The winners of the 2008 Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management were announced at a gala ceremony in London on October 16 2008. They included a three-man collection crew from Hertfordshire and the waste strategy manager for Scottish Borders council, Julie Rankine.
Presented by ITV economics editor Daisy McAndrew, the event at Mayfair's Millennium Hotel showcased innovation, dedication and success in recycling from across the private, public and third sector – and received more than 130 entries.
Organised by letsrecycle.com with Resource Management & Recovery Magazine, the awards – now in their fifth year – are supported by Defra's Waste Implementation Programme, the Environment Agency, the Environmental Services Association, and the National Association of Waste Disposal Officers. The categories are sponsored by many of the industry's leading commercial operations.
Addressing an audience of more than 300 at the Millennium Mayfair Hotel, guest speaker shadow Peter Ainsworth, Conservative MP and shadow environment secretary of state, praised the work of the recycling and waste management sector. He said: “Too often we've thought of waste as rubbish. We need to change the way we think about waste, which means scrutinising every aspect of the supply chain. Too much of what we call waste isn't waste at all and in these economically hard times, we can no longer afford to be profligate. It is government's job to steer a course to a zero waste economy,” he added.
After congratulating those who were short-listed for an award, Mr Ainsworth went on to say: “If we get it right, the rewards for everyone will include a cleaner, greener environment, lower carbon emissions, lower costs to business, lower costs to local authorities and major business opportunities.”
Steve Eminton, editor of letsrecycle.com, said: “This year's entries were a remarkably good reflection of activities in driving up recycling rates, as well as a stronger emphasis on landfill diversion. More businesses seem to be aware of the need to rethink their policies on waste.
“Local authorities are recording impressive recycling figures, as well as producing a variety of projects and services to ensure that progress is made. With the individuals who we recognise today added in for their own contributions, the 2008 awards reflect the positive and inspiring work which abounds in the UK.”
High Street Recycling Champion, sponsored by Severnside Recycling
Runners-up: Daisyroot Books; Wilkinson Group
Bed retailer Dreams backhauls packaging from delivered products for recycling and has invested in two state-of-the-art bed shredders to recover metal, wood and other material from frames and mattresses.
Commercial Recycling Champion, sponsored by Valpak
Winner: Samantha Stevens, Homebase
Runners-up: Robert Smith, Rockwood Pigments; Sayers the Bakers, Bolton
Samantha Stevens is the store services manager for retail operations at Homebase and has developed, led and implemented the training and communication programme involved in introducing a better waste recycling system across its 350 store network.
Waste Management Initiative in the Commercial and Public Sector, sponsored by Shanks Waste Solutions
Winner: Tube Lines
Runners-up: PDM Oilsense; Trenchmod
Tube Lines, the company upgrading and maintaining London Underground's Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines, has a policy commitment to reduce material consumption and disposal of wastes to landfill. The last year saw 1,714 tonnes of material collected, representing an 88 percent increase.
Innovation in Design of a Waste Management Facility, sponsored by ESTET
Winner: North Down Recycling & Environmental Information Centre, Bangor
Runners-up: Closed Loop Recycling, Dagenham; TEG Environmental, Todmorden
A priority in the design and construction of the £4 million North Down Recycling was a futuristic design to give a new and improved experience for users. The architectural team developed a new model with image as paramount, with legibility through layout, visual perception and quality signage.
Collection Crew of the Year, sponsored by SITA UK
Winner: Tom Harris, Martin Rolls and Darren Arran, Three Rivers district council
Runners-up: Can-Do Community Recycling, Fraserburgh; Collection round 7 Hertsmere borough council
With an approach that has been described as 'the tortoise, not the hare', the three-man collection crew from Three Rivers led by driver and charge hand Tom Harris – missed only 27 bins last year (compared to an average of 86 from the other crews), and has achieved a City and Guilds qualification in recycling collection.
Best Community recycling Initiative, sponsored by Greenstar
Winner: Freecycle UK
Runners-up: Airedale Computer Recycling, Castleford; Delroys Plastics, The Brandon Trust
Started in 2003, Freecycle UK is a registered charity which facilitates online message board groups for local people to gift items to one another. It is estimated that the charity helps to divert 100 tonnes of waste from landfill every day.
CA Site of the Year, sponsored by REPIC Limited
Winner: Recycle at Rubbish Revived, Southampton/Veolia ES
Runners-up: Bideford Recycling Centre, Devon county council; Chaldon Road CRC, Caterham, Surrey Waste Management
The Rubbish Revived Household Waste Recycling Centre, which is operated by Veolia Environmental Services on behalf of Southampton city council, has benefited from a range of improvements as part of the council's drive to increase recycling rates and provide an enhanced service to residents.
Best Local Authority Recycling Initiative, sponsored by AbitibiBowater Recycling Europe
Winner: Project Integra, Hampshire
Runners-up: Islington council; Preston city council
Project Integra is a partnership bringing together Hampshire county council, the county's district councils, both Portsmouth and Southampton councils and contractor Veolia Environmental Services. Project Integra developed a permanent materials analysis facility (MAF) to analyse both recycling inputs and outputs and residual streams.
Local Authority Recycling Champion, sponsored by UPM Kymmene
Winner: Julie Rankine, Borders Council, Scotland
Runners-up: Alice Geary, recycling project officer, Bedfordshire county council; David Mansell, project manager, Somerset Waste Partnership
Julie Rankine has been the public face of recycling for Borders since becoming waste strategy manager in 2005. She has helped to increase recycling rates from 8% in 2004/05 to 33% in 2007/08 inspiring others and through initiatives such as radio sponsorship, adverts on buses and on council collection vehicles.