Griffiths is Head of Environmental Sustainability at Nestlé UK and Ireland. He is qualified as both a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Environmentalist and is focussed on bringing together the engineering expertise, operational experience and environmental insights of the organisation alongside collaborative partnerships with academia and key delivery partners to develop and implement robust and effective sustainability programmes. In addition to leading Nestlé UK & Ireland's waste strategy Andy is a member of WRAPs Courtauld 2025 Steering Group and the co-chair of WRAPs Surplus Food Redistribution Working Group.

Paul Taylor is responsible for FCC Environment’s entire business in the UK, creating a clear vision for the business with defined strategic goals, delivering shareholder value, leading the business through a period of rapid change in market conditions and expectation. Paul is a chartered civil engineer with 25 years of experience in the waste and recycling industry.

Peter Maddox is Director of Government Programmes at WRAP, Waste & Resources Action Group. He has been at WRAP for 10 years in a range of strategy and operational roles related to waste management, resource efficiency and the circular economy. Previously he worked at BP for the polymers and chemicals businesses in UK and France. He has a D Phil in Chemistry.

Marie Fallon is Director Regulated Industry for the Environment Agency. Marie qualified in Town Planning and started her professional working life as an Environmental Educational Officer in Coventry planting trees and working with schools.  Marie joined the Agency three years ago as the Area Manager for Northumberland, Durham and Tees and she has recently taking up the role of Director of Regulated Industry within the Agency. Prior to joining the agency Marie had a 28 year local government career including: Corporate Director of Environment in Cumbria, Interim Director of Regeneration, Enterprise and Planning in Northampton; Director of Regeneration in Newcastle. 

Ben Webster is Environment Editor and Oceans Correspondent at The Times. His recent investigations have included exposing the full impact of air pollution in our cities; the cruel treatment of animals in some abattoirs; the growing plastic pollution of oceans and the loss of the green belt. He joined The Times in 1998. He worked on the Times newsdesk from 1998-2000 as night news editor and then assistant news editor. He was Transport Correspondent from 2000 to 2009, Environment Editor from 2009 to 2011, Media Editor 2011 to 2013, returning to be Environment Editor in 2013.

Dr Colin Church is the Chief Executive of Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, the professional body for resources and waste management. Previously, he was Director, Environmental Quality in the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). His responsibilities included the Government’s policies on adaptation to a changing climate, air quality, industrial pesticides, industrial pollution prevention, local environment quality, nanomaterials, noise, ozone depleting substances, pesticides, resource efficiency/waste and sustainable procurement. He was responsible for the Government’s support for waste infrastructure development, and led for DEFRA on climate change mitigation.

Heidi Mottram (CEO of Northumbrian Water) joined the Board in 2010, when she was appointed as CEO of NWL and NWGL. Prior to her current position, Ms Mottram held a number of senior management roles, including Managing Director of Northern Rail Limited, Commercial Director of Arriva Trains, and Operations Director of Midland Mainline as well as various senior positions in Great North Eastern Railway. She is a Non-executive Director of Eurostar International Limited and a Board Member of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership. She was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours 2009 for services to the rail industry. In June 2016, she was named Business in the Community's Prince of Wales Ambassador to the North East. She is also a Board Member of Kielder Water and Forest Park Development Trust, as well as a member of the CBI Board.

Meet the commissioners

Everyone produces waste and so everyone has a role to play if we are to make some big changes. So invited all kinds of organisations and individuals to come and talk to us.