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The National Recycling Awards took place last night at a gala dinner in Harrogate, hosted by Materials Recycling We...
The National Recycling Awards took place last night at a gala dinner in Harrogate, hosted by Materials Recycling Week magazine, and presented by broadcaster Joan Bakewell.

The winners were:

More than 550 guests attended the gala dinner at the Harrogate International Centre to announce this year's National Recycling Awards, the annual showcase of innovation and enterprise in the recycling and sustainable waste management industry.

TV Presenter Joan Bakewell hosted the black tie event, held during the annual conference of LARAC, the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee and organised by 'Materials Recycling Week,' the leading trade title in this sector.

Award winners for 2001 were:

Best Local Authority Initiative, sponsored by Severnside - Essex CC for 'era,' a new scheme to help develop future waste management strategies across the county. The scheme brings together Essex district and borough councils to test the feasibility of household recycling projects

Best Industry Recycling Initiative, sponsored by Biffa - PPR Wipag for its unique innovations in automotive plastics recycling, where laminated and painted plastics are recovered from waste and reject material, as well as end-of-life vehicles. The company is also current Kent Environmental Business of the Year.

Best Partnership Project for Recycling, sponsored by Evolve (M-Real), awarded to The Recycling Consortium - for the Community Waste Action programme to support local authorities set up community based initiatives, with an annual partnering of up to 10 councils.

Recycling Officer of the Year 2001, sponsored by Serviceteam, is Richard Bower, Recycling Education Officer at Cornwall County Council, both for his personal commitment to recycling, as well as his innovative approach to spreading the recycling message to the general public. His work includes raising awareness through recycling surgeries on local radio and implementing recycling schemes such as a plastic milk bottle initiative

The Recycling Target Success Award, sponsored by Aylesford Newsprint, focuses on the figures, with entries coming from local authorities that have managed to boost their recycling targets and businesses that have set themselves voluntary targets.

Winner of this award, for establishing the recycling of a wide range of materials and setting themselves government targets and achieving them is the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). The agency was commended for its high recycling rates and staff involvement in the division-wide initiative, covering recycling of paper, cardboard, pallets, toners, fluorescent tubes, cooking oil, cans, mobile phones, and glass - with many schemes benefiting charities.

Best Waste Minimisation Project of the Year, sponsored by Worktwice, was awarded to Leicestershire Waste Minimisation Association for the development of environmental awareness, based on a waste minimisation culture, within 30 Leicestershire businesses.

The judges considered that there were many worthwhile entries in this category, reflected in their decision to award BDF Newlife a highly commended for a scheme that is stopping materials going to landfill, as well as raising cash for charity.

Recycled Product of the Year, sponsored by, went to Green Glass UK for its innovative use of waste glass bottles by turning them into unique and functional drinking glasses.

This year's awards included two new categories - Best Information Project for Sustainability, sponsored by Environmental Services Association and Best Community Project for Recycling, sponsored by Paperchain.

The Best Information Project for Sustainability Award recognises promotion and marketing campaigns aimed at raising awareness and getting the public committed to long term recycling and adopting waste minimisation practices.

Although there was a wide variety of entries, the judges decided that none stood out above the rest. They did, however, award a Highly Commended to Birmingham City Council for its Real Nappy Use scheme in Birmingham, offering low cost trial kits to low-income families. The scheme attracted regional and national media coverage and increased take-up of the real nappy system.

The final Award for the Best Community Project for Recycling, was introduced to highlight work being carried out in the community sector by charities, community or voluntary organisations.

Winner of this award was Alloa Community Enterprises Ltd - originally a volunteer fund-raising group that has grown to be a core recycling resource in Scotland, recycling glass, furniture, coat hangers, textiles, setting up a kerbside partnership, and a managing a partnership MRF.

Commenting on the standard and level of entries this year, Materials Recycling Week publisher Steve Crowhurst said: 'We had approaching 140 submissions to this year's awards, with an outstandingly high level of entry. The judges made the point that while many of the entries showed good potential, in several instances it was too early to assess results. There are clearly some promising projects underway and we encourage all those who fall into this category to make sure that they enter again next year.'

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