Keeping Britain Tidy sits well within the ethos of LARAC, so it was a great pleasure for Lee Marshall and I to meet up with KBT’s CEO and Deputy CEO, Alison Ogden-Jones and Richard McIlwain at the end of April – we talked about how our two organisations could work together and considered the benefits to our local authority members, emphasising the benefits of recycling and myth busting. We explored other areas of common interest which I hope to report back on in the future.
The meeting with KBT pre-empted a very busy spring and early summer, which began with my first Scotland Conference in early May, in Glasgow with Lee and our Scottish rep, Stratton MacDonald. It was a delight to see first-hand what a thriving event this has grown to be, so well attended by our Scotland members, who also benefit from a busy exhibition. The contrast between the policy driven presentations and the hands-on case studies from local authorities and their partners in service delivery was just the mix needed for delegates to get a full and practical view of their situation within the government driven policies. Stratton has always been a terrific lead in the delivery of this event, and it is a sadness to us at LARAC that he will be retiring in September and this will have been his last Scotland Conference; this made me even more pleased to have been able to attend this one. In the not too distant future, we will be looking for a replacement Scotland LARAC Rep – they’ll be big shoes to fill but nothing Scotland members cannot deal with!
Getting around the country and exploring alliances for the benefit of LARAC members is part of the Chair’s job and meeting with the ESA following the launch of their report exploring the opportunities of EfW in the context of the Circular Economy and the upcoming Waste Strategy, was a part of that. Getting the LA position across was part of the work here for Lee Marshall and myself, and whilst, at the moment, we can’t report from the meetings we will keep up the work and report back when possible.
Keeping DEFRA informed about local authority capabilities, responsibilities and constraints ahead of the forthcoming Resources and Waste Strategy has seen us working on different workshops as DEFRA gear up for the strategy’s launch later this year. I was present at a workshop on DRS back in June, and again, this is something I cannot report on in detail, but it is good to be able to tell our members that our invitation to inform DEFRA on your behalf means you have a voice at the table, and it is the voice of serving local authority recycling officers.
Judging and attending the National Recycling Awards was a bit of light relief (though quite a body of work in itself!) and a great opportunity to celebrate innovation in the industry – this contrasted starkly with my work on the WasteDataFlow User group – you can read my report here. Other reports from our Exec can be seen here, as I’m not the only one who has been busy on your behalf in the past few months.