The 17th annual awards recognised the hard work of the recycling sector, and were hosted by editor of letsrecycle.com Steve Eminton, along with co-host and associate editor, Caelia Quinault.
The awards were judged by an expert panel including, Mr Eminton, Carole Taylor, chair of Larac , Julia Turner,, executive director of the Wood Recyclers Association, Jacob Hayler, executive director of the Environmental Services Association, and Jarno Stet, secretary of Nawdo.
Mr Eminton, welcoming attendees, said: “While it’s our first virtual awards, hopefully it will be the last. There is usually great glitzy atmosphere where we normally hold the awards at London’s landmark hotel, so I hope you will enjoy today’s virtual event which recognises the wonderful work of our finalists.”
The full list of winners can be seen at the end of this article.
The keynote speaker this year was Ray Georgeson MBE of Ray Georgeson Resources who has long experience in the sector, including roles at WRAP, WasteWatch and the Resource Association.
Mr Georgeson said that the recycling and waste sector is “on the cusp of genuine progress” with moves ahead such as the deposit return scheme and extended producer responsibility.
He added that the “headwind” caused by the coronavirus will no doubt be challenging for the sector, but that it will “be only temporary”.
But, he also emphasised the need to make progress is not delayed. “The next 20 years has to take us into an urgent transition into circular economy, and to greener recovery. We mustn’t let post covid austerity and economic challenges slow down our agenda for change.”
Mr Georgeson concluded by saying that this year’s awards ceremony is a “declaration of great work, great projects, innovations and acknowledgement of sterling work that has been done during covid”.
He said: “A note of congratulations to nominees and winners, but everyone is a winner in a ceremony like this. I want to say thank you for the sterling service that all nominees continue to provide to our sector.”
Mr Georgeson is also growing his ‘lockdown locks’ for the charity WasteAid; details of how you can donate can be found here.
As well as being named overall recycling business of the year in the business categories of the awards, Egger Timberpack also picked up the wood recycling business of the year award.
Director of the company, Mark Hayton accepted the award, and said: “This is unbelievable, and brilliant, thank you we really appreciate it. Its been a tough year for everyone concerned so we are delighted to be picking up this award”.
Other winners included Central England Co-operative, for its food redistribution project and circular economy success was secured by Westminster City Council, Veolia and Magtec for their project that upcycled near end of life waste and recycling diesel trucks to fully electric trucks.
New categories were added to this year’s awards, including ‘best health and safety initiative’, and ‘response to the coronavirus pandemic’.
Weybridge Skip Hire was awarded Health and Safety initiative of the year for its work on mental health. The business recognised it had a high percentage of over 40-year-old Skip and Tipper drivers in the workplace that found it difficult to engage with the more liberal safety and wellbeing work campaigns the company had previously been running. Weybridge decided to look at using its own staff to share a clear message to the team that they could relate to by using boxing and martial arts safety equipment as an example of the importance of waste sector PPE and safety measures.
This was accepted by transport manager at the company, Lee Adam, who said: “Our team has worked really hard to improve health and safety in the sector and to be recognised for that is a great honour.”
“Our team has worked really hard to improve health and safety in the sector” – Lee Adam, Weybridge Skip Hire
Torfaen County Borough Council and its waste management partner FCC Environment and a local recycling company Capital Valley Plastics won the award for best local authority recycling initiative during the pandemic, for its work to provide a recycling scheme for low density polyethylene plastics.
Speaking for the judges, Sam Corp, head of regulation at the Environmental Services Association described how the entries reflected “an incredible and diverse” range of activities which had all helped the waste and recycling sector from industry to local authorities deliver services during a challenging year.
The first of two coronavirus service awards was awarded to the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) forum for its response to the pandemic. A voluntary group, WISH published health and safety related guidance just a few days after the first lockdown was announced and kept it updated.
Toni Gladding accepted the award and said: “Thank you so much for giving us this category. WISH is a group of volunteers who work really hard from all different organisations. We have had some fabulous feedback and we are so glad organisations took our guidance to heart.”
In the last award of the day, North East Lincolnshire council was awarded the trophy for the best team contribution during the pandemic.
Trophies this year are being made by the Community Wood Recycling charity.
The full list of award winners are:
WASTE MANAGEMENT INITIATIVE IN THE RETAIL, COMMERCIAL, COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC SECTOR – sponsored by Reconomy.
Azzurri Group & UKWSL – The Recycling Revolution
Central England Co-operative – Food Redistribution Project (winner)
Little Freddie and Enval Ltd – Zero Waste to Landfill Pouch Recycling Scheme
CIRCULAR ECONOMY SUCCESS – sponsored by the European Recycling Platform
AO Recycling – From Old Fridge to New
Epson Paperlab – The World’s First In Office Dry Process, Paper Recycling Machine
Westminster City Council, Veolia and Magtec (winner)
BEST USE OF DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY IN A WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY – sponsored by Environmental Services Association
GAP Group – The Most Advanced Fridge Plant in Europe
Future Industrial Services (winner)
Veolia – Endeavour Way Paper Recovery Facility
METALS RECYCLING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – Sponsored by Liebherr
Future Industrial Services
Phoenix County Metals
ORGANICS RECYCLING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – Sponsored by CRJ Services
GAP Organics (winner)
Severn Trent Green Power
WOOD RECYCLING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – Sponsored by Global Recycling
A&A Recycling Services
EGGER Timberpak UK (winner)
PLASTICS RECYCLING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – Sponsored by Wastepack
MBA Polymers (winner)
Rock Resource Management
PAPER RECYCLING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Winfibre
Restore Datashred (winner)
Shredall SDS Group
RECYCLING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Kiverco
Egger Timberpak (winner)
WASTE TRANSFER AND SKIP HIRE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Turmec
Dunmow Group (winner)
COLLECTION CREW OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Beauparc
Cherwell District Council (winner)
London Borough of Newham
Wychavon & FCC Environment
HWRC OR CA SITE OF THE YEAR – sponsored by REPIC
Durham County Council – Transforming Stainton Grove Household Waste Recycing Centre (winner)
SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK – Mangotsfield Household Waste Recycling Centre
Suffolk County Council & FCC Environment
HEALTH AND SAFETY INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Sitezone Safety
MVV Environment – Baldovie Locher Project
Total Waste Solutions – The Human Detector
Weybridge Skip Hire (winner)
THE BEST LOCAL AUTHORITY RECYCLING INITIATIVE – sponsored by Enva Wood Recycling
Croydon Council – Service Change
Exeter City Council and Keep Britain Tidy – Ocean Recovery Project
Torfaen County Borough Council, FCC Environment and Capital Valley Plastics – Low Density Polyethylene Recycling (winner)
BEST PROJECT, PARTNERSHIP, CAMPAIGN OR INITIATIVE IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC – sponsored by Re-Gen Waste
Sheffield City Council
INDIVIDUAL OR TEAM CONTRIBUTION IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC – sponsored by Fairport Containers.
North East Lincolnshire Council (winner)
Biffa’s Portsmouth depot
East Northamptonshire Council and FCC Environment