Twenty-four local authorities in England and Wales have been awarded £2.1m to support the development of low carbon heat networks.
The projects, which are the latest round of successful bidders for funding from the Government's Heat Networks Delivery Unit, will use a range of green technologies, including energy from waste and heat recovered from industry.
There are currently around 2,000 heat networks in the UK, supplying 200,000 homes and 1,500 commercial and public buildings. Another 150 schemes are under development.
More than 50 organisations have urged local government secretary Eric Pickles not to scrap a planning rule giving councils the power to demand that new housing uses renewable power and has higher energy standards than national Building Regulations.
In an open letter, bodies including the Renewable Energy Association (REA), the Town & Country Planning Association and Friends of the Earth argue that the so-called Merton Rule is the only policy driver for including renewables in new buildings until full zero carbon standards are introduced in 2016.
Welsh local authorities pushed recycling rates to the highest level in the UK between July and September at 57 per cent, according to new figures.
Statistics compiled by the Welsh Government put recycling, reuse and composting rates at 66 per cent in Monmouthshire, 62 per cent in Pembrokeshire and Denbighshire, and 60 per cent in Bridgend and Caerphilly.
Across Wales, the amount of black bin waste collected per person fell by six per cent year-on-year to 52kg.
An 11-tonne pile of rubbish was created in Sutton high street as part of an anti-litter campaign designed to change people's behaviour and save council tax payers money.
The pile, which reached 10 feet, illustrated how much rubbish has to be cleared from the borough's streets in a single day. Sutton Council said that clearing up litter costs £4m a year - enough to run the library service for a year or provide 210 residential care places for the elderly.
The London Borough of Haringey and Durham University have launched a joint research programme to identify the barriers to low carbon economic development and how they can support greener business activity.
Haringey, which was the first major local authority in England to commit to cutting local CO2 emissions by 40 per cent by 2020 while also tackling inequality and increasing prosperity, will invest £90,000 in the one-year pilot scheme.