A man from Wibsey in West Yorkshire has been hailed ‘Railway’s Mr Recycling’ for single-handedly filtering over 1,600 bin bags of rubbish for popular recyclables each week.
Dave Anderson, who works for the facilities management company ISS on behalf of the train operator Northern at Bradford Interchange station, has been hard at it for just over a year.
During that time, his efforts have seen the amount of general waste taken away from the station reduce significantly and the ‘filtration hub’ he works from has developed from operating out of the back of a van to a dedicated container workshop alongside the platform.
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Mobile cleaners on the station’s 118 services a day can quickly deposit the average of two bin liners of rubbish per train with Dave for filtration.
Rubbish is then separated into paper, cans, plastics, glass, coffee cups and non-recyclables before being taken away for processing by Northern’s waste management partner, Biffa.
The process launched as a trial in October 2022 and has seen the level of recycling at the station rise from 4% to a peak of 41%.
Commenting on the process during UK Recycle Week (October 16-22), Dave said: “I’m very passionate about recycling and when I heard about this job and the fact it was a trial to see what impact it could have – I knew I wanted to be a part of it. One year on and I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved.”
In relation to the 500 disposable coffee cups he collects each day, Dave has made a particular appeal to customers: “We can only recycle dry waste so if you haven’t finished your drink, please don’t pour ‘the dregs’ into the bin as that contaminates everything else in that bag. Take it with you and pour the contents away before recycling it.”
Mike Roe, safety and environment director at Northern, said: “The trial at Braford Interchange has been a great success and is one of a number of ways our station teams help divert as much waste as possible away from incineration or landfill as well as increasing our sustainability.
“Dave has been integral to that success and has rightly earned the nickname ‘Railway’s Mr Recycling’ for his efforts.”