The future’s in safe hands

Filed in Blog by on August 23, 2010 8 Comments
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Nick Price; recycling officer at Tetra Pak

Nick Price; recycling officer at Tetra Pak

Sometimes, when you read the newspaper and hear the TV news, you wonder if the future of the environment is in safe hands.

Fortunately, the future of Tetra Pak recycling is in excellent hands!

Jenny Walden, who you have all met on the site, has gone to pastures new and sitting in her executive chair with “Recycling Officer” on the door is Nick Price. Nick arrived at Tetra Pak from Wrexham Borough Council, where he was their first recycling officer. When he took the job with the council they had no kerbside collections, no local authority Bring Banks and their recycling rate was 6%!

By the time he had spent 7 years working his magic, he and his team had bought the recycling levels up to a very healthy 42%. Nick is clearly a man who keeps his promise to deliver change in waste management.

So now he’s had a chance to suss out the best coffee machine in the building, how is Nick intending to while away his hours at Tetra Pak? His target is to drive kerbside collections of Tetra Pak cartons sky high. He is working closely with Local Authorities and liaising with their recycling officers to help them introduce kerbside collections in their area.

Like us, Nick is solutions based. His job is to support Local Authority recycling officers, create case studies to show working infrastructures in order to help other areas and to find ways to make kerbside collections easy and a quick fix.

Some of the issues local authorities face are whether kerbside sorted or co-mingled collections are more effective (and how, if they are using kerbside sorted they can introduce another section into their collection vehicles), how Tetra Pak carton recycling can help them achieve weight-based targets, as well as dealing with budget cutbacks and redundancies. Also, if a council is focusing on one particular issue, say food waste, and Tetra Pak recycling is not on their agenda, Nick has to present ways in which adding a Tetra Pak collection can be straight forward and compelling.

He’s clearly a man on a mission; he’s passionate about his work and as said to me several times “I could talk for ages about rubbish” – I think I know what he means 😉

When I pushed him for his ultimate goal he said “I want 80% of local authorities (currently 28.3%) to be collecting Tetra Pak cartons from the kerbside within 3 years”

Phew! And I thought I had high aspirations.

Finally, a huge congratulations to Nick who is now officially a Chartered Waste Manager.

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth’s fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (8)

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  1. LJayne says:

    Lovely to meet you Nick, looking forward to hearing more. I currently take my tetrapaks to my local civic amentiy centre because they won’t collect kerbside. We are about to go to a comingled single wheelie bin and I don’t yet know if they will be allowed in there………………..

  2. Jane says:

    I nominate Oxford City Council as one for him to approach after hearing yesterday of the frustration at the lack of a kerbside Tetrapaks/liquid food carton collection there!

  3. Mrs Green says:

    @LJayne: Hi lesley, exciting to hear about your new recycling from kerbside – be sure to update us!

    @Jane: You know what Jane, I have every confidence Nick is going to do his best. He was totally passionate about his work 😉

  4. Teresa says:

    This is certainly good news! I don’t use many Tetra Pak cartons and what I do go to the recycling centre but I’m sure there must be plenty of people who use alot of them, so I hope our council starts collecting them soon.

  5. Nick says:

    @Jane:

    Hi, this is Nick from the recycling team here at Tetra Pak. According to the information I have, cartons will be included in Oxford’s new co-mingled kerbside recycling collections to be rolled out in October.

  6. Jane says:

    @Nick: Yippee. I hope they also include them in the facilities that they have for flats in Oxford – and/or increase the number of bring banks. I think I saw a grand total of THREE listed on their website!

  7. John Costigane says:

    Nick faces a huge task to raise the percentage and deserves our support since Zero Waste needs good companies to help change the current wasteful system. The local commingled collections have been a huge improvement in participation, and in quantities of recyclables from each household. Further ideas might include link-ups with supermarkets or town centre bring banks.

  8. John says:

    Well, we don’t use Tetra Pak ever, our council don’t recycle the stuff. We even buy fresh orange juice in a plastic bottle (only plastic bottles we do buy), because all other juices come in Tetra Pak’s. And since Sainsbury’s began putting their tinned tomatoes into these cartons, we’ve stopped buying those too.

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