Friday, 17 May 2013

Tagging along with Hadleigh HWRC to the Awards for Excellence in Recycling & Waste Management

The team from Hadeigh's HWRC, FCC Environment & Suffolk County Council with BBC's Susanna Reid
Yesterday, I had the real pleasure of tagging along with the Suffolk's Household Waste Recycling Centre team to's Awards for Excellence in Recycling & Waste Management

The awards, now in their 10th year, and presented by the BBC's Susanna Reid, were held at the Landmark Hotel, London, a beautiful setting to mark the successes and excellence of the recycling and waste management industry, the kind of things that go on behind the scenes that help the UK recycle more and reduce wasted resources.

I've been singing the praises of Suffolk's recycling facilities as part of the BBC Radio Suffolk Rubbish Diet, so it was great to hear that the Hadleigh HWRC was in the running for the category of Community Amenity Site of the Year,

With composting and recycling rates that exceed 90%, Hadleigh HWRC, managed by Suffolk County Council and FCC Environment, has been identified as Suffolk ’s top performing site, with successful and effective day-to-day operations providing an enhanced service to users.

Both Suffolk County Council and FCC Environment have engaged with local third sector organisations including the Ipswich Furniture project and ‘Re-cycle’ both of which are charities that have diverted items from landfill.  Ipswich Furniture Project provides an outlet for furniture and crockery, with ‘Re-Cycle’ giving unwanted cycles a new life.  This has enabled improvements on the recycling performance within the existing site footprint and moves more of the materials up the waste hierarchy, with almost no environmental impact.

The site only has two members of staff during the week and three at weekends to manage all waste streams and maintain the high recycling rate and excellent customer service. Much of the success of the site's recycling rate is attributed to the site staff and their relationship with the public. 

But these awards always bring stiff competition and this year the team was up against the Witchford HRC, in Cambridgeshire and Witley Community Recycling Centre in Surrey.

And the winner was...... well...  sadly not the team from Hadleigh HWRC on this occasion, but another worthy winner, Witley CRC, which is part of a network of 15 facilities managed by Sita, and which has been redesigned with sustainability at its heart and strong community engagement in its development.

Ooooh, so close!  They may not have won at yesterday's event but being a finalist in the awards and one of the top performing Household Waste Recycling Centre's in the UK, Hadleigh HWRC is most definitely a winner in my eyes and it was great to chat to Mel & Terry (pictured above with Susanna Reid) about their stories of what it's like being on the ground at one of our county's facilities. The passion for what they do is so easy to see.

Once again, in a good way, it felt like I was a bit of a recycling groupie following the band, and a very successful one at that.  Seriously, when you witness how the awards' nominees are changing the future of waste, their efforts, successes and enthusiasm really does rub off.

With wide-ranging categories such as High Street Recycling Champion, Commercial Recycling Champion, Best Community Recycling Initiative and Recycling Businesses of the Year, I wonder if next year, we'll see more entries from Suffolk.  After all, from our own Greenest Suffolk awards and some of the great things coming out of the BBC Radio Suffolk Rubbish Diet, I reckon our county could offer up some stiff competition for next year's awards.

Huge thanks to for letting me come along to support our fantastic team from Suffolk.  There were some great winners and finalists, all which can be seen either on the website or by following the updates on Twitter, using the hashtag #awardsforexcellence.


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