The winners of the Kirklees Recycling Heroes awards were presented with their trophies by Mayor of Kirklees Clr Masood Ahmed at Huddersfield Town Hall.

Kirklees Council received over 40 nominations for the four awards, all of which were made secretly by members of the public. Winners had to be shown to be going well beyond what would be expected of them as an individual, business or school when it comes to recycling.

Critically, the judges were looking for nominees that were inspiring others to follow their lead in taking steps to tackle climate change and reduce waste.

The award winners were:

Business Recycling Hero Award: Winner, Advance Technical Systems Ltd, Cleckheaton.

The company was nominated for taking steps to ensure all recyclable products are either reduced, reused, or recycled. It is so proactive it has had to request a second recycling bin. It also shares wooden products such as pallets or cable reels with the local community so they can be reused or repurposed.

Dewsbury Community Outreach was named Runner Up with the Grow Refill Store at Skelmanthorpe being Highly Commended.

Recycling Hero Award: Winner, Karen Hill from Slaithwaite.

Karen received several nominations for being the volunteer driving force behind Nields School’s impressive recycling actions. She organises collections and recycling of materials not currently recycled by the local authority, which generates funds for other activities for the pupils. She runs recycling workshops and has developed environmental play areas at the school.

Sue Heywood from Golcar was named Runner-up, with Amanda Leonard from Linthwaite being Highly Commended.

School Recycling Hero Award: Winner, Hepworth School.

The school has Eco status and has permanent recycling points for tetra packs, tin foil, glass, crisp packets, batteries, and pens. It has an in-house uniform exchange to encourage the recycling of clothes. The green ethos runs to teaching the children from year one upwards of the importance of recycling. It also looks after local woodland and keeps bees.

St Aidan’s School, Skelmanthorpe, was named runner-up, with Whitechapel C of E School, Cleckheaton, being Highly Commended.

Young Recycling Hero Award: Winner, Emily Dixon aged nine from Lindley.

In her nomination Emily was described as very passionate and a great advocate for recycling and helping our planet. She has presented to her school assembly on the importance of recycling.

She has got involved with litter picking while on holiday, named one of the council’s garden waste wagons and designed a Snowdog that is displayed in the town centre. She has inspired her peers, family and friends to get involved in tackling climate change.

Jacob Stanley, 15, from Linthwaite was named runner-up, with Bertie Grills, 14, from Mirfield and 10-year-old Archie McAndrew, also from Mirfield, both being Highly Commended.

Mayor Clr Ahmed said: “These awards gave us the opportunity to congratulate those recognised by our communities as leaders when it comes to recycling.

“It was inspiring to see the diversity in the room from the young people setting an example, to the schools that are educating our next generation in the importance of environmental matters, to the benchmark businesses and to the inspirational individuals determined to make a positive contribution.

“They all echo the values of pride, inclusion and kindness that we have at Kirklees Council.”

Clr Naheed Mather, Cabinet member for environment, said: “We have a plan in place to make Kirklees carbon neutral by 2038. But that requires action, action we as a council cannot effectively take on our own.

“We need the support, involvement and commitment of our residents, schools, and businesses; and we saw that clearly evidenced by the people nominated for these awards.

“On behalf of Kirklees Council, I want to say thank you to each and every one of them for their contribution toward achieving our goal of making Kirklees a greener place to live, study and work.”