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You know it makes sense to enter the NRAs

2000 nras 2016 all the winners

A crucial phase in the annual cycle of the National Recycling Awards is nearly upon us. 

You still have the chance to enter your example of best practice, top-notch product, smart technology or excellent team working (or all four) – and I’d urge you to do so. To be shortlisted for, or better still win, one of the categories at the NRAs is a huge boon as you look to keep ahead of your competitors or enhance that essential public reputation.

Once the entries close (and that’s pretty soon!), we rely on our strong panel of judges to whittle down the scores of entries and compile the shortlists in the individual categories. These experts from across the industry are the foundation for the sector’s most respected awards which have been held since the turn of the century.

Some are stalwarts of many years, willing to give up their time to ensure the NRAs are of the highest standard. Others come and go as their involvement in the sector may change with time. And, in a recent development, some judges are recruited from previous winners.

Every year, we invite the victorious entries to nominate a relevant representative from their organisation to join the panel – typically to assess the category in which they were successful. I’m pleased to report that several become ‘hooked’ and stay with us for future years.

The initial assessment in the early part of the year is online. Applicants complete their entries online and upload relevant photos and documents to reinforce their case. The judges then burn the midnight oil, each independently ranking the different entries in the category or categories they are assessing.

At this stage, this will be for guidance as those colleagues who organise the event are flexible about the final shape of the categories. As an example, we sometimes get as many as 40 entries in a particular category. It may be more sensible, or even fairer, to divide them into two categories such as public/private or large/small. The individual marks are tallied and the total dictate which entries will make up the different shortlists.

But filling in the entries and awaiting the judges’ verdicts is not the end of the road for those on the shortlist. In recent years, we have added ‘live judging’ to the NRAs whereby every shortlist entry is quizzed about the submissions. This is a powerful judging tool and, from personal experience of sitting on on panels, I know that entries can shoot up the packing order because of the interactions and answers offered to the judges.

I invite you to dive in and enter this year’s NRAs at


Almost every winner at the London Hilton on Park Lane last July has accepted our invitation to judge for the 2017 NRAs.

Those who had nominated their judges as MRW went to press were:Bron Afon Community Housing; Boss Design; Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham Waste Partnership; Warwickshire County Council; Siltbuster; Dorset County Council; Tendring Borough Council; Reconomy; eSynergy; Total Reuse; Sharpsmart

Some of the long-serving judges we are welcoming back include: Jane Beasey, Beasley Associates; Margaret Bates, University of Northampton; Philip Ward, Resource Futures; Alan Wheeler, Textile Recycling Association; Peter Jones, Ecolateral; John Skidmore, East Riding of Yorkshire Council; Steve Read, Somerset Waste Partnership; Vicki Hughes, Hadfields; Rebecca Cocking, British Glass; Dominic Hogg, Eunomia; Adam Read, Ricardo



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