Recyclers recognised in 2023 New Year Honours

Three individuals in the waste and recycling sector were among those recognised in the New Year Honours list for 2023 for their services to recycling and the environment.

Susie Burrage and David Palmer-Jones both received OBEs in the New Year Honours

Both Susie Burrage, president of the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA), and David Palmer-Jones, former chief executive of Suez Recycling and Recovery UK, received OBEs.

An MBE was awarded to Jaspal Mann, director of Simply Shred and Recycle. And, an MBE also went to recycling campaigner Martin Dorey.

Susie Burrage OBE

Ms Burrage is managing director of Recycled Products Ltd, which is based in Chesham, Buckinghamshire. The OBE was given for “services to recycling and to the environment”.

Ms Burrage said: “I am overwhelmed to have been awarded this honour and proud that it is for services to recycling, which is requisite to the future of our planet.

Susie Burrage OBE who is involved with trade associations on a UK, European and global scale

“I dedicate this accolade to my family, past and present, who have supported me and encouraged me, especially my late father Tom, who brought me into this industry and encouraged me to take a seat at the boardroom table when it was predominantly men who were doing so.”

Ms Burrage continued: “I am the fourth generation of my family to own a metal recycling facility. I worked alongside my father before founding Recycled Products Ltd in 2001. It is since taking on my voluntary roles in the UK, Europe and beyond that I have been able to get recycling’s positive messages out to a wider audience. I will continue with my endeavours to promote recycling until it gains the prominence it deserves as an essential ingredient in our transition to a circular economy.

“We all, as custodians of planet earth, have a duty to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Everyday recyclers play their part in helping to reduce CO2 emissions. They rescue essential raw materials by collecting, sorting, and processing our discarded waste. Be it metals, textiles, rubber, plastic, glass or paper or a combination there, is a recycler with a solution.”

Ms Burrage added: “Huge thanks to my team at Recycled Products Ltd and the associations for whom I volunteer and the secretariats who work tirelessly and shine a light on the extremely important and vital recycling industry.”

Robert Ellis, operations manager at Recycled Products Ltd, added: “Susie is the third generation of the Burrage family I have worked alongside, and I know her father and grandfather would be extremely proud. The team at Recycled Products and I are delighted that Susie has been recognised for her hard work and dedication to the recycling industry.”

Ms Burrage is also president of the BMRA, president of the European Metal Trade and Recycling Branch of EuRIC, UK ambassador for the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), ambassador for the Global Recycling Foundation, and patron of the Bureau of Middle East Recycling.

Susie regularly promotes the environmental benefits of recycling in the media and at conferences worldwide,

British Metals Recycling Association

The BMRA described Ms Burrage as a “true trailblazer”, having in 2014 become the first woman to be appointed to the board of the 100-year-old BMRA and the association’s first female president when she was elected in 2016. She has subsequently been re-elected an unprecedented four times since.

The BMRA added: “Susie regularly promotes the environmental benefits of recycling in the media and at conferences worldwide, highlighting the importance of metal recycling in achieving net-zero targets. Her influential position means UK metal recyclers are being represented on a global stage.”

David Palmer-Jones OBE

Awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List for “services to recycling”, Mr Palmer-Jones is now an independent consultant, having stepped down last year from his post as group senior vice president recycling and recovery northern Europe for Suez.

Mr Palmer-Jones told letsrecycle.com that he was “absolutely delighted to have received this honour”.

David Palmer-Jones OBE has long championed a circular economy approach

And, he emphasised that he felt the award recognised not just his work on a personal level but the work of the Suez and the sector as a whole: “It is a personal award but very much a sectoral win. We don’t always receive the recognition we deserve.”

Having championed the role of the circular economy for many years, Mr Palmer-Jones said it was important to “get the resource message out. For me it is important that leaders in the industry do speak out and I wanted to be a strong voice.”

And, he added that he would like to give thanks to Suez for giving him the freedom to drive the recycling message for a good 10 years.

He takes particular pride in pushing a circular economy message when Michael Gove became secretary of state for the environment. “My message was that the circular economy agenda is essential and stewardship of resources has to be carried out in an intelligent manner.”

But, with delays to legislation to develop recycling and extended producer responsibility further, Mr Palmer-Jones said that despite Mr Gove giving the circular economy “some momentum, clearly we need to push for more”.

With the OBE for services to recycling, asked about the role of energy from waste, he said that while the “circular economy evolves over time and energy from waste is a replacement for landfill, we will go up the hierarchy. The government has a great opportunity to extend the use of resources and an amazing opportunity to do better.”

Writing on LinkedIn, Mr Palmer-Jones stated: “Over the past 35 years I have always tried to play an active part in pushing the waste management industry forward, adding my voice for positive change in respect of managing our finite resources in the most efficient and environmentally intelligent manner possible.

“Throughout my journey I have been blessed to work with many individuals, customers, companies and institutional bodies who have had the same goal and passion as mine.

“So, to Suez, both the Group in Paris and especially in the UK, thank you for the freedom and encouragement you gave me to speak up for the environment and our sector.

“To all the institutions I have served over the years to the Environmental Services Association (ESA), WRAP, FEAD (European Waste Management Association), Chartered Institution of Waste Management (CIWM), Resource Council UK, and Återvinnings Industri of Sweden. Thanks for giving me your confidence to be your Chair/President/NED/Partner over the years.”

David has always been a strong advocate for a comprehensive legislative framework to create a circular economy

– John Scanlon, Suez UK chief executive

Industry and company acclaim for the award of the OBE to Mr Palmer-Jones has included warm words from John Scanlon, chief executive of Suez recycling and recovery UK.

Mr Scanlon said: “I’m delighted David’s outstanding contribution has been recognised with an OBE. A leading voice for the resources sector throughout his career, whether speaking in his role here at Suez, on behalf of the ESA or FEAD, or now as an independent consultant, David has always been a strong advocate for a comprehensive legislative framework to create a circular economy. His influence is evident in the ongoing transformation of the way we think about and manage resources here in the UK, and I’d like to congratulate David on his OBE on behalf of all here at Suez.”

Jaspal Mann MBE

Jaspal Mann, director of Walsall-based Simply Shred and Recycle Ltd, received an MBE for services to the environment.

Jaspal Mann who has been awarded an MBE

Mr Mann said he was delighted to receive the honour for his work in a challenging industry. “I set up Simply Shred 16 years ago and I’m aware of all the contributions that recycling makes to the environment.

“I’m passionate about recycling and we do have a strict policy that we collect and collate is recycled.”

Mr Mann is also involved in charities including as patron of Waits, which works with those affected by domestic violence, and is a member of the Lions International Club.

Simply Shred and Recycle is a member of the British Security Industries Associations and has clients on a national scale.

Martin Dorey MBE

Also a recipient of an MBE for services to recycling and to the environment was Martin Dorey, founder of #2minute campaigns.

Based in Bude, Cornwall, Mr Dorey, who describes himself as a “green activist”, is chief executive of The 2 Minute foundation which came into being in 2019, “after years of work trying to get people to pick up beach litter”.

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