Prestigious award at ERC

Stephen Ward (centre) celebrates with East Renfrewshire Waste &  Recycling colleagues, John Buchanan and Lyall Rennnie
Stephen Ward (centre) celebrates with East Renfrewshire Waste & Recycling colleagues, John Buchanan and Lyall Rennnie

An East Renfrewshire employee who has worked tirelessly to facilitate increased recycling in the Council area has been recognised with a major award.

Twenty-nine year-old, Stephen Ward, from Neilston scooped the APSE Rising Star Award in Waste and Recycling Services watched by an audience of his peers who were in the Highland town of Aviemore for a Scottish Fleet, Waste and Grounds Services seminar.

Stephen started his career with East renfrewshire Council in 2003, progressing into a business support role in the environment department in 2011.

There he quickly caught the eye of bosses, including East Renfrewshire Cleansing & Waste Strategy Manager, Lyall Rennie, who nominated Stephen for this award.

Lyall says, “Stephen has been a fantastic addition to our team since 2013, performing the role of Waste Strategy Officer where he has made great strides in making it easier for more people to recycle.

“He has introduced efficiencies to the department, such as creating an online payment system for customers wishing to use our services, and has been absolutely exemplary in his approach to increasing recycling rates across the county.”

Stephen led two graduate interns in a project that thoroughly reviewed recycling facilities for communal properties in East Renfrewshire and then proposed a system that has since been introduced to flatted properties throughout the area.

The committed 29 year-old has also been responsible for ensuring the Council complies with the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012, working with East Renfrewshire’s senior management team to invest in a trade waste recycling service to the benefit of local businesses that had been struggling to accommodate additional recycling receptacles at their premises. It is believed that Stephen’s initiatives have also helped cut down on fly-tipping, a blight on many communities locally.

Lyall Rennie continues, “Stephen is a very motivated and enthusiastic team member and is currently shadowing me to further develop his contract management skills.

“I’m confident that Stephen will continue to improve the services we offer and I am sure he will have a long, successful career in the waste and recycling industry lying ahead of him.”

Stephen is currently sitting his final exams for an HNC in Sustainable Resource Management.

To win the top award, Stephen had to triumph over two other waste management professionals, Gillian Wilson from Clackmannanshire Council and Sinead Norwood from North Ayrshire, passionately presenting to a judging panel on his role in the introduction of recycle on-the-go bins in East Ren & his work to raise awareness of the initiative in schools.

Stephen said, “I am really pleased and honoured to have been presented with this award and would like to thank everyone who participated in the projects. I would also like to give a special mention to my colleagues in the Waste Strategy section; without them, this would not have been possible.”