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Three months into his new role as Waste Management Project Officer, we spoke to Daniel Onyenwe about his plans for the role, his passion for the environment and engaging with local communities, and the impact of his work so far. Daniel says:

After starting out as a Quantity Surveyor (QS) and working in the construction industry, I decided to change my career path towards something that aligned with my values. I went back to university and studied project management at Cardiff Metropolitan University, graduating in May 2023. 

I really wanted to do something different, and always felt a pull towards environmental sustainability, particularly in waste management. 

My passion for the environment and the desire to reduce waste led me to my new role at CCHA where I could set my own goals and make a significant impact. I am driven by the belief that the planet is our home, and it is our responsibility to preserve it for future generations. This new position allows me to focus on reducing waste and minimising our environmental footprint. 

What’s been done so far  

Since starting my new job in March, I have dedicated my time to researching effective waste management strategies and driving change through community engagement. My main goal is to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote sustainable practices. 

One of the key initiatives I have started is a local cleanup campaign. This program addresses immediate waste concerns and educates the community on the importance of recycling. By offering training and support, and working with the local council and schools, we aim to help residents recycle more effectively and avoid exceeding their bin limits. 

This summer, we plan to host various workshops and events for families, where they can learn about waste reduction and recycling in a fun and interactive environment. These events will also show the immediate positive effects of waste reduction on the community. 

The Impact and Future Plans  

Some of our estates are notorious for waste related issues like fly-tipping, waste contamination and littering, which have been a focal point of our efforts. To address these issues, CCTV cameras installed at strategic locations as a blend of enforcement and educational purposes. We have also received grant funding to improve existing bin stores, securing them with padlocks with keycodes or digi-locks to restrict access and deter fly tipping. 

Our efforts are already showing results, with cleaner estates and a more engaged community. The positive response from residents is encouraging, and it proves that our initiatives are making a difference. 

Educating the community on waste management is crucial. We work with the council to provide solutions for bulky item disposal and offenders are charged for the removal of any fly tipping. 

How You Can Help 

By working together, we can significantly reduce waste and create a cleaner, healthier environment for everyone. Stay tuned for updates on our upcoming events and initiatives. Let’s make a positive impact on our planet, one step at a time. 

This role is funded for a year through the Welsh Government Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Grant Scheme, and we are grateful for the support that enables us to continue this important work.