Central Government has issued a tough challenge to the 16 streets at the heart of Wolverhampton's Whitmore Reans neighbourhood. In order to win Whitehall support for two vital community projects, local residents have just 66 days to improve their household recycling performance.

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The 66 Day Challenge starts 20 January and ends on 26 March, 2014.  As it's funded entirely by the Department for Communities and Local Government, no financial support from Wolverhampton City Council is required.

Councillor John Reynolds, the council's Cabinet Member for City Services said: "People in Whitmore Reans are always willing to get involved in something if it makes things better for their neighbourhood.  

"The 66 Day Challenge is a great opportunity to tap in to that spirit and achieve something good for their community - and it won't cost council tax payers a penny".

The name '66 Day Challenge' was inspired by scientific research from University College London showing that it takes 66 days for a person to develop a new, positive, habit. 

To help local people on their way, 'Bin Buddy' teams will be touring Whitmore Reans throughout the challenge, offering free recycling advice and encouragement.

Councillor Reynolds said : "The Government is targeting neighbourhoods around the country where the take up of recycling services hasn't been as great as it could be.

"We know from our research that while the recycling message has got through to most areas of Wolverhampton, we need to try harder for Whitmore Reans.

"That's why we're happy to take up the Government's challenge.

"What's at stake is the chance for the Local Neighbourhood Partnership and the Whitmore Reans Neighbourhood Wardens to nominate 2 community projects for central Government support.  They'll base their decisions on local knowledge and on their conversations with local people.

"Communities outside Whitmore Reans will benefit too, as higher recycling rates will boost the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the service as a whole.  That means better value for money for everyone.

"In the months ahead we'll also be working with other communities across the Wolverhampton to improve our recycling performance citywide.

"But first, we want to beat the Government's 66 Day Challenge to Whitmore Reans.  That's why teams of Bin Buddies will be on hand from the start to give residents free, easy to follow advice on recycling.

"In the end, though, local people to will have to decide for themselves whether they're up for the challenge - and whether they really can develop a new recycling habit in 66 days".

  • released: Thursday 16 January, 2014