The eco-minded team at the Harvey Centre in Harlow has received a silver ‘Zero Waste Award’ for its contribution to the environment.
The coveted awards, which are open to the private, public and community sector, aim to recognise organisations that are committed to reaching their goal of sending zero waste to landfills.
Entries are judged by a panel of environmental experts including John Woodruff, chairman of the National Association of Waste Disposal Officers (NAWDO), and Steve Eminton, editor of www.letsrecycle.com.
The Harvey Centre – which boasts 350,000sq ft of retail space, has 726 car parking spaces, welcomes 13m visitors a year and has a total footprint of nearly 1m sq ft – was praised for implementing its own zero landfill strategy a year ago and for the positive results that have been achieved to date.
Over the past 12 months, 379 tonnes of waste produced by the centre was diverted to recyclers, with the remainder going to energy from waste facility. This evolution was helped by swapping single-use public bins for all waste produced for a new, three-part segregation model (plastic, paper/card and general waste).
The centre has also been working closely with local charity Phoenix Resources, which collected abandoned stock and furniture following shop clearances. Anything that can be re-used is then made available to schools, other good causes and even the Essex Police.
Bryan Young, centre manager, said: “Protecting the environment is a key priority for us at The Harvey Centre. We’re very proud to have received such a distinction, which is testament to the dedication of our colleagues and retailers to making a positive difference. Working towards zero waste is an ongoing journey and we don’t intend to stop at this achievement. We have plenty other initiatives in our green bag.”