News in brief 08/02/18

WasteAid UK takes 'Walk for WasteAid' 2018 to London

Waste management charity WasteAid UK will once again be holding its ‘Walk for WasteAid’ event on 23 June 2018 in London to raise money for its work in bringing simple recycling techniques to communities in developing countries.

With over two billion people in the world lacking access to waste collection services, and between 88 and 92 per cent of all marine plastic waste entering the oceans from ten rivers in Africa and Asia, largely due to inadequate waste management provisions in upstream communities, the work WasteAid carries out is vital.

Taking its leave from the strapline ‘Bridging the Global Recycling Gap’, this year’s 'Walk for WasteAid' will see fundraisers zigzag for 25km along the River Thames, crossing an array of historic bridges. The walk will start near Putney Bridge in Fulham, before moving east towards the City, stopping in Vauxhall for lunch and ending up in Southwark next to Tower Bridge.

There is no obligation to complete the entire 25km, with anyone preferring to do the 10km walk welcome to join the group at lunchtime. Participants are encouraged to make the event special through fancy dress and will receive a free branded re-usable water bottle, a medal and food upon finishing.

Walk for WasteAid organiser Sally Talbot said: “We are looking forward to meeting old friends and new at the biggest ever ‘Walk for WasteAid’. It’s easy to sign up and everyone is welcome to join us and have some fun. We’ll be doing a litter pick along the way and providing refreshments at the start, middle and finish line. It’s a beautiful route through the historic city of London, and not to be missed!”

Mike Webster, WasteAid CEO and winner of Resource’s Hot 100 2018, said: “Previously the 'Walk for WasteAid' has seen supporters climb to the top of Mount Snowdon and Scafell Pike, the highest peaks in Wales and England. This year we’d like to attract loads more of you to join us, and we’re hoping that the London Bridges walk will bring plenty of you out in support.”

You can find more information about Walk for WasteAid and how to get involved on the WasteAid UK website.

Biffa receives award for best road safety initiative at annual fleet awards ceremony

Waste management company Biffa was presented with the award for the best fleet/road safety initiative at the annual Future Fleet Awards on 24 January at London Guildhall, for its Driving Recklessly on Pavements (DRoPs) health and safety campaign.

The campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the issue of dangerous drivers risking lives by mounting pavements to pass fleet waste trucks, was declared the winner by the event’s panel of fleet management experts from across the globe.

The initiative saw Biffa mount 360-degree cameras to their fleet trucks to document numerous incidents of Biffa waste collectors being hit or narrowly missed by impatient motorists. The video footage allows incidents to be investigated by police and provides an opportunity to educate the drivers over the risks involved with such activity.

News in brief 08/02/18

Since the campaign began, some regions where the initiative has been rolled out have seen incidents drop by half, from an average of 12 per week to five or six.

Commenting on the award, Dave West, a regional safety and health coach for Biffa, said: “This is a fantastic award for Biffa as it again highlights the great work carried out by everyone involved in raising the profile of this dangerous activity across the UK.

“Biffa feel that sharing this reporting procedure introduced by DRoPs with local authorities and competitors alike is vital in reducing the risk to not only those who work in the waste sector, but also to the public.  To see this acknowledged by a judging panel containing representatives of both the City of London and New York City was a true honour for Biffa.”

Ann-Marie Knegt, organiser of Future Fleet Forum and Head of the Judging Panel, added: “The judges think the project greatly enhances the safety of operational staff and road users. The cooperation with police and other organisations and the willingness to share this practice with other waste operators was also highly commended. It was a clear winner in its category of the Award for the best Fleet and Road Safety initiative.”

You can find out more about Biffa’s Driving Recklessly on Pavements campaign on the company’s website.

Cromwell Polythene appoints new Business Development Manager for London and the South East

Waste and recycling sack producer Cromwell Polythene has appointed a new Business Development Manager for London and the south east of England as its business continues to expand.

Darren Kitchiner, who has worked in the plastic industry for 27 years and most recently spent eight and a half years at PMC Polythene Ltd, is tasked with expanding Cromwell Polythene’s sales in both the janitorial and local authority markets, alongside building relationships with existing customers in the region.

News in brief 08/02/18
Cromwell Polythene's new Business Development Manager, Darren Kitchiner

Cromwell Polythene Managing Director, James Lee, said: “Our business is thriving, and we have exciting plans to grow it extensively over the next few years. As part of those plans, we’re delighted to welcome Darren to the team. He comes with extensive experience, meaning our external sales team of five now have a total of 113 years’ experience between them. This combined knowledge and experience means our customers know they are in expert hands and will get the best product for their needs.”

Kitchiner added: “I am very happy to have joined Cromwell Polythene. It is a forward-thinking business, focused on the ever-changing market and always looking to lead from the front. I will be growing Cromwell Polythene’s presence in the south dealing with new and existing customers. I will also work on a wider basis, using my customer and product knowledge to help keep the business ahead of the competition.”

£115,000 waste prevention fund made available for Merseyside and Halton community groups

£115,000 of funding has been made available for Merseyside and Halton community and voluntary groups, schools, faith groups and not-for-profit organisations to run projects that can reduce household waste, encourage recycling and resource reuse and prevent carbon emissions. The projects will also have to demonstrate wider positive impacts on the environment, health and education.

The money has been provided by the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) and Veolia Community Fund 2018/19, which has been running annually since 2006.

Successful applicants can be awarded up to £25,000 for schemes that operate across all six districts in Merseyside and Halton, and £8,000 for projects that work solely in one local authority.

The impact of the 2016/17 Fund saw ten projects deliver 23 full-time equivalent jobs, participation from 136 volunteers, 25,970 people directly engaged, 1,345 tonnes of waste material diverted from landfill and £134,500 of equivalent landfill costs avoided.

Commenting on the announcement, Lisa Jennions, Manager of the Neighbourhood Services Company in Liverpool, said: “The ongoing support from MRWA has been invaluable in enabling us to deliver recycling and reuse activities at Home Farm. The project is extremely popular with visitors and it’s great to see new life breathed into was was previously waste.”

Chairperson of the MRWA, Cllr Graham Morgan, said: “We’ve made this money available for new and existing projects that can have an impact on their local community and make Merseyside and Halton a cleaner and greener place for us all to live and work.

“Giving groups the opportunity to get involved in looking after their environment can only bring benefits to all and can help us appreciate items as valuable resources rather than something that otherwise might be just thrown away.”

Interested groups should complete and submit an Expression of Interest to the MRWA. If applicants are successful they will be asked to fill in a more detailed Community Fund entry. Projects will have ten months to deliver their schemes and will be expected to get started by June.

More information can be found on the MRWA website.