HAMPSHIRE community groups are being urged kickstart projects that minimise waste by Hampshire County Council.

With the cost of dealing with Hampshire's waste exceeding £100 million a year, Hampshire County Council (HCC) is offering grants to groups to help kickstart or expand projects, products and services which minimise the amount of waste produced.

HCC is offering up to £5,000 to groups and have already supported nearly 30 projects.

Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of HCC, said: "It is vital we all take a look at waste generated from our homes and find ways to reduce it.

"We’re offering this grant to support initiatives which reduce the amount of waste leaving our homes – everything we throw away has to be collected, sorted and processed which all incurs cost.

"We recognise that Christmas is a time when waste increases significantly, so are looking for innovative projects that will help to reduce household waste over the festive period, but also be sustainable all year round."

HCC are offering suggestions to groups who wish to get on board with the project, which includes; Christmas swap events, reusable gift wrap, toy sways, rental of furniture for Christmas or zero waste presents.

The fund is open to community and voluntary groups, registered charities, schools, not-for-profit organisations, small businesses and parish councils.

Cllr Humby added: “Initiatives which help us all waste less also have social benefits such as helping to reduce social isolation through sharing food or assisting families on a low income over the festive period.

"Dealing with waste is a costly business for everyone and reducing the amount of household waste produced in the first place can make a big difference.

"There is some great work going on, but I know that limited funding can sometimes prevent good work expanding, so I hope that community groups and other eligible organisations will be encouraged to apply to the grant fund to help them."

If you are interested, visit www.hants.gov.uk/waste-prevention-community or email waste.prevention@hants.gov.uk