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Thank You Awards 2018

Thank You Awards

The 5th Recycle Devon Thank You awards ceremony was held on 16th March 2018 and brought together heroes from all across Devon. The shortlisted candidates from each category received a recycled glass trophy, created by Glass Reform and enjoyed a cream tea kindly sponsored by Alupro.


People's Choice Hero

The public were asked to choose thier overall recycling hero from the shortlised nominees. The people's choice hero has been chosen – and it goes to, West Devon Borough Council Recycle Round 5 who won the vote for their hard work, dedication and going above and beyond the call of duty to help residents with their recycling collections. Over 1200 votes were cast and they recieved an impressive 25% of the vote.

Winner: West Devon Borough Council Recycle Round 5

Since this crew went to work on the round two years ago, they have improved the service   in every aspect receiving many compliments from the public! Residents have commented on the helpfulness and friendliness of the staff and have gone as far to say they are the best in the country! They have been commended for their hard work and exceptional ability to navigate down narrow roads. They often go above and beyond their call of duty and have managed incidents including helping out other collection rounds that have been stuck in traffic.

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

Runner Up - Yealmpton Crew
The collection crew that serve the Yealmpton Area have been nominated by local residents for their helpfulness. They have been particularly helpful to some of the elderly residents and have helped with large branches that the residents have struggled to handle themselves.

Runner Up - West Devon Borough Council Recycle Round 5
Since this crew went to work on the round two years ago, they have improved the service   in every aspect receiving many compliments from the public! Residents have commented on the helpfulness and friendliness of the staff and have gone as far to say they a
re the best in the country! They have been commended for their hard work and exceptional ability to navigate down narrow roads. They often go above and beyond their call of duty and have managed incidents including helping out other collection rounds that have been stuck in traffic.

Winner - Exeter MRF Team
Day in, day out the Exeter MRF team sort recycling materials put out by Exeter residents. They are a dedicated team that, whatever the weather, stand at their stations in the sorting plant and sort through the material collected, sometimes it is not very nice as people put the wrong things in the bin. They are often a forgotten part of the recycling process and deserve recognition for their part in helping Exeter to recycle. Click to vote!

School/Educational Establishment Recycling Hero (Adult)

Runner Up - Lyn Wonnacott
Lyn runs the school green team and is always encouraging the staff and children to recycle. Lyn takes any glass to the bottle bank and always makes the effort to recycle no matter what. She inspires pupils to look after the planet and do all they can to be as green as possible.

Winner - Nigel Rowtcliff
Nigel is a fantastic advocate for spreading the recycling message at Great Torrington School. He collects all the waste paper to be recycled throughout the school, has installed blue boxes to collect plastic bottles in classrooms, encourages others to think about what they are throwing away, and to reuse as much as possible. He has also had a composter installed within the school grounds. Nothing is ever too much trouble for him, he will save tins for projects, separate old sketch book pages from plastic covers and will always give advice about recycling if asked. He really is a recycling hero and every school should have a 'Nigel'!

Your Recycling Hero (Child)

Winner - Harvey Bates
Ever since he was very very little, Harvey has recycled and had a passion for helping put the boxes out for collection, gardening and generally taking a very keen interest in how and what we do with our waste. For many years now, if anyone ever asks him what job he would like to do when he is older, he has always said, "To drive the refuse lorry or sort the recycling". Harvey is a great role model for his age group and as an individual doing it because he loves it - he is a true Devon Recycling Hero!

Your Recycling Hero (Adult)

Runner Up - Barry Critchlow, Devon Norse - Exeter
Being happy in your work is always a great thing, but Barry is not only happy, he makes everyone around him happy too. Barry is a cleaner and could just empty the bins, but he doesn't, he has a rummage and finds lots of things that really should not be thrown away. Barry is like a rubbish Father Christmas, with his black sack full of treats for any staff member with a stomach to 'reuse' an apple with a bruise. In the blink of an eye, a mixed bin is sorted into reuse and recycled without a grumble or hint of self-appreciation. Barry doesn't have to do this, but he does and he is a hero.

Runner Up - Liz Saunders
Liz is an example to the entire community in her recycling efforts. She goes out of her way to find out how to recycle things that can't be put in the kerbside recycling. Examples are tetra paks, black and other plastics, Nespresso capsules, printer cartridges, and wrapping paper. She also avoids creating waste and never accepts carrier bags if offered it in a shop. She refuses all sorts of things - plastic food containers, shoe boxes, bubble wrap, glass jars, drinks bottles, soap dispensers, etc. She will never dispose of anything that can be reused, recycled, given to someone else or taken to a charity shop. At work in retailing she goes out of her way to ensure that waste is recycled too!

Runner Up - Caspar Hughes
Caspar is passionate about climate change and part of this is shown in his attitude to recycling and reusing. Since moving back to Exeter he has made a concerted effort to buy food with little or no packaging, thereby reducing the burden on recycling services. Any packaging is recycled or reused i.e. jars for homemade jams and chutney. He always brings his own bags shopping and now only buys clothes from second hand shops. He lives by the leat on the quay and uses the water from the leat to water his tomatoes not wasting tap water.

