You are here

Recycle Devon Thank You Awards 2015

Devon’s recycling heroes celebrated at the Recycle Devon Thank You awards

The Recycle Devon Thank You awards ceremony was held on 30th January 2015 and brought together heroes from all across Devon who have made a real commitment to the ‘Don’t let Devon go to waste’ campaign.

This was the third ceremony of its kind and was the best attended yet with over 80 people including shortlisted nominees and their friends and families.

The shortlisted candidates from each category received a recycled glass trophy and enjoyed a cream tea kindly sponsored by Waitrose.

There was a special prize of a champagne board made from a flattened champagne bottle and certificate for the overall winner. The awards were presented by Heart breakfast radio DJ's Matt and Caroline.

There were 7 categories at this years awards:

Your Recycling Hero (Friend, Family Member, Neighbour or Local Recycling Champion)

School Recycling Hero (Group/Class)

School/Educational Establishment Recycling Hero

Community Group Recycling Hero

Collection Crew/Operative (Recycling, Garden, Food or Refuse Collector(s)

Recycling Centre operative/site staff

Recycling Hero for Devon

Collection Crew/Operative (Recycling, Garden, Food or Refuse Collector(s)

Runner up – Darren Dagnal, Andy Watson, Adam Walsh and Dave Hodgson from Torbay's Garden Waste Collection Scheme.

The Torbay garden waste collection scheme has been going for 10 years. Garden waste is brought along by residents to hubs on Sundays in Torquay and Brixham three times a month. The garden waste collection crew constantly receive great feedback from residents, complementing the service that they give. Sometimes the crew have to deal with difficult customers who have green waste that is far too large to be accepted (large trees etc.) and they tactfully manage them!  This is a wonderful example of refuse and recycling crews dealing with the public face to face on a regular basis and doing it brilliantly!


Runner up – Kevin Newcombe from the Devon & Cornwall Food Association

Kevin is currently one of DCFA's most trusted collection drivers who makes regular collections from suppliers such as Waitrose, Bookers and from the other DCFA hubs. Without his help DCFA would not be able to continue to 'recycle' and pass on in-date food to vulnerable community groups (food that would otherwise go to waste). To date he has helped to collect and distribute over 115 tonnes of useable food, with a value of over £313K, to over 73 user groups and 1660 individual recipients. Kevin is always willing to help, has an amazing smile for everyone, never complains about the later collections interrupting his evenings and nothing is ever too difficult for him.


Category Winner – Rufus Duffin from Otter Rotters

Rufus is a driver and loader for Otter Rotters. He is always very supportive and encouraging of his colleagues, a number of whom have learning disabilities or extra support needs. He has a huge amount of knowledge about his work and the environment, which he is happy to share with others. He is a good listener and really good to work with. He is also involved in various community events and lives his life in a sustainable and organic way as much as possible. He has worked very hard this year on various projects within Otter Rotters and always brings a sense of fun and community to his work. His easy-going manner makes him very approachable – he is a great credit to Otter Rotters and the wider community.

Recycling Centre Operative/ Site Staff

Runner Up – Proper Job Community Run Recycling Centre

Launched in 1995, Proper Job is a community run, not for profit, recycling centre with a strong link to the Dartmoor community and strong sustainable ethos. Recyclable items are broken down to their component parts and recycled separately. Reusable items are given a second lease of life. Not only are they kept away from landfill but saved items also help people on lower incomes to afford some of life’s basic necessities. The staff are always helpful, cheerful and dedicated to making the environment a better place.

Runner Up – Newton Abbot Recycling Centre

The staff at the Newton Abbot recycling centre are always very helpful. It is a wonderful centre for access and every bit of the site gets used. All of the site staff are happy to answer any questions that are asked and they are always happy to lend a hand with unloading. They are friendly and the site system works very well.


Category Winner – Killacleave Reycling Centre, Ilfracombe

It’s a pleasure to go to the Killacleave Recycling Centre. The site staff are good-humoured and always very helpful. They are always happy to assist with loading heavy bags of compost which is appreciated by all the gardeners. The site is always tidy and well organised. This team deserves an Award!

School/Educational Establishment Recycling Hero


Runner Up– Nicola Baker, Exeter University

Nicola has been one of the leads for the 'Green Belters', a Green Impact Teamfor a number of years at the University of Exeter. She has taken them all the way through the different levels of awards (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and now working towards Excellence). She has gone out of her way to enhance sustainability across the University and her enthusiasm for the subject is infectious.


