Media Release: Viridor joins BBC1 primetime show, Hugh’s War on Waste


VIRIDOR has teamed up with River Cottage star, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, for a new BBC1 primetime programme focused on changing the way we think about waste.

In a bid to get us to think more about how much food we throw away, Hugh visited Prestwich in Greater Manchester and went undercover as a collections operative with help from Bury Council.

He saw, at first-hand, just how much waste is thrown away.

He challenged residents to drastically reduce the amount they throw away and, with the help of Viridor, he offered tips and tricks to help them save food and money.

The first episode aired on Monday the 2 November at 21:00 on BBC1 and featured his first visit to a community in Prestwich, whose rubbish was monitored in a ‘special bin collection’ as part of the show.

The general waste was then sorted at the Viridor Every Street Transfer Loading Station with Denise Catley, the education officer for the Greater Manchester contract, to reveal the extent of what householders threw away.

Challenging some common myths, Hugh took recycling sceptics from the community to Longley Lane Materials Recycling Facility, along with Denise, to explain how what once was waste was transformed into resources ready for their next step into becoming new products for use again back in our homes.

A second episode will air on Monday 9 November at  21:00 on BBC1 with Hugh returning to Prestwich to see progress made by residents on the drive to recycle more, with a focus on throwing away less food.

Martin Grey, head of Media Relations & Public Affairs for Viridor, said: “At Viridor we’re at the forefront of transforming waste and giving the world’s resources new life.

“Hugh’s War on Waste, broadcast on primetime BBC1, was a great and timely opportunity to tell the real success story of UK recycling.

“It was a real reminder of why recycling matters and the important part the public play around ‘right stuff, right bin’. More than that, the programme challenged some common myths and presented the economic as well as environmental case for a more circular economy.

“Keeping recycling simple and accessible is key to its success. As such, it was great that both our award winning facilities and education team were showcased.

“Colleagues like Denise connect with communities every day, making a real difference to council recycling performance. With residents thinking again about how they recycled, we look forward to looking at the progress made in the next episode.”

For further information on how Viridor helps corporates, councils, communities and corner shops transform waste, visit


Martin Grey

Head of Media Relations & Public Affairs
07717 797 133

Notes to editors:

ABOUT VIRIDOR : Giving Resources New Life

  • Part of the FTSE 250 Pennon Group, Viridor’s purpose is to give the world’s resources new life.
  • Every day, Viridor takes what British homes and businesses throw away and transforms it into essential quality materials, resources and energy for customers across the UK and globally.
  • Viridor’s full range of services include: recycling and waste advice and auditing, advanced materials recycling, glass and plastics reprocessing, composting, mechanical and biological treatment, anaerobic digestion, decentralised energy generation, energy recovery, transport, collection, landfill disposal and habitat restoration and management.
  • Viridor works in partnership with over 150 local authorities, public bodies and supports Britain’s leading businesses. The company is investing £1.8bn in vital low carbon infrastructure and has UK’s largest advanced network of recycling, energy recovery and landfill diversion facilities.
  • Viridor embodies the circular economy, managing over seven million tonnes of recyclates and resources each year, of which 2.4 million tonnes are recycled. With seven energy recovery facilities and four more under construction, Viridor currently produces enough energy to power over 330,000 homes.
  • Viridor makes a substantial contribution to the resource management sector through investment in people and skills employing over 3,200 people at 318 facilities. In addition to providing green economy employment for new entrants, apprentices, skilled, fast-track graduates and professional roles, the company delivered 5,887 training days in 2014/15.  Some 15 managers completed the company’s Viridor Foundation Management Degree.
  • Viridor leads technology and innovation in the sector, investing in progressive opportunities such as the DECC sponsored Viridor and Highview Power energy storage project and the UK’s most advanced glass recycling facility in Newhouse, using technology to give resources new life.
  • Viridor is a pivotal member of the Circular Economy Task Force and a subscribing member to Business in the Community (BitC).  Viridor has won several awards including the National Recycling Award for Local Authority Innovation; Industry Award for Excellence for Design of a Waste Management Facility, won by Rochester Plastic Recycling Facility; the Best Private Sector Initiative at the Scottish Resources Awards for Newhouse Glass Recycling Facility; and the CIWM Award for the Best Run UK Waste Management Facility at Lakeside.

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Viridor contact details…

Contact: Martin Grey
Phone: 07717797133