By Caelia Quinault
A recycling officer from Warrington who worked his way up from a job as a refuse collection driver was among the winners at the prestigious Awards for Excellence, held in London yesterday (May 1).
Phil Chadwick, education and promotions officer for Warrington borough council, was named Local Authority Recycling Champion for putting 110% intohis workand visiting over 103 schools in the last year alone.
Other winners included a four-man Veolia collection crew which operates in the heart of Londons West End and a civic amenity site in Exeter operated by SITA UK. A charity which took over the operation of one of Suffolk county council’s civic amenity sites was also honoured.
The Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management, now in their ninth year, are organised by letsrecycle.com. They were presented in ten categories following a champagne reception and three course gala luncheon at the Landmark Hotel by Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow.
Mr Snow said: You are the success stories of the green agenda. There is no-one in this country who does not know about recycling even if they dont do it. The finalists show that extraordinary changes in lifestyle are being achieved and I feel very honoured to be party to this afternoons awards.
The keynote address was delivered by Adrian Judge, executive director of UK Green Investments at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Mr Judge spoke of government plans to invest in green infrastructure while it awaits state aid approval for the Green Investment Bank. He said small-scale waste projects, merchant facilities and waste PFI/PPP projects would be investment priorities.
He said: We will be lending to projects on commercial terms but we want to be innovative.
This yearsentries wereassessed by a panel of eight judges. Thepanel included: John Woodruff, chairman of the National Association for Waste Disposal Officers; Dr Kiara Zennaro, senior technical officer at the Association for Organics Recycling; Simon Ellin; chief executive of the Recycling Association; Caelia Quinault, news editor of letsrecycle.com; Jeff Cooper, president of the International Solid Waste Association; Catherine Cooke, contract development manager at the London borough of Tower Hamlets; Rid Hollands, communications officer at the Environmental Services Association; and, Craig Anderson, chief executive of the Furniture Re-use Network.
The winners are:
HIGH STREET RECYCLING CHAMPION sponsored by Viridor
WINNER: Dunelm (Soft Furnishings) Ltd
Over the last 15 months Dunelm has dramatically increased recycling rates, from 25% at the end of 2010 to 82%, while also saving money. Waste costs have almost halved from around 800,000+ per annum to around 438,000, with income reaching 60,000 per month. The changes have been driven by Mark Beagley, former recycling officer from Ashfield district council. Changes include the implementation of an internal back hail recycling system, training of 130 recycling champions at every location to help education colleagues about recycling and the distribution of ex display duvets to a homeless shelter in Stoke on Trent.
COMMERCIAL RECYCLING CHAMPION sponsored by Grundon
WINNER: Arla Foods
Leading dairy Arla achieved its goal of sending zero waste in December 2011 a year earlier than planned, after adopting an ambitious environmental strategy in 2010. Under the strategy the company took a truly holistic approach to the environment and sustainability throughout the supply chain. Initiatives included working with its bottle supplier to make milk bottles lighter, moving away from difficult-to-recycle polystyrene to polypropylene and sending cardboard boxes for reuse as market trader boxes. Consequently, the companys recycling rate shot up from 40% in 2006 to over 90% in 2011.
WASTE MANAGEMENT INITIATIVE IN THE COMMERCIAL AND PUBLIC SECTOR sponsored by Shanks
WINNER: Croxley Green Business Park and the Green House
Croxley Green Business Park is a 75 acre property owned by one of the UKs largest pension funds and managed by MJMapp, which teamed up with waste management company the Green House to realise a goal of sending zero waste to landfill. The Green House met with every tenant at the Park and completed a waste stream analysis of each building. A complete review of the current waste system was undertaken and a major awareness campaign launched. The park thereby increased its recycling rate from 26% to 80% and has installed an in-vessel composter which producers compost for use by the on-site landscaping team.
INNOVATION IN THE DESIGN OF A WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY Sponsored by the Recycling Registration Service
WINNER: Southwark integrated waste management facility
The Southwark integrated waste management facility was built by Veolia Environmental Services as part of its 25 year PFI contract with Southwark council. The facility, which became operational in January 2012, is described by Veolia as one of the most advanced in Europe and occupies a unique central London location. It comprises a materials recycling facility (MRF), mechanical biological treatment facility (MBT), reuse and recycling centre, waste transfer station, recycling discovery centre for children and waste collection depot. The facilitys exterior makes use of neutral colours and has a curved roof structure, while landscaping provides a green corridor and solar panels provide energy for the education centre.
