When Reconomy Group company ACM was approached by Leeds and Bradford Boiler Company Ltd there were two clear objectives. To further improve recycling rates at the company’s manufacturing base in Pudsey, Leeds, and to implement a waste reporting system that would enable them to meet the requirements of their upcoming ISO14001 Environmental Management system assessment. The biggest challenge however was the timescale with all this improvement needing to be delivered in just eight weeks!

Optimising Recycling

The first stage of this transformation involved working closely with the team at LBBC to undertake a comprehensive and open book benchmark evaluation of all their waste streams in order to fully understand the waste composition, how it was being managed, and the cost model.

This fully consultative approach enabled the team at ACM to make several improvements which included:

Metals – working with a specialist metals partner ACM identified that metal grades could be improved to increase the rebates being paid. Stackable stillages were introduced to aid segregation and these had the added benefit of reducing the containers’ footprint and looking smarter than the rusty old skip used in the past. All non-ferrous metals are now collected by curtain-side vehicle and transported under a secure chain of custody to a processing facility where they pass over a conveyor belt weighbridge. All waste is filmed and its weight is recorded for reporting transparency.

Wood – a change in wood contractors enabled more wood to be recycled as opposed to being used in ‘energy recovery’. This moved material up the Waste Hierarchy and optimised its commercial and environmental value.

Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) – the major change here was to cease separate cardboard collections as the volumes were economically unviable and to introduce a DMR service that also removed paper, plastic, tins and cans from the general waste. This preserved these valuable resources and diverted them from disposal via landfill or energy recovery.

To support these improvements ACM provided staff training and a waste handbook together with new internal recycling bins and signage.

Reporting Excellence

Installation of ACM’s WasteTrack system provided LBBC with cradle-to-grave transparency of the waste they produced including its transportation, processing, and disposal. This information is available for every individual waste stream and helps to monitor performance and cost while also informing decisions that will continue to optimise the services provided. Vitally, LBBC were also able to demonstrate its waste management performance to the ISO auditors through this system, which helped them to secure their accreditation.

In addition to all its compliance and record-keeping functionality the WasteTrack reporting portal also includes a carbon calculator tool.  This helps the ACM and LBBC to deliver continuous improvement in line with the expectations of their quality management system (QMS).

Delivering success

Since transferring to ACM as its single service provider LBBC has achieved 100% landfill diversion and currently recycles over 97% of all the waste produced on-site. Improved grading of metal waste has also significantly increased the value of the rebates received by LBBC.

The ACM WasteTrack system gives LBBC a far greater understanding and transparency of the wastes produced on-site and confidence that they are being managed in a sustainable and legally compliant manner. This reporting was instrumental to LBBC being awarded its ISO14001 accreditation.

Working with ACM has provided LBBC with a greatly rationalised number of suppliers and a single point of contact to deliver a fully managed and supported solution. This has simplified the entire waste system and realised several practical benefits such as reducing the number of containers and vehicle movements on site.

Access to granular data and a close working relationship with the ACM account management team means that LBBC is well placed to ensure continuous improvement in its waste management and broader environmental systems.