The Belfry Shopping Centre has been shortlisted as a finalist for a prestigious national recycling award after achieving its goal of sending zero rubbish to landfill in 2015.
The Belfry was the first shopping centre in the UK to be presented with environmental management certificate ISO 14001 in 2004 and is well known for its commitment to the Redhill environment, with sustainability programmes which include 100 per cent of electricity from renewable sources, energy-efficient lighting in the centre and car park, and engagement with local community groups and charities in the area.
The Belfry’s outstanding recycling efforts have been recognised in the shortlist for a national award by the Centre’s facilities company, Interserve, which holds annual awards recognising the achievements of people within its group across the UK.
The Belfry reached its target of 50 per cent recycling some years ago, but in early 2015 set itself the challenge of achieving 100 per cent by the end of the year – no mean task when considering the amount of waste cardboard, paper, plastic, cans and glass, plus non-recyclable items, such as food wrappings, that pass through a shopping centre each year.
Helen Smith, assistant facilities manager at the Belfry, commented “Since deciding on our goal that no waste should go to landfill, we have been on quite a journey. We already segregated everything possible, from polythene to fluorescent tubes. The challenge was to find a way to get rid of non-recyclable items in a sustainable way. Instead of using landfill, we now use a waste treatment technology which includes the combustion of waste for recovering energy, with ash from the incinerator harvested for use in aggregates.”