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Priorswood Recycling Centre recognised for its excellence

21st May 2015

Taunton’s Priorswood Recycling Centre was recognised for its excellence this week when it was shortlisted at the prestigious Lets Recycle Awards for Excellence in the best Civic Amenity Site of the Year category.

Priorswood Recycling Centre is one of 16 Recycling Centres operated by Viridor on behalf of Somerset Waste Partnership across the County.

In the past year, visitor numbers to Priorswood have risen to almost 240,000 and recycling at the site has increased to 77.6%.

Judges were impressed with the site, which includes a Reuse Shop that is saving Somerset residents thousands of pounds in reprocessing costs, and in its first year saw 119 tonnes of goods including 537 bicycles, 170 doors, 35 wheelbarrows and two manual sewing machines.

They were also interested to hear about the Queue Cams, which mean Visitors to Priorswood no longer have to face long queues when they arrive, as they can check the live Queue Cam before setting off from home or en-route on mobile devices. Over 10,000 unique visitors have viewed the Queue Cam in the past 12 months with reportedly shorter queues at traditionally peak times

The site also scored highly in its work with the local community for its partnership with Bridgwater College. For the past 3-years Viridor has been providing young people with learning difficulties an opportunity to gain work experience at the site. 12-week placements provide practical training and mentoring enabling disadvantaged 18-20 year-olds the opportunity to gain confidence and skills in the workplace.

In addition, a partnership with the local job centre provides similar supported placements to individuals who have struggled to find or hold down jobs.

The training and support provided through these opportunities has enabled several of the candidates to find long-term employment within the industry and beyond.

The submission also recognised the support the team had given to the local community after the 2014 floods by providing free skips, containers and haulage to the worst affected areas. 432 skips and over £10,000 of gift-in-kind were provided to help the clear up operation.

Somerset Waste Partnership Managing Director Steve Read said: “It’s brilliant and fitting that Taunton Recycling Centre was a finalist in one of the industry’s top awards for excellence and innovation. This recognises the commitment and sheer hard work of many dedicated staff to help Somerset’s residents and businesses recycle more, waste less and save money.

Viridor Operations Manager – Somerset, Mike Griffin said “We have worked hard to implement changes to maximise recycling opportunities and make visitor’s trips to the site as smooth and rewarding as possible. I’d like to thank the team at Priorswood for their hard work and dedication.”

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