WARM tributes have been paid to a recycling pioneer and 'unsung community hero' of Otley.

Geoff Wright MBE died at Crystal Court Care Home, Pannal on February 11, aged 80.

His funeral service was held at Lawnswood Crematorium on Friday, March 2.

Mr Wright was a key member of Otley Carnival Committee for many years, chairing it for two.

He was also a pioneering proponent of kerbside recycling in the 1980s and 1990s while at Leeds City Council, and was the authority's head of Environmental Services when it introduced the SORT recycling project.

Mr Wright, father to Adam and Tom and grandfather to Millie and Zachary, was active in the Safety on Otley's Roads campaign, too.

The campaign pushed for a number of years to get a 'lorry ban' - forcing HGVS to bypass the town - for Otley.

Otley Carnival Committee Chair Rhona Smith said: "Geoff was an invaluable member of the committee for many years and chairman for two years, and he is very much missed by all who worked with him.

"He brought enthusiasm, commitment and a calm ability to organise to all the jobs he did on the committee, but it will probably be his delightfully dry sense of humour that we will all miss so much.

"Geoff was one of those unsung heroes in our town who just get on and make things happen in our community without expecting praise or public thanks for all he did."

Chief executive of the Resource Association (and Otley Town Council chair), Ray Georgeson, paid tribute to Mr Wright's commitment to promoting recycling.

His work in the field was recognised in the late 1990s when he was awarded an MBE.

Mr Georgeson said: "Geoff focused on the value of separate collection and engaging with householders, and doing this at a time before statutory targets and the real main-streaming of kerbside recycling collections.

"He was the epitome of a committed public servant in local government.

"More than this, he was a real gentleman who nurtured young talent in his and other organisations."