Aug 03, 2018

First Mile wins top green UK Award

Words by Joe Allen

We are delighted to announce that First Mile won a top UK Award recognising our ‘Sacktory®’ which was voted Green Infrastructure Project of 2018 at the BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2018.

The BusinessGreen Leaders Green Infrastructure Award was a very competitive category and on the night we were up against 9 other excellent shortlisted candidates. The judges justified their decision as follows:

"In another highly competitive category, First Mile's state-of-the-art sack-sorting facility - or Sacktory® - won out thanks to its stellar green credentials and impressive performance that has already saved 125,000 KGs of CO2 emissions and helped smash the Mayor's 65 per cent recycling target for London, 12 years ahead of schedule"

We have revolutionised the way waste is collected by building the UK’s first sack-sorting facility. The Sacktory® (as it’s affectionately known) has increased London’s business recycling rates at the same time as minimising vehicle emissions – providing solutions to two high-profile problems in London – poor air quality and declining recycling rates. The Sacktory® has prevented 250 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the last 12 months and helped First Mile reach the Mayor’s 65% recycling target for London, 12 years ahead of schedule.

News about tackling our single-use plastic addiction has reached fever pitch, but it’s less documented that London burns over half its waste. In 2017 two million tonnes of waste were sent to incineration – this number has doubled in the last decade. With reports that some London councils are recycling as little as 18% of their waste, a huge amount of good recyclable material is being dumped in to incinerators when it could be recovered to feed a circular economy.

First Mile’s vision is to create a world where we can recycle everything. We are well on the way to achieving this with 16 recycling streams and many of our customers are recycling nearly all of their waste.

Consolidating multiple recycling stream collections on to fewer trucks and diverting them to our Sacktory® means all recyclable materials can be salvaged before they are bulk-hauled to recycling centres for processing.

Less vehicles on the road collecting more tonnage means less waste is incinerated, more recycling is achieved, and London's air is improved for all Londoners.

By Joe Allen

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