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NRAs 2015 Public Service Recycler: Finalists

Ashford Borough Council

Ashford Borough Council (above)

Ashford has gone from being the worst recycling authority in the country to the most improved in just one year. With the enthusiasm of its residents, 200,000 wheeled bins replaced black sack collections from 52,000 properties, propelling the recycling rate from 12% to 42% in 2013-14. The current recycling rate is 55%, with 60% a realistic ambition. The innovative partnership working at the core of the project saw Ashford join forces with Swale and Maidstone borough councils and Kent County Council to form the Mid Kent Waste Partnership. This enabled them to procure contractor Biffa on a 10-year contract, saving taxpayers £500,000 a year. 

HMP and YOI Rochester

In Q3 2008-09, HMP and YOI Rochester’s recycling rate was 23%. In 2014, the prison appointed waste management company FCC Environment to help it reach the National Offender Management Service’s aspiration of zero waste to landfill and a 70% recycling rate by April 2015. A recycling centre was set up within the prison grounds, where prisoners sort recyclable waste before it is taken to FCC’s integrated waste management facility in Allington, Kent. In Q3 2014-15, HMP and YOI Rochester achieved a recycling rate of 98.3% and is on target to achieve zero waste to landfill this year. The prison’s Waste Management Unit provides offenders with work experience and accredited training to help them gain employment when they leave prison.

HMP Huntercombe Prison Waste Management Unit (below)

In 2007 Huntercombe Prison had 230 young offenders, and was tasked with setting up a Waste Management Unit to deal with its waste. A sorting table was set up to separate paper, cardboard, tins and plastics, and a baler was purchased so that two recycling companies could take waste away and pay the prison on the weight. In 2012 Huntercombe became a prison for foreign nationals and the population went up to 430. The amount of waste doubled but the figures were kept down by taking out everything that could be recycled or reused. In the waste unit now, 17 prisoners of different nationalities collect and sort waste, and achieve accreditations from the CIWM Smart courses Foundation. Prisoners are educated about the waste hierarchy so that when they are resettled in their home country they can play their part in the green agenda.

HMP Huntercombe Prison Waste Management Unit

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