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Recycling wins on a night to celebrate

I’m returning to the theme of last week’s leader to thank everyone who made such a success of the National Recycling Awards – particularly those who entered and came to share in the celebrations.

I accept I’m probably the least objective person about this highlight of our calendar year, but the feedback has been very good and it sets up a platform to celebrate further the best practice on show – as I discussed last week.

Former Veolia executive Keith Riley took the richly-deserved Lifetime Achievement award, speaking of his role in the development of energy recovery and rightly defending the technology as an key alternative to landfill. We also have a great selection of photos and a video from the night on our website at .

We are already planning for the 2014 event: if you have any views on the categories, judging process or the night itself, then please email me (

Biogen was one of the winners, which the judges said was “increasingly the go-to company” in anaerobic digestion (AD). One man who may take exception to that is Tamar Energy’s Alan Lovell. Tom Kenning’s Big Interview with the chief executive on page 14 marks a step change for the company as they start out on a path to the goal of 40 AD plants by 2018.

These are still early days for the sector – it was only last month that the Green Investment Bank noted that the top five AD operators accounted for less than 28% of the market, whereas in the offshore wind sector, for example, it is 71%.

Questions regarding the low-carbon status of biomass, its financial viability and lukewarm support from Whitehall mean stiff challenges ahead, even for the market leaders.

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