Case Study – Environmental Programmes

Case Study – Environmental Programmes

Title of scheme

Recycling Traceability of Waste Product From Site

 What is it?

Complete traceability of all waste products from January 2012, with a specific intention of challenging the industry to follow our lead (we have a track record of challenging our industry in this way).   We give customers total traceability on waste material taken from sites during re-branding or other work, including records of the material taken, the carrier, their license number, the destination and licence number of the ultimate recycling destination, providing an accurate report on how much material was recycled, and how much sent to landfill.

 Why was it started?

The traditional sign industry practice means taking the de-branded product to a scrapyard. This is easy for those involved and the product may be recycled, but there is no traceability and as a result, we know that some client branded signs have appeared on well know on-line auction sites and caused much embarrassment to the stakeholders involved.

 How was it implemented and developed? 

Planning began early in 2011.  The challenges were to change the mind-set of the whole industry, including employees, waste carriers and the whole supply chain, which was highly resistant. It is common knowledge in the industry that skip drivers, for example ‘creamed off’ desirable elements of waste and regarded it as a perk of their job to do so.

The project itself began in January 2012 and in the first year we recycled more than 500 tonnes of waste, with only 4% of the waste removed from sites going to landfill.  The project is built into the XmoMan project management software at the heart of the company’s operations, meaning that we can identify any jobs where we expect waste to be recycled and it isn’t. The next phase is to estimate waste expectation from historic data and forecast expectation.

Our initial target was to recycle 80% of waste in 2012, rising to 90% in 2013. For the first few months, securing employee and supply chain buy-in was difficult, and we struggled to both achieve our targets and measure/ report with the required the transparency.

However, performance has steadily improved as we learned how to manage the process and we identified areas for further improvement.  We now recycle 96% of waste, including WEEE and are also working on how we can include electrical cabling and GRP.