Runner Up– Marie Ozanne, Cambian Group - Devon School

Marie is a busy Mum to a 4 year old, she is a full time teacher and is studying for her Masters degree. Despite this she is a stickler for reducing and recycling. She saves all her foil for a neighbour who sells it for charity, saves her milk bottle tops for a local school and recycles everything she can in her weekly collection. Anything she can't recycle at home she takes to the Newton Abbot recycling centre. When shopping she avoids plastic bags and always carries material shopping bags with her. Anything surplus to requirements is taken to her local charity shops.


Category Winner– Charlie Poustie, Stoke Hill Junior School

Charlie works tirelessly to promote and maintain good recycling processes in school. He regularly does extra hours and often forgets to claim time for doing so. He was the instigator for all the current green practises and has worked so hard both within the school and with external agencies to point the school in the right direction. The School generates £3,500 from solar panels which he bought with a grant he applied for, so no cost yet free electricity! He has instigated numerous initiatives from composting to developing a Green Team  to 'punishing' staff who leave lights on and he is currently seeking grants for the installation of a bio mass boiler. Black bin waste has reduced by 75% in five years, the Schools carbon footprint has reduced and money has been saved. Who wouldn't applaud that?!

School Recycling Hero (Group/Class)


Runner Up– Shelia Burford and the Little Rotters, Berry Pomery School

Sheila Burford and her team of 'Little Rotters', ensure all food waste in school is collected each day. It is composted, stored in a hot box to mature for 6 -12 months and then used on school gardens to grow more plants and vegetables. The food waste collections and composting take place every single day, come rain or shine ensuring that the School has 0% food waste going to landfill.  Mrs Burford (the Composting Queen) and the Little Rotters are passionate about composting and thanks to their dedication composting food waste is now a part of every day school life. In addition, they have even noticed patterns in food waste from the kitchen and have pointed this out to them in the hope that this will be reduced.

Category Winner– Lyn Wonnacott and The Green Team, St Davids Primary School
 Lyn Wonnacott and the school Green team (an inspiring group of committed children) work hard to make a real difference to the School environment.  They are dedicated and focussed in their mission to promote sustainable living both in School and at home. Mrs Wonnacott and the Green team engage in activities that improve our way of life, having less of a detrimental impact on the environment both as individuals and as members of society. Recycling is a major part of this work which they promote across the school and local community. They also work proactively as Wildlife Champions, supported by the Devon Wildlife trust. Children are encouraged to learn more about the world around them through exploration and taking practical action such as participating in growing competitions. Both of these groups run as extra Curricular activities with Mrs Wonnacott and pupils giving up their free time during lunchtime, afterschool and occasional weekend activities.


Your Recycling Hero (Friend, Family Member, Neighbour or Local Recycling Champion)


Runner Up - Mandy Jennings from Ottery

Mandy has managed to keep Otter Rotters going against the odds. She has been a champion for Otter Rotters and what it stands for. Not just recycling garden waste, but employing people with learning difficulties and helping the elderly in the community cope with their gardens. She has worked for sometime without drawing a salary because she cares a great deal about Otter Rotters and her team.


Runner Up - Diana Hekt from Exeter

Diana is a prime example of how recycling should be done. In her work in house removals and clearances, she does her best to ensure that all items she receives are sold on or given another lease of life. She passes on some of these items to local community groups such as Waste Not Want Not in Honiton, where they are given away free of charge to those who come to events. She looks out for items that people have asked her for, and is always delighted when she has been able to find “just the right thing” for one of her friends.  She tackles recycling at its root, at home, at work, and in the wider community.  She refuses to buy new unless she really has to, she re-uses and rehomes anything she doesn't need and then recycles what’s left.  Diana also volunteers and her passion for recycling and environmental issues is reflected here too. She is hard working, enthusiastic and has energy for all things recycling.


Runner Up - Peter Chapman from Newton Abbot

Peter is a compulsive can 'picker upper' and recycler. Whenever he goes for a walk, in the town or countryside (and he walks a lot), he will pick up discarded cans and carry them home (sometimes as many as 20 plus cans). His favourites are 'flatties' that have been squashed by a car but usually he flattens them himself or carries the various miss-shapes home. His family used to be embarrassed at him stooping on the pavement or stepping into the road to retrieve a can but now they are proud of him.  They have even started 'picking up' themselves!  Pete has been doing this for the past 6 - 7 years and in that time he must have picked up thousands of cans. He is passionate about wildlife, conservation and recycling and sees this as 'just doing his bit'.


