GMWDA Treasurer and Deputy Retires after 30 years in Waste Management
Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) has announced today that John Bland, Treasurer and Deputy Clerk for the Authority, is retiring on 31st March, after more than 30 years in the waste management sector.
John has worked with the UK’s largest waste disposal Authority since its creation in 1986 and became its Treasurer in 2002. Initially he carried out the role alongside his position of Director of Finance at Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council. In 2008 John had an instrumental role in the letting of GMWDA’s private finance initiative (PFI) contract and took on a full time role for the Authority.
During his time at GMWDA John has played a pivotal part in driving forward recycling rates across Greater Manchester – currently delivering 46% household recycling and 88% landfill diversion for the nine districts of Bury, Bolton, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford.
In 2017 John carried out a significant role in negotiating a way forward for the £3.2 billion PFI contract with Viridor Laing (Greater Manchester) Ltd to generate significant savings. In recent months he has been heavily involved in the process of procuring new contractors to deliver future waste management services across the districts.
The Authority has been awarded a number of achievements and accolades for its innovative work and John has been a key figure throughout. Recent recognition includes industry awards for the highly successful ‘Right stuff, Right bin’ campaign. The initiative, which pushed boundaries, engaged with difficult to reach groups and was part funded by European Union LIFE+ resources with the intention of increasing participation and reducing contamination in recycling collections.
Commenting on John’s retirement, Councillor Nigel Murphy, Chair of GMWDA said: “John has had an impressive career and has made a significant contribution to GMWDA over the years. His pragmatic and determined approach has served him well and he has, undoubtedly, been instrumental in driving recycling rates across the conurbation and helping to secure investment for world class recycling facilities.”
On his retirement announcement John added: “I leave the Authority with some fantastic memories and am very proud of our achievements over the years. Reaching such a high recycling rate is one of the highlights and it feels right to mention the role that the residents of Greater Manchester play. They are the ones who deserve credit for their continued efforts”.
“We’ve always been ambitious and determined in our thinking at GMWDA and my pragmatic approach has served me well. In my mind when we set an ambition it needs to be realistic – with a stretch – but also achievable, so we can help people to do the right thing and recycle right. As I leave my desire is that the Authority continues on its 60% recycling journey and I know that the forward thinking and innovative team are well placed to achieve ambitious goals.”
From 1st April 2018 the GMWDA will be transferring into the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. David Taylor, Executive Director of Waste, will head up waste management, reporting to Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive of the Combined Authority. David said: “We wish John every success and thank him for his commitment and relentless determination over the years. This is a pivotal moment as we join Greater Manchester Combined Authority and we are exceptionally well placed for future success and John has played a significant part in this.”