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NRAs 2018: Team of the Year - Public/Third Sector

WINNER: Kettering Borough Council

Kettering Borough Council’s waste and recycling collection team is a front-facing group of 41 people who are out five days a week, in all weathers, collecting waste and recycling from the borough’s 44,000 properties.

The team has worked tirelessly during the past year to improve recycling capture, drive down residual waste and reduce contamination.

Significant population growth in the borough in the past five years, as well as having some poor performing areas for recycling, had led to residual waste increasing and recycling plateauing.

JUDGES’ COMMENT: “This entry had passion and innovation coming from the bottom up, by a super-engaged team that really cares about the local community.”

This drove the council to take action, such as cutting the size of residual bins from 240-litre to 180-litre and giving free additional recycling bins.

Alongside this it has tried to be creative with projects and campaigns, such as its Christmas campaign. This was delivered by both collection crews and office staff in the recycling department.

team of the year public third sector

team of the year public third sector

Costing only £180, it was organised in their own time with the team sourcing their own props and outfits. As well as boosting the morale of front line staff, the campaign was eye-catching to the public.

The team flag incidents of contamination and speak to residents on the street to educate them about recycling and reducing contamination. Without their full co-operation, it would not have been a success and, without them going the extra mile, the council would not have seen such improvements.

Kettering’s recycling levels had remained at 48-49% for three years after the introduction of wheeled bins for recycling, but the team’s work has contributed to an improvement to 52% in the first two quarters of the year.

Throughout the Christmas campaign, the commitment, dedication and enthusiasm of the collection staff involved stood out, as well as how much they cared about delivering a good service and seeing an improvement in performance.


  • Air Ambulance Service
  • Dorset Waste Partnership
  • East Riding of Yorkshire Council
  • Hackney Council
  • Keele University
  • Lampton Recycle 360
  • South Staffordshire Council
  • Torfaen County Borough Council

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