Council’s excellence award

Compere Noel Thompson, left, with Larne Deputy Mayor Cllr Mark McKinty; chief executive Geraldine McGahey; Mayor, Cllr Gerardine Mulvenna; Elaine Smith, environmental services officer; Caolan Woods, operations director, NWP; Philip Thompson, director of environmental services, LBC; and Golda Burrows, Sustainable Ireland. INLT 39-632-CON
Compere Noel Thompson, left, with Larne Deputy Mayor Cllr Mark McKinty; chief executive Geraldine McGahey; Mayor, Cllr Gerardine Mulvenna; Elaine Smith, environmental services officer; Caolan Woods, operations director, NWP; Philip Thompson, director of environmental services, LBC; and Golda Burrows, Sustainable Ireland. INLT 39-632-CON

LARNE Borough Council has won the Council Award for Excellence in Waste Management 2012 at the annual Sustainable Ireland Awards.

Delighted local representatives were presented with the much coveted award, sponsored by NWP Recycling, at a glittering ceremony at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast.

The award recognises great strides made by the environmental services department in increasing recycling rates, after setting itself some ambitious targets.

In recent times the council has secured funding to introduce new sites and services, invested in new technologies, spent time educating householders and invested in staff training.

Three initiatives have had a big impact on increasing recycling rates – the introduction of a kerbside glass collection service to 5,000 residents; establishing a new household recycling centre (HRC) in the south of the borough to divert more waste from landfill; and the reprocessing of residual household waste collected at HRC sites.

Two years ago, Larne Council’s recycling rate was 40 per cent. It is currently 51 per cent and the target is 65 per cent by 2020. Of the 26 councils in Northern Ireland, Larne has achieved the second-highest increase in recycling rates over the past year alone.

Director of environmental services Philip Thompson said: “The contribution made by householders in helping Council achieve this award through their recycling efforts is recognised. In addition, Council have shown initiative and commitment to securing and delivering close to £0.5 million external funding over the past two years, identifying new solutions to waste and investing in the training of staff to various NVQ levels in waste management”.

The annual awards competition is organised by the Hillsborough-based publishers of Sustainable Ireland, 4Square Media, and is now widely regarded as the premier event in the Irish environmental, waste management and energy sectors.