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Feature: Retail therapy

Shopping centres and parks have become very much
a part of our lives, drawing people of all ages for a one-stop shopping experience and often social occasion
with friends or family. They house a range of shops and restaurants, which all handle large quantities of packaging waste.

Castlepoint shopping park in Bournemouth is a good example. The 645,000sq ft development contains 40 shops and restaurants, its four major anchor stores being M&S, Sainsbury’s, Asda and B&Q. Its branches of Next, M&S and B&Q are the largest stores in the region.

So how does the shopping park deal with recycling? Castlepoint is managed on a day-to-day basis by property managers Donaldsons. General manager Peter
Matthews explains that recycling had been “one thing on the list” for the development in its planning stages.

At the moment all the retailers, except the four anchor stores which recycle their own waste, are provided with separate bins for the collection of cardboard and general waste. The restaurants are provided with bins for glass bottles and general waste. And the park also recycles its fluorescent light tubes and the green waste from its grounds outside, which is mulched down to be put back on the land. All of Castlepoint’s waste is handled by local waste management consultant 1st Waste.

Matthews explains that the key to the success of the recycling scheme is making it easy. “We’re always asking ‘how do we make it simple?’,” he says.

At the moment, each unit is provided with bins at the back and the system seems to be working well.

According to Matthews, there is not much cross-
contamination and recycling rates are good. In any case, as part of Donaldsons’ role as managing agent, it is constantly in touch with its tenants and sees them most days of the week so it can keep an eye on waste habits.

Asked how the centre motivates retailers to use the facilities and recycle, Matthews quickly quips: “That’s called hard work.” He concedes that there are no real incentives for store managers to recycle because they tend to be driven by sales and costs figures. But
he says that retailers are generally very good at recyc-ling and the offenders are most likely to be the
restaurants.

Twice a year, Castlepoint hosts a tenant meeting, which offers the centre’s tenants a chance to put forward their views. “If someone says something, then we react to that,” Matthews says.

He believes that the success of the system is “being enthusiastic about it”. As an example, he says that
photography retailer Jessops asked for paper recycling. As a result of the request, the retailer now has a bin for paper recycling and there is also one in the development’s management suite.

Matthews says that recycling is about attitude and is something that is “easy not to do”, but seems to think the shopping park is on track. In the summer months, around 13 tonnes a month of cardboard waste is
collected, and this increases to about 18 tonnes a month in the autumn when the shops are busier. For general waste, about 32 tonnes a month is collected — a figure that Matthews says remains fairly constant.

As always, there is scope fo

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