News in brief | CIWM Commercial Partner Updates


News updates from CIWM’s commercial partners.

Podback | Podback and FCC Environment announce plans to add coffee pod recycling at sites across the UK

FCC Environment (FCC) and coffee pod recycling scheme, Podback have announced plans to roll out coffee pod recycling across household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) in England and Wales.

This expansion follows a successful pilot of coffee pod recycling at 11 FCC HWRC sites in Suffolk operated on behalf of Suffolk County Council and two in Berkshire. 

In the first six months of operations at the Berkshire sites 14 tonnes of pods were collected, showing a clear consumer demand for the service.

The roll out of the Podback service is in progress, with sites across Wigan and Luton due to launch in early July. More locations are set to be announced over the coming months.

Rick Hindley, Executive Director of Podback said: “Our pilots over the last year with FCC have proved successful and have received positive feedback from residents using the service.

“We hope offering people another option to recycle their used pods will help to make recycling even more convenient and accessible and increase rates of recycling overall in these new locations.

“We have an active pipeline for local authority wanting to include Podback at their recycling centres and look forward to announcing more soon.”

As part of the rollout, Podback will provide the recycling centres with containers and signage and will manage collection and onward logistics of material to UK based reprocessors. Podback will also support each local authority to launch and promote the new service to residents.

Residents wanting to recycle their used coffee pods through their local HWRC won’t need to use special Podback bags. They simply need to save their pods up at home, making sure to keep their aluminium and plastic pods separate, until they are ready to be dropped off on their next trip. The used pods can then be tipped loose into the relevant container.

Rory Brien, Head of Municipal Treatment at FCC Environment said: “Our focus as a business is always on providing a service that residents want and will use. This has very much been the case with the introduction of the Podback initiative and we are looking forward to widening this to other residents elsewhere in the country.”

Through the Podback scheme, used aluminium and plastic pods are recycled in the UK. Aluminium is used in the manufacture of beverage cans and car components, and plastic is used in the manufacture of a range of items, including packaging crates and building products. The used coffee grounds are treated by anaerobic digestion to produce renewable energy (biogas) and soil improver.

Podback will share information on the tonnage and destination of all the pods collected with local authority WasteDataFlow, helping to improve local authority recycling data.

Augean | Augean celebrates 20th Anniversary

Augean will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of its foundation in early August. It will be a time to celebrate, reminisce and reflect but principally a time to look forward.

To celebrate there are different site-based events planned, which are all still under recyclable wraps at the moment. However, we are encouraging everyone in Augean to take part in our 20 Acts of Kindness initiative. We hope that everyone will be inspired to celebrate our 20th Anniversary by thinking of others and spreading a bit of kindness to colleagues and the community through thoughtful actions.

Augean staff are great volunteers and champions of local projects. They enthusiastically take part in community initiatives like charitable fundraising, regular litter picks, mitigating the consequences of fly tipping, creating or enhancing allotments, and most recently supporting food banks, so we have no doubt this idea will be a resounding success.

To reminisce a little, Augean was founded as a PLC, listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), on 6 August 2004 with just 3 staff members. The new company had an objective to buy and build businesses in the UK waste sector, specifically focusing on hazardous and hard to handle wastes.

By the end of that year through the acquisition of four sites the company had grown to 38 employees. Through other acquisitions, most notably Future Industrial Services in March 2023, and strategic planning and development, now in 2024, the company has nearly 600 staff encompassing a wide range of skills and disciplines, working across 23 sites around the UK.

While there have been many changes in Augean, the waste sector, and the policy and legislation that guides it over the last twenty years, there is a golden thread of values that runs across those two decades.

A look back at the Corporate Social Responsibility reports for that time and the newer focus of Environmental, Social and Governance reports, demonstrates the strong commitment to our staff and their well-being and professional development; our clients and the continuing importance of excellent customer service and operational delivery; ensuring the highest standards of health, safety and compliance and supporting the communities who live alongside our sites.

Looking to the future, Augean is excited and enthused by the challenges that lie ahead in the next 20 years for our own business, those of our clients and the waste sector in general. In October 2021, Augean was acquired by a consortium of Ancala Partners and Fiera Infrastructure.

