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OBE for UK councillor that said ‘recycling transcends politics’

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The work of a county councillor who ensured a long-term waste and recycling vision transcended short-term party politics has been awarded an OBE.

Bernard Whittle, whose OBE is for services to local government, has been a Conservative Lancashire County Councillor for 17 years. He sits on the Cabinet Working Group for the waste private finance initiative contract and the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change and the Environment.

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As well as recognition for his role in developing Lancashire Waste Partnership’swaste strategy, Whittle has also been described as a “leading light” in the early days of the National Waste Awareness Initiative which became the Recycle Now campaign.

Commenting on his OBE Whittle said: “I’ve always been in opposition on the county council. But I decided at an early stage that recycling was important. You can’t play politics with this - it’s too big an issue. It’s always been my philosophy that recycling and waste reduction decisions have to transcend politics. The logic behind this is that the time needed [to implement such policies] is so long.”

“Lancashire Waste Partnership has taken a lot of resources to get it where it is, as well as a lot of political courage. But this was not too difficult when everyone was of the same mind. It was important to keep the message in sight when it came to making budget decisions. It had to be given long-term thinking.

“The partnership is 10-years old now and we’re now at the stage in the planning process where two facilities (a mechanical biological treatment and an in-vessel composting facility) are expected to come on stream in 2010.”

Consultant and former WRAP director Ray Georgeson said: “He has a lot of the political credit for the work Lancashire did on their waste strategy, and he was a leading light in the early days of the National Waste Awareness Initiative.”

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