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Scottish Waste & Resources Awards showcase smart working & innovation

22 Oct 10 From food waste minimisation to kerbside collection design, there was plenty of innovation to applaud in the 2010 Scottish Waste & Resources Awards, held recently in Glasgow.

Now in their 9th year, the awards recognise outstanding achievements in the waste and resource management sector in Scotland, covering the private, public and community sector. On the night, following a prestigious industry dinner, the five deserving winners stepped up to the podium to receive their awards from Scottish broadcaster and writer Sally Magnusson.

The Best Private Sector Initiative award went to Aberdeen-based Keenan Recycling Ltd for developing an innovative commercial food waste collection service. Working in partnership with larger waste management contractors who are already their customers, KRL provided them with a food waste collection service that they could brand as their own. Since the launch in April 2010, the collection service has grown to cater for over 60 companies, including oil companies such as Shell and BP, major hotels, the Aberdeen exhibition and conference centre, Northlink Ferries, and every university and college in Aberdeen.

Fife Council took the Best Local Authority Initiative award for undertaking trials of three different kerbside waste collection options to determine which, if any, could lead to significant improvements in recycling/composting. Having set itself a recycling and composting target of 60% by 2015, against a 2008/09 performance of 43%, the Council realised that if it were to meet its this target improvements to kerbside collection services would be required. The preferred option, which delivered a 67.5% recycling rate in the trials and scored a 90% satisfaction rating from the participating householders, will be rolled out to over 145,000 houses over 3 to 4 years, beginning this month.

Winner of the Best Community Sector Initiative was Changeworks for its Kitchen Canny household food waste prevention project. Currently piloting in Edinburgh, the Lothians and Borders, the project is funded by INCREASE III, City of Edinburgh Council and Scottish Borders Council and the aim is for 3,000 households to take part in a Kitchen Canny Action Kit which gives them the tools and ideas to look at their own kitchen, the waste it generates and how they might reduce it.

The recruitment of households for this project is led by community organisations across the area and Changeworks partners with these groups, providing training and supporting their efforts and ideas. A Facebook page and an interactive website have been used to link the "Canny community" and enable sharing of ideas, and the average reduction reported is 53% over one month.

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Changing behavior was also a focus of the submission by Binn Skips Ltd and St John's Shopping Centre, Perth, who won the Best Partnership Initiative Award for jointly developing a more efficient and cost effective way of dealing with the Centre's waste disposal and to double recycling rates.

Owned by BAE Systems Pension Funds Trustees Ltd, the Centre is home to over 40 retailers generating over 243 tonnes of waste per year. Following a waste audit conducted by Binn Skips when they took over the waste contract, measures were introduced that have increased recycling to an impressive 80% of total waste produced (compared to 40.60% in 2009), achieved overall waste volume reduction and cut costs. By 2014, the Centre aspires to achieve zero waste to landfill.

The final winner was the Scotch Whisky Association, which won the award for Best Non-waste Management Sector Initiative for developing an ambitious environmental sustainability strategy with its members.

Shaped over two years in partnership with industry specialists third-party experts and stakeholders, the strategy aligns the individual ambitions of the Association's member companies and focuses on a range of issues including: reducing reliance on fossil fuels by 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050; reducing average weight of packaging by 10% by 2010; ensuring that by 2020 40% of packaging used is from recycled sources and all our packaging will be recyclable; zero waste from packaging operations to landfill by 2020; sourcing whisky casks from sustainable wood; and maintaining the highest standards of water use and discharge management.

The Scottish Waste & Resources Awards are part of the Scottish Waste & Resources Conference, an annual two day conference and exhibition, which this year focused on 'Zero Waste Scotland: Opportunities and Challenges'. 

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