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In praise of drivers of the industry of the future

This year’s RWM exhibition ran a search for the industry’s rising stars, to recognise those who can inspire a new generation of resource managers and who have introduced trailblazing initiatives within the past five years. Three finalists were selected to present to a panel of judges at the show, with the winner receiving a CIWM training package and funding towards their initiative worth more than £2,000.

Winner

Name: Arthur Kay

Company: Bio-bean

Arthur Kay (above right) is the chief executive of Bio-bean, a pioneering green energy company that has industrialised the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into biofuels, biomass pellets and biodiesel.

The UK generates more than 500,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds, costing almost £80m in disposal, landfill and incineration costs. In two years, Kay has grown Bio-bean to a team of 20, raised several million pounds in finance and built the world’s first waste coffee recycling factory with the capacity to process 50,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds a year.

For every tonne of coffee grounds recycled using Bio-bean’s technology, around 6.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions are prevented. By 2020, Biobean plans to be saving more than 500,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year and powering thousands of homes and vehicles.

Kay had the idea for Bio-bean when studying architecture at UCL. He recognised that waste was “simply resources in the wrong place”, and set out to turn the challenges of urbanisation into opportunities, empowering others to become sustainable urban designers.

Runner-Up

Name: Peter Goodwin

Company: Closed Loop/Simply Cups

Until recently, the UK had no dedicated recy­cling service for the estimated 2.5 billion paper drinking cups used each year, meaning they were sent to general waste and either landfilled or incinerated.

This changed with the launch of Simply Cups, founded by Peter Goodwin, a partnership between Closed Loop Environmental Solutions and Simply Waste Solutions. The scheme now provides many of the UK’s leading paper cup manufacturers, supply chain organisations and beverage and hospitality outlets with a cost-efficient collection and recycling service that will reduce operating costs and improve environmental credentials.

The scheme, launched in August 2014, has already recycled more than a million cups and is on course to achieve its target of six million cups a year. Several big brands across the supply chain have already committed to the scheme including John Lewis and Costa Coffee.

In June this year, the scheme added beverage cartons, washroom towels, food service PET packaging, cup lids and coffee grounds to its recycling services. Goodwin wants to dispel the myth that sustainability is not commercially viable and disrupt the status quo by pioneering more effective resource recovery solutions across the UK.

Runner-Up

Name: Kristina Jackson

Company: ISS Facility Services

Kristina Jackson joined ISS Facility Services in 2013 at the age of 23, and began the challeng­ing task of mobilising the waste management aspect of the company’s facilities management contract at London Heathrow’s Terminal 2. She implemented a number of innovative systems to manage the terminal’s complex waste portfolio, and delivered a world-class recycling rate of 72% within just five months – in her first job in the industry.

Following this successes at Heathrow, in 2015 Jackson moved to ISS’s Royal Bank of Scotland contract, managing resources across 2,156 UK sites. This project aims to improve RBS’s recycling and landfill diversion statistics, and Jackson has already made efficiency improvements and is working to help the company meet its corporate environmental objectives.

Shortlisted

James Peacock of Wessex Water

Wessex Water set itself a goal to become the first zero waste to landfill utility company in the UK, an initiative led by James Peacock.

Steven Burns of Impact Solutions

Steven Burns led a project to create a technology to separate mixed plastics, aimed at small local recyclers.

 

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