Douglas Borough Council has been awarded UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man partner status in recognition of its environmentally responsible credentials, in particular its efforts to safeguard natural resources and reduce energy consumption.
Chair of the Environmental Services Committee Councillor Ritchie McNicholl said: ‘Sustainability and minimising our carbon footprint are core elements of the Council’s Corporate Plan objective which pledges to improve energy performance and harness renewable energy technology.
‘By way of example the Council is more than half way through the process to convert all the Borough’s street lighting to LED units, an initiative which led to Douglas being awarded Biggest Saving in the Public Sector in the 2017 Energy Awards.
‘The Council is also investing in energy-efficient and electric vehicles and was the first local authority in the Island to operate a refuse collection vehicle fitted with an all-electric bin lift.
‘Other areas where the Council has reduced its energy consumption include investing in an air source heat pump at Ballaughton nursery to heat the greenhouses rather than burn fossil fuels; harvesting rain water to irrigate plants and Council-maintained floral displays around the town and composting green waste for re-use.
‘The Council is also committed to recycling and responsible waste management. To this end we installed bin sensors in our public litter bins which indicate when they need emptying, so reduces the number of journeys and the Council’s carbon footprint.
‘Education and changing attitudes also play a large part. The Council vigorously promotes its kerbside collection service and the reuse/recycle facilities provided at the Eastern District civic amenity site and supports schools’ eco-programmes through talks delivered by members of our Waste Services team.
‘These are just some of the initiatives, along with promoting and preserving the Borough’s heritage, that distinguish the Council’s efforts to operate as an environmentally responsible local authority.
‘I am therefore pleased that the Council has received UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man partner status. This is a globally recognised stamp of quality that acknowledges the Council’s contribution to making Douglas - and the Isle of Man - a special place to live, work and visit.’