Hot 100 2010: Who is Top Dog in Waste?

In 2010 waste needed people to lead the pack, to continue the drive towards resource efficiency despite budget cuts and other threats nipping at our heels. So here are the ones we looked to to get things done, Resource’s top dogs, as voted for and described by you

Joy Blizzard1 (8) Joy Blizzard, Chair, LARAC: “Joy continues to have the gumption to say what we’re all thinking but don’t always have the political freedom or platform to say ourselves.”


Jane Davidson2 (2) Jane Davidson, Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing, Welsh Assembly Government: “She makes Defra look like muppets!”


Jonathan Straight3 (5) Jonathan Straight, Chief Executive, Straight Plc: “Very entrepreneurial, community spirited and professional. Plus he’s got the best moustache!”


Caroline Lucas4 (25) Caroline Lucas, MP, Green Party: “For getting elected against the workings of the British electoral system; hopefully she’ll keep ‘greenwash’ at bay in the House of Commons!”


Liz Goodwin5 (14) Liz Goodwin, CEO, WRAP: “WRAP is now the government’s sole delivery body on waste, so Liz Goodwin’s decisions are absolutely crucial to the delivery of policy.”


Kit Strange6 (13) Kit Strange, Director, Resource Recovery Forum: “Runs a great forum, which is the most reliable source of information out there!”


Eric Randall7 (22) Eric Randall, Director of Recycling, Bryson Recycling: “For pointing all of Northern Ireland in the right direction.”


Peter Mills8 (18) Peter Mills, Commercial Director, New Earth Solutions.


Mal Williams9 (6) Mal Williams, CEO, Cylch: “His fingerprints are all over Wales’s progressive waste strategy.”


Keith James10 (75) Keith James, Environmental Manager, WRAP: “Great contribution to understanding the carbon impacts of packaging through the Courtauld Commitment.”


11 (17) Julian Parfitt, Research and Technical Director, Resource Futures: “He’s got his head and his heart in the right place and is an endless supply of enthusiasm for waste!

12 (37) Andy Bond, Development Director, May Gurney: “For consistently getting results with kerbside sort.”

13 (63) Dee Moloney, Director, London Remade Solutions: “She’s leading a company that’s driving waste management solutions in London and now further afield.”

14 (12) Ray Georgeson, Director, Ray Georgeson Resources: “For bridging the divide between different
camps in the waste debate.”

15 (1) Steve Read, Managing Director, Somerset Waste Partnership: “Continues to work hard to progress recycling in Somerset and improve the national situation.”

16 (9) Dominic Hogg, Director, Eunomia: “For his services to common sense.”

17 (33) Chris Coggins, Independent Waste Management Consultant: “An influencer on the Conservative Party’s waste policy.”

18 (15) Neil Thornton, Director of Waste and Delivery Transformation, Defra: “He offers great knowledge and industry support.”

19 (24) Nicola Peake, Managing Director Environmental Services, May Gurney: “For reminding people that recyclate quality really is an important issue.”

20 (7) Chris Dow, Managing Director, Closed Loop Recycling: “For his ambitious plans to expand UK plastic recycling.”

21 (26) Chris White, Director, Plastics Sorting Limited: “Can he do the same for plastic as he did for paper?”

22 (4) Peter Jones, Director, Ecolateral: “He’s still got it!”

23 (16) Nicky Scott, Coordinator, DCCN: “Nicky continues to be the composting guru – he’s definitely not afraid to get his hands dirty!”

24 (10) Adam Read, Resource Efficiency and Waste Management Technical Practice Lead, AEA: “He’s always called on for his expert opinion. He makes waste come alive!”

25 (50) Matthew Thomson, CEO, LCRN: “Matthew Thomson has the future of third-sector reuse in his hands.”

26 (28) Michael Warhurst, Senior Campaigner, Resource Use, Friends of the Earth: “For highlighting the arguments against incineration.”

27 (43) Andy Rees, Head of Waste Strategy Unit, Welsh Assembly Government: “Anyone involved in the best waste strategy in the UK deserves recognition.”

28 (30) Andy Doran, National Manager, Novelis Recycling: “For his can-do philosophy!”

29 (72) Shlomo Dowen, National Coordinator, UK Without Incineration Network: “Helping to create a sense of community amongst those who don’t want their discarded materials incinerated.”

30 (new) Colin Drummond, Chief Executive, Viridor: “Prepared to go undercover and speak more honestly than we could have expected.”

31 (20) Jeremy Jacobs, Managing Director, Association for Organics Recycling: “He’s done lots of good work for the organics sector and is an endless source of information on how to maximise the efficacy of biowaste diversion systems.”

32 (21) Linda Crichton, Head of Local Advisory Services, WRAP: “Leading a strong team that provides invaluable support to local authorities.”

33 (65) David Palmer-Jones, CEO, SITA UK: “For not being afraid to speak out about the problems the UK will face in coming years.”

34 (27) Steve Lee, CEO, CIWM: “He represents the industry.”

35 (34) Liz Parkes, Head of Waste, Environment Agency: “For her work to stop illegal exports.”

