Recycling centre reaches finals of prestigious awards scheme

The new recycling centre in Bury St Edmunds has reached the final shortlist as “Civic Amenity Site of the Year” in the 2020 LetsRecycle Awards for Excellence.

Judges were impressed by the state-of-the-art site that features a clear layout and improved accessibility for residents visiting the facility to dispose of their unwanted items easily and safely.

A significant amount of work and consideration has taken place to bring forward one of the most advanced recycling centres in the UK.

Designed with the waste hierarchy in mind, the site layout flows throughout so as to maximise recycling and re-use donations while adhering to all safety measures.

The new re-use shop at the entrance encourages people to donate directly on arrival, while the residual bin is placed last with a one-way system in place. As a result, this has driven an increase in materials moved up the waste hierarchy, despite social distancing and other Covid-19 measures.

As part of the contract with Suffolk County Council, FCC Environment runs a number of educational activities – in line with FCC Environment’s commitment to deliver a community outreach programme focusing on “reduce, reuse and recycle’”

The re-use shop has proved popular. Operated in a partnership with local charity The Benjamin Foundation, the shop has seen 83 tonnes of waste reused since January 2020 with over 4,000 items sold during its first full month.

Paul West, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for waste, said: “We are delighted to be a finalist for the civic amenity site of the year in LetsRecycle’s Awards for Excellence. The site in Bury St Edmunds is our flagship recycling centre, with facilities accessible on a single level, removing the need for steps, making it safer and easier for visitors to recycle and re-use their rubbish.

“The site can be serviced from below, without the need to close or interrupt the visitor experience. A significant volume of work has been undertaken to provide this facility to our residents across Suffolk and we are delighted that our work has been recognised by the renowned sector body. We thank each and every one of the team working tirelessly on site, especially in the current circumstances and we look forward to celebrating the awards.”

FCC Environment’s Paul Smith commented: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for this prestigious award. We are very proud of the Bury St Edmunds site and our employees there for everything they have achieved since opening, from increased volume of re-use and recycling to heartfelt compliments from local residents.

“This site is more than a recycling centre – it houses a local charity reuse shop and actively promotes the waste hierarchy. We are always pleased to welcome our wide range of visitors, from residents wanting to dispose of unwanted items, to shoppers wanting to buy and re-use these goods.”

LetsRecycle award winners will be announced in November during a socially distanced ceremony in London.

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