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Published date: 26 September 2022

NLWA shortlisted for three National Recycling Awards

North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has been shortlisted for three awards in the prestigious MRW National Recycling Awards, which recognise innovative and creative ideas in the recycling sector. NLWA is a finalist in the Local Authority Success category as a result of its innovative mattress recycling scheme. The £1.2 billion transformation of Edmonton EcoPark has been shortlisted for Social Value as well as Employee Training and Skills.

With thousands of mattresses discarded in London every year, NLWA launched its ground-breaking mattress recycling service in 2021. Although mattresses are challenging to recycle – due to their size, the sheer number discarded, and because they can contain up to 17 component parts – NLWA in its mission to reduce waste to tackle the Climate Emergency, took the initiative to create a north London-wide scheme to capture the precious resources contained in mattresses such as steel and cotton for a second life in the circular economy.

Once collected, mattresses are deconstructed with components separated. 90% is recycled. Edmonton EcoPark in Enfield takes the remaining, non-recyclable parts and uses them to generate electricity in the energy-from-waste facility at the site. Not one innerspring ends up in landfill!

NLWA recycled more than 67,000 mattresses in just nine months – an achievement now acknowledged by MRW Recycling Awards in their Local Authority Success category. NLWA’s ongoing £1.2 billion transformation of the EcoPark is also in the running for two other awards: Social Value and in a newly announced category, Employee Training and Skills.

One of London’s most significant infrastructure projects in decades, which includes the building of advanced recycling as well as community facilities, NLWA is creating an array of social value initiatives, employee training and skills development including over one hundred apprenticeships, more than 180 training placements, and work experience for sixth-formers.

Since March 2021, Taylor Woodrow, the contractor responsible for building the new recycling facilities at the EcoPark, has delivered more than £9.1M in these apprenticeships, training, local business spend, schools outreach, and charitable work during the construction of the recycling and community facilities. The forthcoming replacement of the EcoPark’s energy-from-waste plant, which is now over 50 years old, with a high-tech facility by renewable energy developer, ACCIONA, will bring millions of pounds more in social value and skills development.

NLWA Chair, Cllr Clyde Loakes, said: “Being a finalist in three categories, is a great acknowledgement by the MRW National Recycling Awards of NLWA’s work to innovate on recycling tricky items like mattresses as well as our commitment to ensure that the redevelopment of Edmonton EcoPark brings real, long-term career benefits and opportunities to local residents.”

Winners of the MRW National Recycling Awards will be announced on 6 December 2022.