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NRAs 2016 - Communications Award – Private Sector

Winner: Burt the Binman

Burt the Binman is a children’s character portrayed in books and animation, created by Fleur Bateman and her “bin lorry mad” son, William.

Burt started life as a self-published book that got coverage across radio, television and newspapers. The publicity prompted waste management company Biffa to send a new bin lorry to collect William from school.

Burt is described as “an old- fashioned character with old-fashioned values”, teaching right from wrong and treating people how he would like to be treated. The stories can be used in school early years settings as a great educational tool to teach the value of recycling.

After securing sales with WHSmith across East Anglia, Bateman undertook a book tour. A full-size Burt the Binman costume was created for ‘meets and greets’ and book signings as well as visits to libraries, schools and play groups for reading sessions.

We loved the story behind the story, with the inspiration being the author’s 10-year-old son. This winner has created a great character, and we are sure the concept and impending series will leave a lasting legacy.

Judges’ view

Bateman said: “To help raise the funds for printing I set up a sale site on facebook called ‘Clear my clutter in StNeots’ to keep things out of landfill. I now have more than 2,400 members.

“I have teamed up with animation company IG Media, and it has created a short film. Last year I talked at the Cambridgeshire early years conference, and they love the concept of Burt the Binman, saying they would like to see him rolled out across all their settings because they feel he could be a perfect asset in teaching children all about recycling.”

In Burt’s world, very little and ideally nothing needs to go to landfill – everything can be reused or recycled. Children grow into adults and they will carry on good recycling practices throughout their lives if taught young enough.


  • Amey
  • Ansa Environmental Services
  • Greenredeem
  • Intu Trafford Centre
  • ISS Facility Services
  • Shanks, Magna and the BDR Waste Partnership, supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Suez Kensington and Chelsea, Every Can Counts and AG Barr
  • Veolia
  • Veolia, Southwark Council and Fluid
  • Wheelabrator Technologies and Camargue
  • The Woodhorn Group


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