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Rebecca Pow backs Taunton recyclers

09th August 2016

In late July Rebecca Pow, Member of Parliament for Taunton Deane, rolled up her sleeves and spent an afternoon with UK leading recycler Viridor, visiting the Taunton Recycling Centre, Reuse Shop and HQ on the front line of British recycling.

The Recycling Centre in Priorswood hosts a number of operations, focusing on recycling as much as possible and Viridor works with the Somerset Waste Partnership to help Taunton to recycle 78% of materials brought to the site last month.

Rebecca met with Viridor’s Contracts Supervisor and local resident, Richard Stent and his team. The group also visited the site’s innovative ‘Reuse Shop’ where local residents can pick up a broad range of bargains from antiques to kitchen doors and even the odd tennis racket!

The local MP toured Viridor’s UK headquarters which co-ordinates essential UK recycling services across the country. Rebecca learned that Viridor has grown from its South-West heritage to become one of the UK’s largest resource management companies, currently investing £1.5bn and supporting over 3,000 professional, graduate, skilled, and entry roles across the country.

Graduates like Emma Wood, also from Taunton have been undertaking a two-year fast-track development programme learning about all aspects of the business and currently is spending time in the Corporate Responsibility team.

Emma summarised her time with Viridor: “Having studied Biology at Plymouth University, I’ve been fascinated by sustainability and green energy for some time. Being able to continue my development on the Viridor graduate programme enables me to learn about the workplace environment in the South West, in the last few months I have worked with the landfill, energy and communications departments.”

Rebecca Pow, Member of Parliament for Taunton Deane said of the visit: “I was fascinated to be able to spend an afternoon learning more about what Viridor does to help boost recycling rates in the UK. We need to do all we can to encourage people to recycle and use resources efficiently and Viridor help us to do just that. I want to see the UK move towards a ‘zero waste economy’ where resources are fully valued, financially and environmentally. This means we reduce, reuse and recycle all we can, and throw things away only as a last resort. Being based in Taunton, there is also a diverse range of employment opportunities and I was pleased to meet with the newly formed Telesales team based opposite the cricket ground in Viridor House. We then visited the Priorswood Household Waste Recycling Centre where I met Richard and his team along with members of the community making use of the facility.”

Dan Cooke, Director of External Affairs for Viridor added: “Welcoming Rebecca to our Taunton sites was a fantastic opportunity. We hope the experience of seeing first-hand how the communities in Taunton are recycling their unwanted material will be useful. We welcome graduates, schools and communities to open their eyes to the possibilities in a rapidly changing sector and being able to showcase what happens at our Headquarters and Priorswood is vitally important for employment prospects too, we employ around 400 people in the Taunton area and represent a major employer for the town.”

For more information about how our colleagues are helping Viridor give resources new life, or our current vacancies please our careers page.

Image captions: Rebecca Pow, MP for Taunton Deane met with Steve Wigg at the Priorswood Reuse Shop to discover how unwanted items are being given a new life and with the Viridor Priorswood team.

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