West Suffolk: trailblazer initiative to boost recycling
07 Feb 2024
West Suffolk has become the first council in the country to get behind an initiative to increase recycling and support local businesses.
The council has teamed up with Love Newmarket Business Improvement District (BID), The Guineas Shopping Centre, Abbeycroft Leisure, Eastern Education Group, Our Bury St Edmunds BID and Trovr to deliver four reverse vending machines; two in Newmarket and two in Bury St Edmunds. Trovr uses a smartphone app to incentivise recycling through points-based rewards which can then be spent in local businesses. The goal is to increase recycling rates and reduce litter.
The new reverse recycling machines can be found outside The Guineas Shopping Centre, Newmarket Leisure Centre, and West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds. A fourth machine will be installed in Bury St Edmunds town centre once a site has been secured.
West Suffolk Council has invested £3,000 towards the six-month trial, with further funding secured from both the Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds BIDs. The Guineas, Abbeycroft and Eastern Education Group are contributing ‘in-kind’ by providing locations, power, as well as the responsibility for cleaning and emptying the machines.
Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds are the first towns to trial the machines, if successful there is the possibility that the machines will be trialled across more of West Suffolk.
The UK government has announced that from 2025, a Deposit Return Scheme is to be introduced across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. By working with Trovr, West Suffolk residents will be ahead of the curve in using such a scheme.
There will be a launch event at The Guineas Shopping Centre on Friday 9 February from 12 – 2pm, to promote the scheme and engage with members of the public to explain and show them how the machines and app work.
Cllr Cliff Waterman, Leader of West Suffolk Council said, "West Suffolk is pioneering as the first council in England to implement this unique project. It is brilliant that, in collaboration with partners, we have successfully introduced these machines to West Suffolk. The project puts West Suffolk at the forefront of environmental innovation and is just one part of the work we're doing to tackle the climate crisis.
“It encourages greater recycling by our residents which can only be positive in terms of reducing waste and boosting our environmental resilience. And by rewarding residents with money off to spend at local businesses, this will also support the gradual and sustainable growth of our local economy."
Natalie Robinson, Manager of Love Newmarket BID said, “Love Newmarket BID are thrilled to be part of this initiative which will raise awareness of the importance of sustainability in our town, whilst also supporting our businesses with increased footfall opportunities.”
Ross McKittrick, Centre Manager for The Guineas Shopping Centre said, “As the manager of Guineas Shopping Centre, I'm truly exhilarated to embark on this groundbreaking journey with Trovr's Reverse Vending Machine trial. Our commitment to sustainability is paramount, and this partnership represents a significant step forward in our efforts to encourage recycling within our community. Together, we're pioneering innovative solutions to reduce waste and protect our environment for future generations.
“Through the Trovr Rewards app, we're proud to give back to our community in meaningful ways. Every interaction with the app not only fosters sustainable habits but also unlocks rewards that benefit consumers and businesses.”
Warren Smyth, Chief Executive Officer of Abbeycroft Leisure said, “Abbeycroft are really pleased to be involved in this project that supports recycling in such an innovative way. It is great to be working with a range of partners with similar interests to bring this opportunity to West Suffolk and we hope our customers and visitors maximise the use of the machines.”
A spokesperson for the Eastern Education Group said, “We are delighted to be part of this new recycling initiative. Our mission is to work collaboratively to adopt and speed up sustainability across all our colleges and campuses.
“Therefore, it’s great that we are one of only four sites in the UK to pilot this revolutionary new reverse vending machine scheme. It will help engage our students to continue to join us on our sustainable journey.”
Nick Yeatman, Chief Executive Officer of Trovr said, “As champions of innovation and environmental responsibility, Trovr is thrilled to partner with West Suffolk Council in launching a visionary rewards-for-recycling trial. This initiative serves a dual purpose—preparing the local community for the upcoming National Deposit Return scheme and pushing the boundaries of recycling of single use drink containers with digital rewards. By combining technology with environmental consciousness, we aim to inspire meaningful change and create a blueprint for the future of recycling.
“This trial not only reflects our commitment to sustainability but also positions us at the forefront of the digital evolution within the recycling industry. Together with the local council, we are shaping a more sustainable and connected community.”