36 (39) Craig Anderson, CEO, Furniture Re-use Network: “For his commitment to growing the sector.”

37 (52) Phillip Ward, Director for Local Government Services, WRAP: “He’s worked hard on environmental concerns for many years.”

38 (48) Iain Gulland, Development Director, Zero Waste Scotland: “For taking the lead on zero waste in Scotland.”

39 (new) Janez Potocnik, Commissioner for Environment, European Commission.

40 (69) Paul Jones, Development Manager, May Gurney: “Shows marvellous commitment to kerbside sort.”

41 (91) Diana Lock, Chief Executive, Remade South East: “Continues to tackle difficult material streams and to find creative, collaborative approaches.”

42 (35) Adam Billiald, Sustainability Manager, Yell: “Constantly searches for new opportunities to initiate recycling partnerships with external bodies.”

43 (49) Richard Featherstone, Development Manager, LCRN: “He’s heading up the team behind the well-funded
and ambitious London Reuse Network.”

44 (42) Dave Mansell, Strategy and Communications Team Leader, Somerset Waste Partnership: “Continues to widely share Somerset’s lessons with others.”

45 (81) Russell Owens, Waste Strategy Officer, Environment Agency Wales: “Waste strategist of genius.”

46 (54) Tony Breton, UK Coordinator, Novamont: “Plastic Tony, formerly Compost Tony, makes an important contribution to waste sorting knowledge in the UK.”

47 (57) Jane Stephenson, CEO, Resource Futures: “A force for good in the waste world.”

48 (95) Michael Chesshire, Technology Director, BiogenGreenfinch: “For leading the way on AD.”

49 (56) Steve Eminton, Editor, “He’s still so knowledgeable and passionate about all matters to do with the waste and recycling sector.”

50 (47) Stewart Crocker, Executive Director, Waste Watch: “Waste Watch does innovative work to change behaviour regarding resource use.”

51 (94) Joe Papineschi,  Director, Eunomia: “He never sleeps!”

52 (40) Lee Marshall, Senior Manager for Policy and Waste, Powys County Council: “Works like no other person I know and is a font of knowledge!”

53 (41) Dick Perry, Strategic and Operational Support Manager, WRAP: “The ‘Godfather of Recycling’ – still influential and doing good work behind the scenes.”

54 (55) Colin Kirkby, Executive Officer, LARAC: “Colin is a real professional with excellent knowledge of all waste issues.”

55 (new) Jean-Dominique Mallet, CEO, Veolia: “He’s pragmatic and realistic, but also committed to corporate responsibility and people; health and safety is his main drive and passion.”

56 (new) Lord Henley, Under Secretary of State for Waste and Recycling, Defra: “Here’s hoping he takes his responsibility seriously.”

57 (38) John Enright, Head of Waste Infrastructure Delivery Programme, Defra.

58 (62) Andy Moore, Coordinator, Campaign for Real Recycling: “For keeping quality in the spotlight.”

59 (new) Pauline Hinchion, Chief Executive, CRNS: “She’s keeping the third sector strong in Scotland.”

60 (19) Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future.

61 (51) Ed Miliband, Labour Leader and Former DECC Secretary: “Let’s hope he holds the ‘greenest government ever’ to their promises.”

62 (80) Rachel Jowitt, Head of Waste Support, WLGA: “She knows how to achieve the targets!”

63 (76) Mike Brown, Director, Eunomia.

64 (73) Richard Mehmed, Director, National Community Wood Recycling Project: “The focus on biomass diversion shows how important it is that we recycle our wood!”

65 (new) Barry Dennis, Director General, Environmental Services Agency: “He’s worked in every area to do with waste and keeps finding new challenges for himself."

66 (61) Margaret Bates, Sustainable Wastes Management Lecturer, University of Northampton.

67 (86) Rick Hindley, Executive Director, Alupro: “For his continuing efforts to push aluminium recycling as high as it can go.”

68 (new) Heidi Seary, Business Development Manager, Community Recycling Network: “She’s almost single-handedly kept the CRN alive!”

69 (58) Hilary Benn, Former Secretary of State, Defra: “For setting Defra in the right direction; let’s hope it lasts!”

70 (85) John Simmons, Chief Executive Officer, Recoup: “Thanks in part to Recoup, plastic recycling
keeps going up, and up, and up!”

71 (74) Andrew Craig, Principal Policy Officer, LARAC: “Fantastic knowledge of waste policy and long distinguished career promoting sustainable waste management.”

72 (new) Julie Hill, Associate, Green Alliance: “Julie’s book is called The Secret Life of Stuff. With a title like that, how can she not be on the Hot 100 list?!”

73 (67) Keith Patterson, Northern Ireland Local Government Advisor, WRAP: “Provides sensible, sound and logical advice of high quality without fanfare or fuss.”

74 (92) Emily Finney, Policy Officer, Welsh Assembly Government: “Understands the need for sound evidence to back policy.”

75 (45) Nina Sweet, Organics Sector Specialist, WRAP.

76 (new) Jane Beasley, Director, Beasley Associates: “She consistently shows detailed understanding of the subject and stakeholders.”