With owners who are committed to provide the company with necessary financial, technical and strategic support to maintain and improve Augean’s high standards and proactively look for further opportunities in the market, we think the future looks very bright indeed.

Bucher Municipal | Bucher Municipal UK celebrates its centenary year

Bucher Municipal, previously known as Johnston Sweepers, is celebrating the centenary year of its UK headquarters in Dorking.

Throughout the year, Bucher Municipal UK has been reflecting on milestones in the history of its global manufacturing site for truck-mounted sweepers and marking the occasion with a series of events for customers and staff.

The celebrations will culminate in a sitewide family day in August, exactly 100 years from the company’s incorporation date of the 11th August 1924.

Wood Recycling Association | WRA meets former Environmental Audit Committee member to highlight importance of waste wood biomass

Copyright: Andrew Diprose.

Former Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) member, Sir Christopher Chope, learnt about the important contribution that waste wood biomass makes to UK energy security and the economy during a visit to Eco Sustainable Solutions in Christchurch, Dorset, on Monday 3rd June.

Sir Christopher – the current Conservative candidate for Christchurch who was Christchurch’s MP and a member of the EAC until Parliament was dissolved on 30th May – was shown around the 32-acre Eco Park at Parley during a visit organised by the Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA).

At Parley, Eco processes 65,000 tonnes of waste wood a year into BioFuel, some of which powers its in-house Biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant which provides renewable heat and electricity for the site.

The company also processes a number of other organic waste streams at the site and operates a variety of sustainable projects, including a solar farm.

During the visit, WRA Deputy Chair Andy Hill explained the unique benefits that waste wood biomass delivers in relation to the circular economy, industrial decarbonisation and energy security – providing 3.3TWh of reliable baseload power from our own domestic resource, waste wood.

He also highlighted the contributions the wider waste wood sector makes to the economy. The panel board industry alone provides 7,000 local jobs and contributes £700m to the UK economy.

However, Andy warned that waste wood biomass plants are at risk of closure because of the impending expiration of the ROCs regime and that more certainty was needed from the next government over future support for the sector. He also highlighted ongoing challenges for the industry around getting permitting and planning in place.

Sir Christopher Chope said: “I was delighted to visit Eco Sustainable Solutions and to see how the company turns waste wood into renewable heat and electricity. The scale of the operation is impressive and is a great example of how Christchurch is leading the way in recycling and the circular economy.”

“It was also interesting to hear about the important contribution the wider waste wood biomass sector is making to energy security and the economy.”

WRA Deputy Chair, Andy Hill, added: “It was a very positive visit and Sir Christopher was receptive to our messages. Biomass powered by waste wood provides so many benefits for the UK but our sector needs to be recognised and protected. During a period of heightened energy insecurity, I really hope the next government focuses on preserving the value of baseload power from sustainable biomass.”

Justin Dampney, Managing Director of Eco Sustainable Solutions, said: “We were very pleased to host Sir Christopher Chope’s visit and also welcome Andy Hill, from WRA’s Board, to our site.

“Sir Christopher showed great interest in the waste wood recycling and reprocessing side of our business and seemed genuinely taken aback at the scale of our operations.

“The Wood Recyclers’ Association does an excellent job in highlighting the valuable role waste wood plays in the green economy.

“Visits such as this are incredibly valuable in allowing companies such as ours the chance to engage with opinion-formers about the opportunities, as well as the challenges, faced by this important sector.”

Dennis Eagle | Dennis Eagle invests in the future of vehicle training

Dennis Eagle’s dedicated customer training programme is growing from strength to strength. Having recently expanded the team Dennis Eagle also has plans to launch a new eLearning element to complement its in-person offering later this year.

Last year, Dennis Eagle trained over 700 customers. This year, there are a few remaining dates available to customers keen to expand their knowledge of operating, repairing, and maintaining their refuse vehicles.

“We’re always working really hard to deliver a great relationship with our customers, and our training programme is part of creating that customer-first culture,” says Alice McCabe, Learning & Development Officer at Dennis Eagle. “A lot of the training is included in the sale of the vehicle to make sure our customers are operating it correctly and have the right tools to do the jobs.”

