Support is now available for Nova Scotia communities that want to pursue clean energy and transportation projects that lower emissions and build on Nova Scotia’s successes in fighting climate change. Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette announced today, June 20, that the Low Carbon Communities Program is being combined with Connect2 and the new program is open for applications. “These investments continue to create green jobs across the province while improving the environment and our communities,” said Mr. Mombourquette. “We are a North American leader in fighting climate change and we are committed to doing even more.” Municipalities, Mi’kmaw communities, not-for-profit and other organizations are eligible for both the Low Carbon Communities Program and Connect2, the province’s sustainable transportation program. Combining the programs makes it easier and faster for these organizations to apply. Last year the Low Carbon Communities Program provided $75,000 in funding to the Clean Annapolis River Project for renewable energy initiatives. “We want to demonstrate in a tangible way that clean energy is something that can be a reality for homes and businesses in the Annapolis Valley area,” said Levi Cliché, executive director, Clean Annapolis River Project. “Funding from this program is what we needed to make sure we had staff and professional expertise to get started on the right track.” The province will invest up to $1.2 million to support community solar, district energy, public building efficiency, active transportation, zero-emission vehicles and other projects that can lower emissions. Funding can be used for community planning, feasibility studies, public engagement sessions, program promotion and demonstration projects. Applications will be accepted until Sept. 20. For more information, visit www.novascotia.ca/low-carbon-communities .
A new generation of “smart bins” is being introduced which promises an end to litter-strewn public spaces and aggressive seagulls by emailing collectors as they become full.The solar-powered receptacles are roughly the same size as normal bins but can accommodate around ten times the volume thanks to a crushing system which compacts the waste.This, combined with a modem which allows councils to accurately monitor rubbish levels, is reducing the number of bin collections in parks and on busy pavements by up to 90 per cent.The units, which are currently being trialled in five local authority areas in England, have been welcomed by environmental and anti-litter campaigners for tackling both the problem of unsightly overflowing public bins, as well as the wasted costs and emissions involved in routinely emptying bins that are not yet full.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––In two busy neighbourhoods of Waltham Forest in East London, council waste collectors were able to reduce their visits from three times a day to three times a week.The bins are also designed to deter scavenging birds and vermin because they are sealed except when opened using a foot pedal.The manufacturers, Irish firm PEL, say their Solar Street Bin can last 13 weeks without a light source. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. They comprise a relatively early utilisation of the so-called “internet of things” – where physical objects can be controlled or monitored via the web – for public spaces, and follow similar trials by a different manufacturer in Nottingham and the City of London.Samantha Harding, Litter Programme Director at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “These bins are a good way for councils with ever-shrinking budgets to deal with the ever-growing amount of waste.”In addition to Waltham Forest, trials of the solar bin are currently underway in Greenwich and Haringey in London, as well as Fareham in Hampshire, East Devon and Glasgow.The bins each cost £95 a week to rent, or around £4,000 to purchase.An inbuilt thermometer is also linked to the modem so councils can monitor the temperature in the bin and order early collections in particularly hot whether. The also include USB ports so passers-by can charge their phones in emergencies.Greenwich council has said that no workers will be made redundant by the new technology, but instead will be redirected to other street-cleaning tasks. San Francisco, Paris, Oslo and Dubai are among some of the overseas cities embracing the technology. A seagull eats takeaway food left on the harbourside at St Ives Credit:Matt Cardy/Getty Allison Ogden-Newton, Chief Executive of environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, said: “We are always pleased to see innovations that can help deal with overflowing bins and the consequent increase in litter around them.“If these innovations can also save councils time and money, then that is a win-win, and we look forward to seeing what the impact of these bins is, both on litter and costs.”While welcoming the new bins in principal, Samantha Harding said: “The bigger picture is that we shouldn’t be putting packaging in bins where it simply gets landfilled or incinerated.“The Government’s upcoming Resources and Waste Strategy must be bold in pushing for a proper step-change in how we collect and manage our resources, with the related costs being paid for by producers, not taxpayers.” The bins each cost £95 a week to rent, or around £4,000 to purchase.