Category Winner - Amy Derbyshire from Newton Abbot

Amy is a Childminder but is also known as the Recycle Queen. Her black bin has only one small bag of rubbish in it every two weeks. If she can recycle she does and she reuses everything. The children she child minds also learn about recycling.  She has always got bags of time to collect recycling - on the school run or anywhere she walks. Amy reuses material and mends things.  She uses old wallpaper bought from the Recycle Center for painting and drawing then recycles it again. If anything is left behind in her home it is usually deconstructed to reuse all the bits. She is also an amazing teacher of recycling to her child minded children, friends, family and her 4 year o!d daughter who tells you off if you put the wrong thing in the bin! Amy was ubable to attend on the day, but her award was presented to her by Teignbridge District Council's Executive Spokesman for Environmental Services, Councillor Kevin Lake.

Community Group Recycling Hero


Runner Up - Andy Schiach and his Cats (Community Action Team) from Exeter

Andy is the leader of the charity youth project WASP (Wonford & St Pauls ) based at the Old Post Office In Wonford, Exeter.  The “Cats” consist of young people from the Wynstream Primary Shool in Burnthouse Lane, Exeter. Andy and the "Cats" go out into the community tidying up elderly or vunerable resident’s gardens, every time coming back with a rather large bag of debris which is mulched into compost for a later date. This merry band of children bring laughter and merriment as well as hard work to the daily life of local residents. Under Andy's skill full eye and with support from the School they defiantly make a difference to go the extra mile to help others and recycle.


Runner Up - Charles Mossman from Crediton

Charles is a keen member of the Waste Action Group in Sustainable Crediton. He initiated a satellite plastic recycling scheme in Cheriton Fitzpaine in 2013 and has now organised 12 collections to date, as well as helping with the regular plastic recycling collections in Crediton. The collection at Cheriton Fitzpaine has grown from an initial 3 dumpy bags to 13 now being regularly collected on a bi-monthly basis. This amounts to around one quarter of a tonne of plastic and the number of bags collected would fill two double decker buses! Charles not only manages the scheme but he also educates people to separate out the rigid and black plastic from the rest so that any income can be maximised. He is an avid recycler and encourages others to do the same.


Category Winner - Delia Kennedy from Uffculme

Delia enthusiastically encourages friends and neighbours to recycle. She collects, sorts and delivers plastic to the local Recycling Centre from the neighbours in her road and regularly collects rubbish and discarded drink cans from around the village.  Over the last few years Delia has been pivotal in raising recycling awareness amongst the people of Uffculme and surrounding villages. She has inspired and galvanised local people into making efforts to recycle and be aware of green issues as a way of life. Delia is modest and self effacing but has a quiet inner strength that motivates others. In May 2014 Delia virtually single-handedly organised the Uffculme Green Day, which was opened by Matt Woodley from Radio Devon and was a tremendous success. Delia is keen to pursue other initiatives for Uffculme such as the banning of plastic bags in local shops, eliminating the sale of single use plastic water bottles, establishing a community car sharing group and using a bin ‘doctor’ to educate people about what can be recycled.


Small Business Champion

Runner Up - Karen and Steve Woodman from Londis in Woolacombe

Karen and Steve have recently initiated a carrier bag reuse and recycling policy at Londis.  People are encouraged to reuse their carrier bags or return them for others to use. Londis also recycle packaging wherever possible and save plastic yoghurt pot trays to use for local events to transport cupcakes.  Karen and Steve also get really involved in all community based initiatives and charity events. Karen and Steve were ubable to attend on the day, but their award was presented to them by North Devon DC Councillor Rodney Cann, Devon CC Councillor Andrea Davis and Principal Waste Manager Annette Dentith.


Runner Up - Steve Cane from South West Composting

Since 2012 Steve has enabled the community of Brixton to use his Composting facilities and raise money for the local parish. South West Composting Ltd is working in association with Brixton Parish Council. The benefit of this scheme is that avoided landfill costs for the village can be reclaimed from the County Council. For every tonne of green waste collected, the village can claim £56, which can then be used for the benefit of the local community. Since 2012 this has generated over £4,000 which has been used in the local community for Environmental Initiatives.


Category Winner - Sonia Hall and Alexander Hosking from Collectrical CIC

Sonia and Alex work tirelessly to collect electronic equipment that would be landfilled. They strip down each computer, laptop, printer, mouse, keyboard and recycle every single piece of it.  Where they can, equipment is rebuilt and brought up-to-date with the latest software. This is so that it can then be donated to a local charity, School, community group or an individual on limited means, thereby supporting whom ever they can in the community. Sonia and Alex don't take a wage from Collectrical but they are completely dedicated to building up an organisation which benefits both the community and the environment.


Recycling Hero for Devon


Lyn Wonnacott and The Green Team, St Davids Primary School