John Bland, treasurer of the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA), retires at the end of the month after more than 30 years in the waste management sector.
Bland joined the GMWDA at its creation in 1986 and became its treasurer in 2002, initially also being director of finance at Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council.
He played a significant role in negotiations when the authority scrapped the £3.2bn PFI contract with Viridor Laing. He has since been involved in procuring new contractors to deliver waste management services across the districts.
Nigel Murphy, chair of the GMWDA, said: “John has had an impressive career and has made a significant contribution to the authority over the years. His pragmatic and determined approach has served him well and he has, undoubtedly, been instrumental in driving recycling rates across the conurbation and helping to secure investment for world-class recycling facilities.”
Bland said he was proud of the authority’s achievements during the years.
“Reaching such a high recycling rate is one of the highlights, and it feels right to mention the role that the residents of Greater Manchester play. They are the ones who deserve credit for their continued efforts.
“We’ve always been ambitious and determined in our thinking at the GMWDA and my pragmatic approach has served me well. In my mind, when we set an ambition it needs to be realistic – with a stretch – but also achievable, so we can help people to do the right thing and recycle right.
”As I leave, my desire is that the authority continues on its 60% recycling journey. I know that the forward thinking and innovative team are well placed to achieve ambitious goals.”
From 1 April, the GMWDA will be subsumed into the wider Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
David Taylor, executive director of waste, will head the waste management team in the new configuration, reporting to chief executive Eamonn Boylan.
Taylor said: “We are exceptionally well placed for future success and John has played a significant part in this.”