77 (70) Peter Laybourn, Chief Executive Officer, International Synergies: “For finding synergies between business and sustainability.”

78 (60) Lucy Danger, Chief Executive, Emerge Recycling: “For bringing resource efficiency messages to the masses and showing the third sector how to use social networking.”

79 (11) Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Scottish Government: “He’s aiming for zero waste, but can he back it up with the right policies?”

80 (66) David Workman, Director General, Confederation of Paper Industries.

81 (new) Peter Ridley, Managing Director, Peter Ridley Waste Systems: “He is most definitely he UK’s understated innovator of bin design.”

82 (new) Andrew Hartley, Operations Director, CO2Sense Yorkshire: “Andrew has spearheaded the development of Yorkshire and the Humber as the leading low-carbon region of the UK. He’s integrated sustainable business with market development.”

83 (new) Peter Scholes, Managing Director, Urban Mines: “Innovative thinker on waste data collection and analysis, having developed a new methodology and headed up three significant C&I waste surveys.”

84 (new) Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for DECC.

85 (new) Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive, FareShare: “He heads up a great organisation.”

86 (new) Sarah Dagwell, Head of Waste Services, Medway Council: “Stepping up to seeing in new collection and disposal contracts.”

87 (53) Chris Davey, Director, Hebden Adderbury Ltd.

88 (87) Arnold Black, Director, Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network: “For giving much needed advice on how to achieve the low-carbon transition.”

89 (new) Andrew Perkins, Head of Recycling, Aylesford Newsprint: “Influential in the quality debate.”

90 (98) Boris Johnson, Mayor of London : “For putting so many millions into third-sector reuse.”

91 (new) Steve Simmons, Managing Director, Waste Dynamics: “Offers practical assistance to waste recycling organisations, including giving time for free to charitable bodies.”

92 (96) Martin Brocklehurst, Head of Environment and Business Partnerships, Environment Agency.

93 (64) Owain Griffiths, Waste Management Improvement Policy Officer, WLGA: “Because Wales really is improving on waste!”

94 (97) Caroline Lee-Smith, Independent Bulky Waste Consultant: “Caroline Lee-Smith is an independent-minded expert on bulky reuse.”

95 (99) Ian Wakelin, Chief Executive, Biffa Group: “With Greenstar combining with Biffa, he now heads one of the largest waste operations in the UK.”

96 (new) Stephen Pathirana, Head of Zero Waste Delivery, Scottish Government: “The new broom in the Scottish Government, driving forward an ambitious zero waste plan firmly rooted in the carbon and resource scarcity agendas.”

97 (new) Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: “Will the waste strategy review take us forward?” 

98 (83) Paul Davidson, Head of Sector Specialists, WRAP.

99 (100) Ben Wood, Editor, CIWM.

100 (new) Silas Wegg, Columnist, the Loop: “He can say what we are all really thinking!”

101 (new) Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Local Government: “A man who truly deserves some time in Room 101 (which in his case would contain highly efficient and productive alternate weekly rubbish collections. Horrors!).”


Straight talker

Joy Blizzard“She pulls no punches”, “She doesn’t fear to rightly criticise political prejudices”, “She says what we’re all thinking”, “She takes an honest, open approach” – these are but a few of the comments we received from people voting for Joy Blizzard, the LARAC Chair, in our Hot 100 poll. And indeed, in these difficult times, Blizzard’s has been one of very few voices openly speaking out against what most of us privately rue – government budget cuts, threats to quangos, irrational drives for weekly collections, and so on. (In the interest of fairness, though, Blizzard points out that she “was equally tough on the last government” when they deserved it.)

Blizzard admits that her favourite thing about her position as LARAC Chair is “being able to pontificate”, to speak about recycling with first-hand knowledge “from the coal face” to back it up. Asked why it is that she speaks out when so many are silent, she explains: “I’m in a relatively safe place as Chair of LARAC – I don’t think they can sack you for saying what is obvious to most people. I’m speaking on behalf of the people that do the job day to day. These are the kinds of comments they make to me, so why shouldn’t I say what they’re thinking?”

As LARAC Chair, Blizzard heads an organisation of volunteers that represent most of the nation’s council recycling officers. Though she is fortunate in that Shropshire Council, the authority she works for as a waste initiatives officer, has released her for one day a week to perform her LARAC duties, she still has to devote a good deal of her free time to the post (“That’s the Big Society for you”, she quips, laughing). And, though she says there’s not much she doesn’t like about the position, she admits: “I couldn’t do it for a lifetime. It would wear me out.”

Blizzard actually has a long history of volunteering in the waste sector (and of tough financial times): she graduated in 1993 “during the last recession” with a biological sciences degree and started volunteering with her local council recycling officer, a rare breed in those days. And her first full-time post as a recycling officer in Devon allowed her to witness massive changes in waste, including the introduction of kerbside collections and well-funded communication campaigns.

It’s fair to say the country has come a long way in a short amount of time and while there are undoubtedly, as Blizzard notes, “stormy waters ahead”, at least the sector – councils and businesses alike – will continue to benefit from the LARAC Chair’s spirited defence of sanity.

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