COLLECTION CREW OF THE YEAR sponsored by Mercedes-Benz
WINNER: Dave Watson, Tomas Kis, Paulo de Costa & Fahan Hussain, Veolia
Westminster city councils evening recycling round two is one of the most demanding collection rounds in the UK as it operates in the heart of Londons West End. The crew from Veolia ES Westminster have worked to what Veolia calls an exceptional standard to significantly increase commercial waste recycling tonnages while serving residential customers and supporting colleagues. As well as the punctual and efficient collection of their scheduled round the crew often use the first part of their shift to make collections that were not possible the previous shift, while in the last 12 months they have had a perfect Health and Safety record.
THE BEST COMMUNITY RECYCLING INITIATIVE sponsored by DHL EnviroSolutions
WINNER: Newmarket Open Door Community Recycling Centre
Homeless charity Newmarket Open Door took over the full operation of one of Suffolk county councils household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) in August 2011 after the council announced plans to close seven of its 18 HWRCs. Funding from two local councils helped it to introduce automatic entrance barriers and new van. Recycling is still generally accepted for free but there are charges of 3 an up for disposing of wood, green and general household waste. Reuse is a major feature and products are sent to charity. Sufficient income is generated to operate the centre seven days a week and five other HWRCs have since been re-opened by local businesses.
RECYCLING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR sponsored by M+W Group
WINNER: First Mile Ltd
First Mile, which describes itself as Londons only truly 24/7 recycling and waste company, launched in 2003 and now offers recycling services to over 8,000 businesses in London and Birmingham. The company has a customer service help desk which is open 365 days a year and is built around the concept of easy recycling. Customers purchase pre-paid sacks and dont have to sign a contract and the bags are collected at times to suit them. The business is underpinned by a bespoke Enqix web-based system which Microsoft has written a case study on and in 2011 First Mile became Londons first carbon neutral recycling firm. In 2011, First Mile customers recycled over 70% of all material, with the remainder being sent for energy recovery.
CIVIC AMENTIY SITE OF THE YEAR sponsored by Repic
WINNER: Pinbrook Road Household Waste Recycling Centre
The Pinbrook Road Recycling Centre in Exeter opened in June 2011 and is operated by SITA UK on behalf of Devon county council. Since opening, the site has achieved an 85% recycling rate, making it the highest performing site in Devon. The site offers facilities for recycling a wide range of materials including items such as bulky plastics, carpet and plasterboard. The site is fully split level enabling HGV movements to be carried out away from the public areas, thereby providing enhanced levels of Health and Safety. The site also features a reuse sales area and green technology including a biomass boiler fuelled by recycled wood chip and a solar panel.
THE BEST LOCAL AUTHORITY RECYCLING INITIATIVE sponsored by Palm Recycling
WINNER: Commercial Kerbside Recycling Service Banbridge district council
Banbridge district council introduced a new one pass kerbside waste and recycling collection service for all commercial customers In April 2011. This allows the council to offer weekly organic waste collections alongside alternate weekly collections of dry recycling and residual waste using an innovative split body vehicle. Within eight months, the council moved from a position where all commercial waste was sent to landfill to one where 51% is recycled, while the cost of the service to customers has reduced on average by 15%.
LOCAL AUTHORITY RECYCLING CHAMPION sponsored by FCC
WINNER: Phil Chadwick, Warrington borough council
Phil Chadwick began working for Warrington borough council many years ago as a refuse collection driver. Since being appointed education & promotions officer within the waste minimisation and recycling team six years ago, recycling levels in the borough have risen from 19% in 2006 to over 43% in 2011/12. The council credits Phil with building an amazing network of contacts with residents, community groups and schools and in the last 12 months he has visited over 103 schools, engaging with over 3900 students. Phil has also undertaken targeted doorstepping in three areas of low participation in 2011/12, knocking on over 1500 doors. He is described by the council as an outstanding employee who puts 110% into everything he does.