Some people clock up the miles ticking football grounds or historical places of interest off their list of places to visit, but in the case of Rachel Stewart, it’s household waste recycling centres.
Since starting as our HWRC Operations Manager in November 2017, Rachel has already visited 18 of the 22 HWRCs (she will be ticking off the other four very shortly!) we manage on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council.
It’s particularly impressive when you look at a map and see the area the HWRCs cover.
As an example, it’s 97 miles between the HWRC in Seamer Carr, Scarborough, and the HWRC in Settle, with a driving time of a whopping two hours and 30 minutes!
Rachel says: “Overseeing 85 staff over such a wide geographical area is a challenge because we have to ensure that regardless which site members of the public visit, their experience is the same.
“That means everything is clearly marked when they arrive so they know where to put their waste, with the emphasis always on recycling as much waste as possible.
“To achieve this, we need to have trained, knowledgeable staff delivering the highest quality customer service.
“Having visited all but 22 of the sites myself, and seeing the positive feedback we receive from customers, I am pleased to say that we are definitely delivering on this.”
Rachel, 37, has spent most of her career working in the waste sector, having studied environmental studies at university and doing a masters degree in environmental management.
She joined Yorwaste from City of York Council where she was an operations manager in the waste and recycling team.
Rachel says: “Yorwaste only took over management of the North Yorkshire HWRCs in April 2017, so the company has done a really good job in such a short space of time.
“We are now planning for 2018 and beyond and the aim is to strive for further improvement in relation to customer service and experience.
“Whilst it’s a term that has always been used, my own personal indicator of how well we are doing will be when people stop saying ‘I am going to the tip’ and rather ‘I am going to the recycling centre’, I would be very happy with that!”
When she is not clocking up the miles, Rachel, who lives in York, enjoys spending quality time with her husband and their thee-year-old daughter.