Buckinghamshire Council shortlisted twice in Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management!

Buckinghamshire Zero Waste Map

The final shortlist for the Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management has been announced with Buckinghamshire Council shortlisted for two awards: The Best Local Authority Recycling Initiative and Civic Amenity Site of the Year.

Buckinghamshire Council has been shortlisted for The Best Local Authority Recycling Initiative for its Zero Waste Map – an online map listing over 200 places across Buckinghamshire that help residents move towards Zero Waste.

There are so many different types of products and services that help towards a Zero Waste lifestyle and the Zero Waste Map is the first tool that puts them all in one place. It allows residents to search for specific services, shows them what is available locally, actively promotes Zero Waste lifestyles and supports small local businesses who are focused on reducing our impact on the environment. Over 26,000 people have already viewed the map and there are more than 200 local businesses, projects and public recycling drop off locations listed.

The map was created in September 2020 offering an online platform for local businesses and organisations to actively promote Zero Waste services. The services were categorised to help users navigate the map depending on what they wish to look for e.g. a recycling drop off point or a repair service. By utilising existing software, the map has helped to boost local businesses and residents’ ability to access products and services that work towards Zero Waste.

Most of the services listed are focused around waste prevention, reuse and repair, recycling and composting. The layout of the map means that you can see other services near you, that you may not have been looking for, prompting residents to learn more about local services. This element of education is really important to continue embedding Zero Waste living in Buckinghamshire.

Take a look at Buckinghamshire’s Zero Waste Map here: https://bit.ly/ZeroWasteMapBucks

For its High Heavens Household Recycling Centre (HRC) in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire Council and FCC Environment have been shortlisted for Civic Amenity Site of the Year. The entry submission highlighted the work achieved by the HRC team during the Covid-19 pandemic and the improvements that have been made to the site to make a trip to the tip easier for local visitors.

High Wycombe Household Recycling Centre (HRC) did not let Covid-19 get in the way of accomplishing great things last year. The team overcame the challenges of the pandemic, to successfully maintain the sites recycling performance, 64.09%. In being shortlisted for Civic Amenity Site of the Year award, the team have been recognised for their approach to adapt to Covid-19 restrictions to safely reopen the site, maintain high standards of working and provide an effective customer experience. New and improved measures introduced included:

  • Altering the layout of containers so that key materials could be spread out to avoid people clustering on site.
  • Introducing new line markings to widen walkways to aid social distancing. Upholding the site’s impressive Health and Safety record despite the changes and challenges faced working in an altered environment.
  • Achieving over 100,000 views of the new 360° virtual tour which helps visitors to plan their trip to the site in advance.
  • Designing and installing a new cardboard curtain, designed to encourage visitors to fold down their cardboard boxes which has improved the quality of material collected and reduced contamination.

The entry also focused on the work of the site operatives, (who safely welcomed 162,777 visitors last year despite social distancing measures!) and the part the team have played in encouraging and instilling good recycling behaviours in visitors. These included:

  • Effectively promoting the council’s ‘Metal Matters’ campaign by displaying promotional material, advising members of the public and helping to create social media posts. These efforts saw metal recycling at the site increase by over half a tonne!
  • Supporting the onsite charity reuse shop by ensuring suitable items did not go to waste and were correctly stored ready for when the shop reopened. These efforts prevented disposal, increased reuse and benefitted the charities and residents of Buckinghamshire.
  • Supporting the local community by donating compost to a local Academy to create a therapeutic garden containing fruit, vegetables and flowers.

Peter Strachan, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment commented:

“Great work is being done by the waste teams at Buckinghamshire Council to enhance recycling behaviours and encourage Zero Waste lifestyles. It’s fantastic to see so many residents, organisations and businesses already onboard and helping to drive these initiatives further.

“It’s a privilege to be recognised and shortlisted for both awards and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for when the winners will be revealed at the Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management ceremony on 1st July 2021.”