Runner Up - Pam Rice, Turntable
Pam works for Turntable who are based in Exeter.  Turntable reuses donated household items to families that are in need.  Pam and the team are doing some amazing work helping those who find themselves in very difficult circumstances. They treat everyone with dignity and respect. They are constantly inventive and creative in finding ways to keep their charity afloat so they can continue to offer this excellent service.


Winner - Jen Harris Exeter Babies
Jen is an inspirational recycler who is known as ‘Plastic Free Jen’. She is very passionate and dedicated to reducing, reusing and recycling! Jen runs Exeter Babies and works tirelessly to encourage and support parents in choosing to avoid disposable nappies and opt for reusable alternatives; she is always willing to problem shoot if anyone is having issues! Her commitment to cloth nappies and changing the culture of new mums is phenomenal. She is passionate about reducing her black bin waste as much as possible and inspires others to cut down on the waste they produce. She successfully promoted the Plastic Free July campaign and shared inspirational hints and tips.

Community Group Recycling Hero

Runner up - Sustainable South Brent Community Composting Project
The Marsh Community Compost Site in South Brent have been nominated for the brilliant work they do. The project is overseen by Sustainable South Brent and is open for villagers to bring any amount of their green waste which they can exchange for compost. The fantastic project manages many tonnes of garden waste and provides a vital service to people who cannot easily access their local Recycling Centre. Furthermore the project brings people together and creates vital links within the community.

Runner up - Exeter Repair Cafe
Exeter Repair Café was founded in 2017 by a group of committed community members under the capable leadership of Jude Dimunates. Jude and her friends were inspired by the Repair Café concept on a day out in Exmouth and were determined to bring the same to Exeter. Launched in February 2017, at St Sidwell's Community Centre, the event has run over 10 times and has welcomed over 250 members of the community who have brought over 350 items for the skilled volunteer mending team to take a look at all for a voluntary donation. The menders have managed to fix almost 250 household items in total - ranging from electricals to bikes to clothing and even a tumble dryer! At least 10 menders have shown their support each month - many of them regulars, enabling Exeter Repair Café to go from strength to strength. New dates are already scheduled for 2018.

Runner Up - Ali Way Scrapstore
Jenny Aherne runs the Ali – Way Community Scrapstore in Brixham. The scrapstore reuses unwanted materials for arts and crafts activities, primarily for schools and nurseries, however it is open to anyone. The store is run by volunteers with learning difficulties which provides them with meaningful work experience. Reused materials are available to buy and hire, and they also run craft workshops for all abilities. It’s a super enterprise!


Winner - Tiverton Area Communities in Transition
Throughout 2017, Tiverton Area Communities in Transition (TACT) ran a wide range of engaging and well attended community events encouraging and supporting the people of Tiverton and surrounding villages to reduce, reuse and recycle. These included 2, 4-day Give and Take events in Tiverton where hundreds of people came to donate, swap or take unwanted items. The Tiverton Repair Café has attracted increasing followers and repaired 37 items at their event in October. Another new group set up by TACT is ‘ReROOTed’ which runs a monthly ‘pay as you feel café’ that uses surplus food from local shops and farms. Furthermore, over 25 cafes shops and venues have been signed up to the Refill Devon scheme in the Mid Devon area.

Small Business Champion

Runner Up - Margarita Shivarova
Maggie works at AES consultancy and has been voluntarily challenging employees’ habits and attitudes towards recycling to reduce the company’s waste by over half. Her efforts include carrying out monthly waste audits, spreading the word on what is recyclable or praising employees for separating the film from squash plastic bottles. She believes everyone should think about what gets disposed of at work which can sometimes be negligible for a small company. For this reason, her strategy also involves organising charity donation events in the office and promoting the benefits of car sharing.

Runner Up -Stuart Lethbridge
Since Stuart started to run Cuming Containers he has worked tirelessly to reduce the amount of the waste in South Hams being sent for disposal. As well as recycling from the skips, he ensures the correct materials go in the green waste recycling area and checks the office waste recycling.

Winner - David Banks, Refurnish Devon
David banks heads up Refurnish Devon who support low income families across the region through the chain of shops offering reused furniture to those in need. Taking furniture that whilst perfectly useable might have otherwise ended up being disposed of. Their ethos of helping the local community coupled with their social aims to help train and empower their workforce, allowing them to overcome any issues they might have faced.

Recycling Centre Operative Staff

Runner Up - Proper Job
Proper job is a fantastic community organisation in the heart of Chagford. They have workshops on upcycling and composting, have compost available to buy and will take garden waste to be composted. They are always very helpful and happy to offer advice. Furthermore, they support local initiatives, like sports projects, late night shopping and educate people to reduce the amount they throw away. They are a treasure of the community.

Winner - Charlie Holding, Suez
Charlie works at Barnstaple recycling centre. He is a helpful, polite young man who is always friendly and strives to recycle as much as possible. He often goes above and beyond his call of duty and remains happy and hardworking in all weathers.