Training options

Manchester Commercial Photographer Tim Wallace. Commercial photography, car, automotive, aviation, truck, engineering and parts photography.

Dennis Eagle’s training programme, which has been running since the early 80s, is split into three categories: Vehicle Operator Training, Technical Training, and Electric Vehicle & HV Systems training. All courses are created and delivered by a team of dedicated Dennis Eagle trainers, with more being recruited to meet demand.

Vehicle Operator Training is carried out at customers’ sites when they take delivery of a new vehicle. The training demonstrates the key functions and new features of the vehicle, and includes instruction on loading and tipping procedures, driving controls, and in-cab options. Technical Training has six courses: Elite+ Chassis, Olympus Body, Electronic Truck Steering, Olympus Twin Pack, Beta 2 Bin Lift, and Toolbox Training. Each course provides delegates with the skills and experience to recognise faults and carry out repairs and maintenance.

“Technical training is at our service center in Aldridge in Walsall throughout the year,” says Alice. “However, we can be flexible, so if a customer can’t come to us, we can go to their site instead.” For Electric Vehicle & HV Systems training, Level 2 and Level 3 courses are available. Level 2 is online, while Level 3 is a four-day course at Aldridge, run in partnership with industry specialists, Autotech Training. For all courses at Aldridge, Dennis Eagle can help customers book hotels if needed, and lunch is provided.

Looking to the future

Manchester Commercial Photographer Tim Wallace. Commercial photography, car, automotive, aviation, truck, engineering and parts photography.

While Dennis Eagle receives overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers, that doesn’t mean it’s resting on its laurels. “We work hard to deliver an even better training experience by constantly looking for new ways to meet customer needs,” says Alice.

This includes building a digital training academy for Vehicle Operator Training, which will be showcased at RWM in September. Customers will receive the eLearning programme at the point of vehicle delivery. “We believe it will be more efficient for customers because they won’t have to take their workforce off refuse collection rounds,” says Alice. “Customers will also have the option of requesting a trainer to visit their site to deliver further operator training if needed. It’s about providing more time efficient and cost-effective offerings as possible.”

Dennis Eagle is excited to be able to provide their customers with the platform to allow them access to “in the moment of need” information.

“They will be able to log on from their laptop or mobile and click on bite-size chunks of learning content including videos and reference guides” says Alice. “This means they will no longer have to flick through a physical user manual, allowing quicker access to information needed.”

Dennis Eagle | City of Edinburgh invests in the future

Edinburgh chooses Dennis Eagle to support its commitment to improving residential refuse collection.

Dennis Eagle is powering the biggest vehicle investment the City of Edinburgh has ever made as its council commits to improving services across Scotland’s capital.

The City of Edinburgh Council has invested in a major fleet-replacement strategy, which sees 17 new Dennis Eagle vehicles being delivered now, and 52 more to come later in the year.

The new narrow width trucks is part of the council’s continued programme to deliver a seamless waste collection operation to residents.

The perfect fit

Residential refuse collection is quite the operation in Edinburgh. Home to over half a million people, the council’s refuse teams will typically lift up to 1,900 bins on each route per day, collecting over 15 tonnes of waste. Not only does the populous nature of the city make refuse collecting a significant task, but the steep, medieval streets of Edinburgh pose a number of headaches when operating large vehicles. It is because of these conditions that the council ordered 59 26-tonne vehicles and 15 18-tonne narrow body vehicles from Dennis Eagle.

A positive relationship

Our vehicles have been helping to keep Edinburgh’s streets clean for two decades and Dennis Eagle accounts for around 90% of the city’s 100-strong refuse vehicle fleet. This relationship has endured because of the consistently positive feedback the vehicles receive from those who operate them. As with any good relationship, both parties are looking to the future.

Edinburgh Council entered five Dennis Eagle electric vehicles into service last November, with funding provided by Zero Waste Scotland. As the path towards net zero becomes more critical with each passing year, electric vehicles are a step towards a greener future.

Cllr Scott Arthur, Environment Convener, said: “We’re committed to investing in our fleet and where possible we’re going electric. The feedback from staff using the five electric refuse collection vehicles shows they are making a real difference to our residents, operating a quieter service, and improving air quality – already saving over 100 tonnes of carbon emissions.

