Blackpool Council’s Waste Services Team has been named Environmental Team of the Year 2016 at the annual Keep Britain Tidy awards in recognition of its work in cleaning up the local area and helping to improve the local environment.
According to the council, the team has been praised for going “beyond the normal call of duty” in this respect, through projects such as its work with the mobile recycling service Rover, delivered in partnership with local charity Helping Hand, which allows many residents who are not able to reach the local waste recycling centre the means to dispose of unwanted household items at various locations across the town.
Also in receipt of plaudits is the council’s “Re-New Workshop” initiative, delivered with social enterprise partners Calico. The scheme takes unwanted electrical items and refurbishes them “to a high standard” so they are fit to be reused in the community by residents who may otherwise not be able to afford the items, while at the same time developing the skills of the long-term unemployed.
This project has led to the launch of a retail outlet alongside the established Re-Use Shop at the town’s recycling centre in Bristol Avenue. Other spin-offs include a new furniture restoration workshop.
The Rover scheme has diverted 245 tonnes of waste for recycling or re-use that may otherwise have been disposed of incorrectly either in the general waste bin or possibly fly tipped, says Blackpool Council. Residents have bought 81,602 items since the launch of the scheme in November 2013.
The Reuse Shop itself has diverted 110.8 tonnes of waste for re-use since it opened in May 2013, it has made 2 donations of £10,000 to the Mayors charities and is on target to make its third this year as well as supporting the continued operation of Rover.
The Council’s Waste Team has also been recognised for its new confidential waste service, which has collected and shredded 36.1 tonnes of paper in the first year.