Resource Use

Rachelle Strauss is the ‘brightest spark’ of the waste industry

Rachelle Strauss is the ‘brightest spark’ of the waste industry
Rachelle Strauss is the ‘brightest spark’ of the waste industry

Rachelle Strauss, blogger at, has come top of Resource’s Hot 100 list for 2014, after being voted as the ‘brightest spark’ of the waste and resources industry.

More than 6,000 people voted in Resource's annual Hot 100 list of the most influential people in the industry, with hundreds voting for Strauss, moving her up 10 places to claim the top spot for her work in helping people reduce their waste arisings.

Some of the praise heaped upon her by those voting in the online poll included:

“Rachelle inspires us to reduce our waste from food, to recycle household waste, and to buy goods and food in a thoughtful way. Her blog, regular emails, incentives like the occasional prize draw, and Facebook page are all great.”

“She has a really engaging way of teaching about waste and what to do with all elements that just don’t fit in with the recycling box rules.”

“Powerfully and engagingly communicates practical ways in which individuals and businesses can live and work more sustainably. She makes the vision of creating zero waste seem achievable, and that can only be a great thing.”

“For her honesty in telling how to deal with real-life situations when recycling.”

The announcement was made at the second annual Kit Strange Memorial Lecture at the House of Commons yesterday (15 January), at which Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland and 2013 Hot 100 winner, delivered a speech outlining that more debate is needed to bringing about a circular economy.

‘Humbled, honoured and rather shocked to be voted number one’

Although Strauss was unable to accept the framed cover of Resource 79 (in which the full list can be found) she later tweeted saying she was “blown away”, “overwhelmed”, and “absolutely thrilled”.

Speaking to Resource this morning, Strauss added: “There are many people working passionately and with integrity across the resource sector who are deserving of being recognised for their work, so I'm humbled, honoured and rather shocked to be voted number one!

“As much as I appreciate this recognition, the greatest reward I'm given daily is the opportunity to help people feel good about being part of the solution. By making differences in their lives – whether it's a householder or a business owner – they feel positive about their choices and many report to having a lot of fun in the process!

“The success of Zero Waste Week depends on people committed to change who take the challenge with infectious enthusiasm, those who are messengers for the cause and the original inspiration for the week, Karen Cannard [voted number three on this year’s list]. Without her persuasion in the right direction (aka nagging and bullying back in 2008), Zero Waste Week would not exist.”

She concluded: “I'd like to thank everyone who voted for me, the people who put their unwavering belief in what I do and those who, instead of wringing their hands and waiting for something to change, rise up and become the change.”

The remaining top 10 were:

2 Dominic Hogg, Chairman of Eunomia.
3 Karen Cannard, Blogger at The Rubbish Diet
4 Ray Georgeson, Chief Executive of the Resource Association
5 Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland

6 Master Composters, a volunteer network of Garden Organic
7 Liz Goodwin, CEO of the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
8 Steve Lee, CEO of CIWM
9 David Palmer-Jones, CEO of SITA UK
10 Emma Marsh, Head of Love Food Hate Waste, WRAP.

The full list of the Hot 100 2014 can be found in Resource 79, out now. An in-depth interview with Strauss can be found in Resource 77.

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