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I am delighted to inform you that Steve has been shortlisted for an award in the Small Business Champion category

Devon’s recycling heroes were celebrated at the Recycle Devon Thank You awards last Thursday at County Hall Exeter and I was delighted to receive an email, at the start of the new year, from Liz Jarvis confirming my nomination for my first recycling award! I was nominated by my long time friend, Torbays Recycling Officer Carol Arthur, who i have known since our early recyclings in the 90s Amazing!
This was now the second annual ceremony to thank outstanding individuals and groups for their hard work in helping to protect Devon’s environment, so you can imagine my excitement that I was to be included. The award is special in Devon as last year it marked the 10 year anniversary of the Don’t Let Devon go to waste campaign and continues to celebrate a consistently high 55% recycling rate for the county.

I am humbled though! On arrival at the event I learnt that there really is an impressive league of dedicated people in Devon who do inspiring, creative, and thankless recycling work and like me, they love it! Not for occasional praise or fleeting recognition but because they believe its right for stable engaged caring communities, or better for healthy happy children, or even pride of the job well done.

Anyone was welcome to attend the event, not only the nominees, and we certainly were made welcome with fresh coffee, tea, and homemade scones and cream! Each nominee was give a floral name tag made from recycled paper embedded with seeds, so that it can be planted after and not wasted. Neat idea!

The Chairman of the Devon Authorities Waste Reduction and Recycling Committee was there to add official weight and proudly open the event. Councillor Mel Lucas said: “The Recycling Thank You awards were created to recognise the unsung recycling heroes across the county. We wanted to say a special Thank You for everything that they do to ensure that Devon does not go to waste. They have not let us down and we have been truly amazed at the enthusiasm and unselfish efforts, that all our winners go to reduce, reuse and recycle. On behalf of the Devon Authorities Waste Reduction and Recycling Committee and personally, I would like to say thank you to you all. You are all winners!’

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Then Heart Radio’s Matt and Caroline from the breakfast show followed with their usual fun banter, and witty anecdotes to give an excellent presentation of the nine category awards:

. Your Recycling Hero (Friend, Family Member, Neighbour or Local Recycling Champion)
. School Recycling Hero (Child)
. School Recycling Hero (Adult)
. Community Group Recycling Hero
. Collection Crew/Operative (Recycling, Garden, Food or Refuse Collector(s))
. Street Cleansers
. Recycling Centre operative/site staff
. Small Business Champion
. Special Award for Innovation

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Category Winner: Daniel Salter, Forches Cross Primary School Barnstaple
Daniel has been described as a fantastic member of the School! Without fail, he goes to the Eco co-ordinator every day to ask if there are any outstanding jobs that need doing. Daniel takes responsibility for the eco-notice board and has enrolled some younger eco-councillors to help him. He shows them how to gather and display information so that the rest of the school can see how well the school is doing with its Green Flag work. Daniel is never short of new ideas to make the School even more eco-friendly and he keeps everyone in School on their toes, including the adults!

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Category Winner: George Tribe, Bratton Fleming Community Primary School
George has worked as a caretaker at the School for the last 21 years. He has lived in the village all his life and he cares very passionately about it. He has reduced his working hours at the school as he is 85 years old, but he still comes into school every morning without fail. He opens up the school for all the staff and then spends an hour or so sorting out the school recycling and food bins ensuring everything is put into its correct place. He is real trouper and the children love him being part of the staff. George’s dedication sends out a fantastic message to the children about how vitally important it is to recycle! After doing his work, he has a mug of tea in the staffroom and then goes on his way.

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Category Winner: Dean Mallon, Otter Rotters
Dean has had a troubled background and has struggled with serious issues for many years which have left him unable to work. This year Dean took a very brave step and approached Otter Rotters offering to volunteer. His confidence was none existent and despite being terrified he started to volunteer on the garden waste scheme rounds. This was challenging for him but he has driven himself to address and overcome his issues. Dean is so committed that he purchased his own safety work wear and paid for physiotherapy so he can be more productive whilst doing this physical job. The improvement in Dean’s well-being is visible and so is his pride at serving the community. His ultimate aim is to get paid employment and he has been doing everything he can to earn a reputation for being hard working and dependable. Furthermore Dean’s interaction and team work with his learning disabled co-workers has made him worthy of recognition – he has done himself, Otter Rotters and the community proud.

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Category Winner: Mike Hollyer, Cleansing Operative, Exeter City Council
Mike was the first operative to pilot the Exeter Looking Good regime in Heavitree, Exeter.
He takes pride in his work and is building a really good rapport with the community that he serves.

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Category Winner: Tom Clark, Seven Brethren Recycling Centre, Barnstaple
Tom has been described as hard working, always polite, courteous and extremely helpful. He is a pleasure to deal with and makes weekly trips to the recycling centre a pleasure as opposed to a chore and he always has a smile on his face.

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Category Winner: Jeff Brown, Aliway Scrapstore, Paignton
Jeff used to be a service user at Hollacombe Community Resource Centre in Paignton but ceased to meet the criteria and could no longer attend the centre. He was always involved with the Aliway Scrapstore based at the centre, so when he left, he decided that he would come in for two days a week under his own steam and volunteer to run the store. He has done this for the last two years and has been a real asset to the store who would struggle to open some days, without his presence.

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Category Winner: Dave Coles, Arena Park Green Group
Dave, a local resident and Chair of Arena Park Green Group is proactive about resolving problems for the whole community. Arena Park Estate in Exeter had a lot of problems with fly tipping of garden waste. Dave formed a Green Group from like-minded residents and collectively they now manage a community composting site for all residents to use. There have been no reported instances of fly tipping and the compost generated is freely given back to the residents. Under Dave’s leadership, the group are planning to encourage residents to compost their kitchen waste and are providing kitchen caddies to households who wish to participate. The group also hope to inspire local children to dispose of waste appropriately to help reduce waste going to landfill and carbon gases.

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Category Winner: Steve Clark, Used2Bee, Torquay
Steve and his wife Jo have been running Used2Bee since the 90s, well before recycling was popular! They sell recycled products and upcycled items from their premises in Torquay and by mail order. With vintage becoming more and more popular, they are really coming into their own. Steve and Jo are both very creative people and make some wonderful products themselves, using ‘rubbish’. Steve really should receive a lifetime achievement award, but he is far too young!

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Category Winner: Geoff Read, Devon and Cornwall Food Association (DCFA)
(Award collected on Geoff’s behalf by Charlie Taylor)
For the last three years the DCFA has been redistributing waste but in-date food from landfill to communities that can make use of it. From rice, flour and tinned food to Christmas turkeys, pheasants and pâté! The DCFA has now ‘recycled’ over 100 tonnes of food and saved communities over £185,000. Geoff who is the company secretary and his team have worked tirelessly to promote this service which now supports over 90 local charities and works with a list of local suppliers that is growing all the time. Geoff also supports the DCFA volunteers through skills training and in promoting the message that food is a valuable commodity that should be recycled and not landfilled. Working in Plymouth and Exeter, the DCFA is currently developing a hub in Bodmin and looking towards expanding its services if a current funding bid is successful.

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Category: Recycling Hero For Devon
Winner: Dean Mallon
The shortlisted candidates from each category received a recycled glass trophy and there was a Bottle of Champagne and trophy for the overall winner.

If you would like more information on the award ceremony, Recycle Devon, or how to get involved please visit the