Double delight for Warwickshire recycling partnership

Warwickshire County Council has won a prestigious international award in recognition of its ground-breaking recycling partnership with a local charity.

The authority was presented with the Local Authority Gold Award at the International Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Excellence Awards 2015 for its partnership with Age UK Warwickshire, to operate eight recycling centre re-use shops plus two Household Waste Recycling Centres.

The success comes hot on the heels of the enterprise being named ‘Efficiency Initiative of the Year’ at the National Recycling Awards 2015.

Age UK Warks

Cllr Jeff Clarke, Chair of the Warwickshire Waste Partnership, said: “Warwickshire has been acknowledged as the first authority in the UK to competitively ‘franchise’ its recycling centre re-use shops. As well as raising millions of pounds for charity, our partnership is providing a sustainable income stream for the authority, as well as diverting thousands of tonnes of material from landfill.”

Councillor Philip Johnson, Chair of Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added:  “Recycling is a very real way for residents to work with us to help us to save money so I’m delighted that we are clearly working so effectively to make this happen.”

Age UK Warwickshire took over the running of household waste recycling centres at Stockton and Wellesbourne last November, and its franchise includes another six recycling centre re-use shops across the county.

Elizabeth Phillips MBE, Chief Executive of Age UK Warwickshire said: In south Warwickshire alone, 1 in 4 people are aged over 65 plus, ahead of the national average of 1 in 5, with 1 in 3 people with a long term condition.  Supporting older people and their carers with advice and practical support in the home, to help maintain their independence is key to what we are about. Raising funds to support these services through both “high Street” charity shops and Reuse shops is one effective way we can keep providing services, supporting thousands of older people each year in this county”.

The Warwickshire initiative was also honoured at the Improvement & Efficiency Awards 2015 – scooping a Silver Award for ‘Transformation in Waste & Environment’ plus a Bronze Award for ‘Delivering through Efficiency’. It also reached the finals of the Excellence in Public Procurement Awards 2015/16 in the ‘Procurement Innovation or Initiative of the Year’ category.

It is estimated that scaling up the Warwickshire re-use shops franchise model to the UK’s remaining 1,056 recycling centres would generate an additional £35 million a year for cash-strapped councils.