June Unwin – MCIWM. 16 June 1957 to Friday 9 February 2024

It is with great sadness that CIWM has heard about June who passed away on 9 February 2024.  She was well known by many in the resources and waste sector, particularly in the London and Southern Counties Centre and Association of London Cleansing Officers (ALCO), having worked closely with many in her role at Bexley.

June joined CIWM in 1990, having references from esteemed members Bill Townsend and John Ferguson, both of whom June knew from Greater London Council (GLC).  She became Chartered in 1997.

June worked for the GLC from June 1975 to November 1985, starting off in the Housing department, before moving to hazardous waste inspector.  June then moved on to LWRA to be their hazardous waste officer, leaving there in June 1990 to start up her own consultancy for four years.  After a short stint with Surrey County Council and Metropolitan Police, she joined Bexley Council in February 1995 as waste management technician.

Taking on the role of Commercial Waste Manager, June was responsible for Bexley Council’s commercial waste contracts, managing 1,100 customers to help them deal with their waste in a compliant manner and offer recycling options, as well as deputising for the Waste and Recycling Manager, a role she was to attain herself until her retirement in June 2022.

She was a leading force in helping to keep Bexley number one in London for recycling for 17 years!  I know from personal experience of the times I talked to her that she was passionate about working in the sector and took great pride in her role at Bexley, in making sure the public were kept informed and helping where she could.

Her colleagues in Bexley called her the queen of waste management due to the level of knowledge and experience she had – from contaminated land to clinical waste collection, as well as legislation and policy changes, about which she helped the Council comment on through consultation responses.

Nothing phased June and if she did not know, she would find someone that did or swat up and learn what she needed.  She was warm, friendly and a great asset to resources and waste management.

And who could forget her smile and, even more memorable, her laugh.

At this sad time, our thoughts go out to her family who have lost a treasure and our sector which has lost a great friend.

If you wish to attend her service or donate to her chosen charity, please visit the page set up by her family.  The service is on 15 March at 12.30 and you can stream it if you are unable to attend in person.  There is also a page if you wish to share your thoughts and stories.




Tina Benfield
29 Febuary 2024