Prospect Centre feeling flush after striking gold
A CHEMICAL reaction in a toilet bowl may sound like a school science lesson gone wrong.
But for one Hull shopping centre, organic enzymes are proving to be a welcome boost for shoppers as well as the environment.
This week, Prospect Shopping Centre was awarded a gold medal for its environmental best practices under the national Green Achiever Scheme.
The centre signed up to the scheme in 2010 and was quickly awarded four-star status before being recognised with a silver award last year.
Now, just two years after it signed up, the centre has secured the gold award.
Centre manager Lee Appleton said: "Shopping centres tend to be quite large places and often produce a lot of carbon and waste materials.
"This is a challenge, but we have introduced a number of measures to reduce our environmental impact.
"One of these has been the addition of enzymes in our water management system.
"Because we are in a hard-water area, we have to over-flush the system to prevent pipes from scaling up. However we have introduced an organism that stays in the pipes and stops them from clogging up."
The system has helped Prospect save 114,000 litres of water each year and the centre is now aiming to roll the system out to other areas, potentially saving 314,000 litres of water a year.
"As well as preventing blockages, it also naturally makes the area more fragrant, so it is a win-win solution," said Mr Appleton.
The shopping centre now also diverts 100 per cent of its waste from landfill. After removing all recyclable products, the centre's waste is sent away to make refuse-derived fuel (RDF), with centre-based retailers and their staff helping Prospect to achieve its targets.
Prospect is now the first shopping centre in Hull to have been awarded the green environmental award.
Mr Appleton said: "To achieve the gold award, we had to continue our legal and regulatory compliance, and make improvements to our environmental performance throughout the year, plus continually improve our environmental performance through an agreed action plan.
"Our congratulations go to the whole team at the Prospect Centre on achieving this accreditation and setting a standard for others to follow.
"But we are not complacent and have now set ambitious targets for 2013, to ensure we retain our Gold Award."
Deborah Cairns, operations manager at E4environment with specific responsibility for the Green Achiever Scheme, said: "It was a real pleasure to visit Prospect Shopping Centre again to see the efforts and achievements they have made over the past year to reduce their environmental impacts."