“The new vehicles have also improved visibility for our drivers and have cycle safety features, making them safer for vulnerable road users as well as protecting our staff. All of the waste vehicles we purchased are narrow-bodied and shorter, which really works in Edinburgh and gives our drivers more flexibility in narrow streets with tight areas.”

Keenan Recycling | Keenan Recycling placed on NHS Scotland framework

We’re excited to announce that Keenan Recycling, the UK’s leading food waste collections company, has officially joined the NHS Scotland Recyclates and General Waste Management Framework.

The NHS plays a vital role in keeping Scotland healthy, and managing waste effectively is a crucial part of that mission. This strategic placement will enable NHS Scotland Health Boards access to compliant and comprehensive food waste and recycling services.

Through optimised handling, increased recycling, and managing treatment of food waste streams, Keenan will help NHS Scotland achieve their ambitious target of reaching Net Zero by 2040.

What does this mean for the NHS?

As a procurement organisation, The Common Services Agency (more commonly known as NHS National Services Scotland), drives improvements and increases commercial efficiency across health, social care and public sectors across Scotland. Supported by Keenan’s extensive food waste collection infrastructure, the service covers all aspects of the food waste management process, from the initial collection at hospitals to recycling into renewable energy.

Here’s why partnering with Keenan Recycling makes a difference for the NHS:

Food waste expertise: We specialise in food waste recycling, offering a reliable and compliant service specifically tailored to the needs of hospitals.

Sustainability champion: By diverting food waste from landfill, we help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a greener NHS Scotland.

Resource recovery: Food waste doesn’t just disappear; it gets transformed! Through advanced composting and anaerobic digestion processes, we convert food scraps into valuable resources like compost and renewable energy.

Operational efficiency: Our streamlined collection process minimises disruption to a busy hospital environment.

Dedicated support: We offer a dedicated team of experts to answer your questions and ensure a smooth waste management experience.

Beyond just waste disposal, Keenan Recycling is committed to supporting the NHS in its journey towards a more sustainable future. We offer educational resources and workshops to staff on food waste reduction strategies, helping to minimise waste at the source.

Together, through this new partnership with NHS National Services Scotland, we can create a healthier environment for patients, staff, and the communities we serve.

Keenan Recycling | Popular Ellesmere Port cafe champions sustainability with innovative food waste partnership

Grace Tea Room, a beloved local cafe renowned for its delicious homemade treats and unwavering commitment to sustainability, is proudly celebrating its ongoing partnership with Keenan Recycling.

Supporting small businesses, championing sustainability

Owned and operated by the environmentally conscious duo of Lizzie and Cat, Grace Tea Room prioritises local sourcing and caters to all dietary needs. They were the first Ellesmere Port business to achieve Plastic Free Champion status, a testament to their dedication to minimising their environmental footprint.

“Partnering with Keenan Recycling felt like a natural fit,” says Lizzie, co-owner of Grace Tea Room. “Sustainability is incredibly important to us, and Keenan’s innovative circular economy model for food waste recycling perfectly aligns with our goals.”

Turning scraps into sustainable solutions

While minimising food waste is a top priority at Grace Tea Room, tea bags, coffee grounds, eggshells, and bread crusts are an inevitable byproduct of their thriving afternoon tea service. Keenan Recycling’s food waste collection services ensure these scraps are diverted from landfills and transformed into valuable resources.

“Knowing that our waste is recycled and potentially even used to power businesses like ours is fantastic,” Lizzie adds. “It allows us to complete the circle and contribute to a greener future for our community.”

Exceptional service makes all the difference

Grace Tea Room highlights Keenan Recycling’s exceptional customer service as another key benefit. “The team is always responsive and helpful,” says Lizzie. “We’ve never had any issues, and any inquiries have been dealt with promptly.”

Inspiration for other cafes & restaurants

Grace Tea Room’s successful partnership with Keenan Recycling serves as an inspiration for other cafes and restaurants looking to minimise their environmental impact. With Keenan’s reliable food waste collection services, small businesses can ensure their scraps are responsibly recycled and contribute to a greener future, one delicious bite at a time.

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