1 September 2011
A new recycling and refuse scheme has won at the prestigious National Recycling Awards in recognition of its work to boost recycling in Surrey Heath.
The introduction of a novel alternate weekly collection scheme, which was project managed by WYG, doubled the recycling rate from 32 per cent to 64 per cent in one month and it has made Surrey Heath one of the top five recycling authorities in the UK in 2010.
The project, which was spearheaded by a tiger mascot called Roary (Recycling, Organics and Refuse), involved communicating with all 90,000 residents through more than 30 roadshows and talks, planning the logistics and delivery of over 112,000 refuse and recycling containers to households, as well as answering at least 18,000 enquiries throughout the year-long project.
Richard Bisset, a senior consultant at WYG, who managed the scheme, believes its success is due to careful planning, hard work and above all making sure the recycling system was right for residents. He said: “This scheme is a major change to the way residents present their waste, from the previous black bags for refuse and carrier bags for recycling to the new two wheeled bins (refuse and recycling) and food waste containers. The simple design of the scheme, as well as the wide range of materials that can be accepted for recycling, has made it a complete success. We were confident that the scheme would perform, but this has exceeded all expectations.
“More often than not, the project team put in 15-hour days because we wanted to make sure the scheme delivered residents the innovative solution they needed and that they were comfortable with what was happening. We had to get it right and we are delighted that this has been acknowledged through the prestigious National Recycling Awards.
“Everybody should be justly proud of what they have achieved, and most of all we recognise the support and enthusiasm of residents in this success.”
Councillor Vivienne Chapman, Community Portfolio Holder, Surrey Heath Borough Council said: “To be chosen out of hundreds of local authorities is a fantastic achievement.
“We are extremely grateful to the residents of Surrey Heath, since without them embracing the new collection scheme and making such an effort to recycle we would never have won this award.”
Karen Whelan, Chief Executive, Surrey Heath Borough Council added: “We would also like to thank the management and crew of our waste contractor Biffa and WYG’s environmental specialists for their innovation in designing and delivering the new service, and the Surrey Heath officers who have worked tirelessly to make this new scheme such a 'Roaring' success.”
Surrey Heath Borough Council is planning to further improve this performance over the next few years.