A Devon county council recycling officer has been rewarded for her “extraordinary organisational skills” at the LARAC Celebration Awards 2019.
Catherine Causley – Devon county council’s reuse project officer – won the prize for Outstanding Contribution to Recycling, sponsored by Countrystyle Recycling, at the awards which were held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel.
After joining the local authority in October 2017, Ms Causley has set up a range of programmes including Devon Reuse Week, Devon Upcycling Day, WEEE repair events and the Big Fix, which broke the world record for the most items fixed at one repair café. According to her colleagues, “her powers of persuasion, tenacity and unwillingness to take no for an answer are legendary.”
Ms Causley was nominated alongside Janet Wade of Dundee city council and Tina Norman-Ross from Guernsey Waste.
Lee Marshall, LARAC CEO and host of the awards event, said: “If you had these women in a room together you would have the waste sector’s answer to the Avengers.”
There was further success in Devon in the Best New Idea category, sponsored by MGB Plastics.
“If you had these women in a room together you would have the waste sector’s answer to the Avengers.”
East Devon district council won for its work modernising recycling services with digital technologies – particularly their work in partnership with Cloud 9 technologies creating a mobile app and Alexa skill to “transform the way the council engages with its residents about recycling and waste and other services”.
2019’s Best Team can also be found in the South West, with Dorset council’s recycling team taking home the Biffa-sponsored award.
The council’s kerbside recycling rate has continued to rise due to the hard work of its staff and at 55% it is now one of the highest rates in the country. This has generated savings of over £90,000 in the past year.
“Communications is always one of the most competitive categories,” according to Mr Marshall – this year Copeland borough council was victorious and won Best Communication Campaign of the Year, sponsored by Permiserve.
- (l-r) Lee Marshall, LARAC; Catherine Causley, winner of the Oustanding Contribution to Recycling award; Chris Howard of sponsor Countrystyle Recycling; and LARAC chair, Carole Taylor
- (l-r) Lee Marshall, LARAC; Aimi Brookes and Julie Walden from Selby district council, winner of Best Partnership; Simon Prior from sponsor Viridor; and LARAC chair, Carole Taylor
- (l-r) Lee Marshall, LARAC; Jan Boniface, Mike Starkie (directly elected mayor), Janice Carroll and Andrew Clarke from Copeland borough council, winner of Best Communications Campaign of the Year; Louise Lambourne and John Bailey from sponsor Permiserve; and LARAC chair, Carole Taylor
- (l-r) Lee Marshall, LARAC; team members from Dorset council, winners of Best Team of the Year; sponsor Biffa; and LARAC chair, Carole Taylor
- (l-r) Lee Marshall, LARAC; Victoria Burrell and John Shannon from Durham county council, winner of Best waste Minimisation or Prevention Project; Wayne Copley of sponsor REPIC; and LARAC chair, Carole Taylor
- (l-r) Lee Marshall, LARAC; East Devon district council, winners of Best New Idea; Kial Horton from sponsor MGB Plastics; and LARAC chair, Carole Taylor
The Recycle for Copeland project reached out across the rural area through both digital and traditional means with a positive message. It resulted in Copeland more than doubling its recycling rate, having previously been one of the poorest performing boroughs for recycling.
The Best Partnership award, sponsored by Viridor, went to Selby district council. It worked with local businesses and haulage related companies to encourage visiting lorry drivers to dispose of their rubbish responsibly. Litter was reduced by 30% and 40% in two key areas.
Plastics were the target of the Best Waste Minimisation or Prevention Project. The REPIC sponsored award was given to the County Durham Single Use Plastics (SUP) Project which was run by Durham county council. It worked with a number of individuals, organisations, community groups and schools – the decision by a leisure centre to stop providing single use plastic overshoes at the poolside will save 2.4 tonnes of SUP per year.
The LARAC celebration awards are the only dedicated awards for waste and recycling officers. The entries are judged by a panel of experts from across the waste management industry and local authorities.