Winner announced for Recycling Heroes competition

Jan 17 2022

The winner of ODS and Oxford Recycles’ Recycling Heroes competition has been announced, with the judging panel finding Mae Mitchell’s amazing recycling artwork to be the best of all the entries received.

The entry was submitted by Mae’s mother, Stef Mitchell and involved using recycled materials to make a rainbow artwork. Both Stef and Mae are already working out what to do with the £250 in Love2Shop vouchers.

The competition

Recycling Heroes was a competition that was run throughout October and November. ODS, was looking for residents to do something amazing with recycling, take a photo or video of their creation, and post it on Oxford Recycles social media page. The best entry, as decided by our panel of judges, won £250 in Love2Shop vouchers. The deadline for entries was 30 November. Other entries included a superhero video, Christmas decorations made from toilet roll tubes and other amazing ideas.

Residents used the hashtag #RecyclingHeroes to share their videos and images on social media and explain what recycling meant to them and to the environment.


“I was upset at the amount of litter around my local area, I realised how much of the litter was recycling. So I wanted to make a point of showing just how much plastic waste there is. By making the bottle top picture I wanted to show how beautiful nature can be without litter and pollution.”
Competition winner Mae Mitchell

“I am really proud at Mae’s passion towards trying to save the planet. She has been awarded a Blue Peter badge for making such efforts and she is already planning what she can do next to help the environment.”
Stef Mitchell, Mae’s mother

“We loved Mae’s entry. It was so creative. I could feel her passion and hope she continues with her art – as she is very talented. Mae is leading by example and we hope that her work can inspire others to focus more on reducing, reusing and recycling.”
Councillor Lubna Arshad, Cabinet Member for Parks and Waste Reduction

The competition is part of ODS’ ongoing commitment to reduce waste and increase the number of people who recycle within Oxford, bringing communities together to care for the environment.

Oxford currently recycles over 52 per cent of its waste, also turning non-recyclable waste into energy to power tens of thousands of homes. ODS and the City Council want to inspire more people to reduce, reuse and recycle, and help Oxford become an even more sustainable city. That’s why they have launched #recyclingheroes to help shift people’s idea of what recycling can do.

Recycling, especially food waste, supports the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from landfill. As well as saving money, recycling also reduces energy and water use and helps preserve our world’s finite resources.

More about ODS Recycling LINK

Important things to know about recycling LINK


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About us

Oxford City Council is the democratically-elected local authority for Oxford.

In partnership with others, we provide a wide range of services – including planning, housing, community centres, parks and waste collection – for approximately 152,000 residents, 106,000 people who work in Oxford and the millions of people who visit our world-famous city every year.

We have set four key priorities, all of equal importance and all interconnected:

• to enable an inclusive economy, where everyone has access to sustainable business and employment opportunities

• to deliver more affordable housing, including a new generation of council homes to help meet our acute housing shortage

• to support thriving communities, reducing the stark inequality between our city’s richest and poorest residents

• to tackle the climate emergency by pursuing a zero-carbon Oxford

Our vision is to build a world-class city for everyone.

Oxfordshire has a two-tier system of local government, which means services are provided by two different councils. Oxford City Council provides local services for the city, while Oxfordshire County Council is responsible for strategic, countywide services such as roads, schools and social care.

About ODS

ODS was established in 2012 to serve the community’s needs and provide commercial services where capable. In 2018, ODS was made a wholly owned company by its sole shareholder, Oxford City Council. It is now made up of two companies that work together to deliver cost-effective public and commercial services.

Becoming a separate entity opened ODS up to new possibilities and ambitions; building more homes and maintaining streets, parks and properties. It is constructing more highways and buildings, providing more managed services, repairing vehicles, conducting MOTs, recycling waste and controlling pests and landscaping. It is working for more local authorities, businesses, schools, universities and residents now across the county.