NEC Group achieves zero waste as RWM 2012 kicks off

Birmingham NEC has reached zero waste to landfill status two years ahead of schedule as the venue opens its doors today to RWM with CIWM, the UK's biggest resource and waste management show.

The complex, which spans 611 acres, includes 20 exhibition halls inside the NEC centre and also the LG Arena. Together both venues attract around three million visitors a year.

In an exclusive interview with edie last year, the NEC’s waste management team revealed that the complex as a whole was currently recycling 42% of its waste and aimed to be recycling 50% by the end of 2013 – back in February 2009, this figure stood at zero.

Recycling rates have shot up over the past two years mainly due to a new on-site waste pre-treatment centre which opened in 2009, following a £300,000 investment.

Since the interview took place, the NEC has tendered a new facilities management contract to OCS Group and quickly started working with them to achieve the zero waste target.

The result is that a minimum of 50% of total site waste is now recycled through the pre-treatment centre and baled or sorted for collection by a network of local suppliers.

Food waste is segregated by the company’s catering department and sent for anaerobic digestion while any remaining recyclables are sent for further sorting to a local materials recycling facility (MRF).

The MRF recycles between 70% and 90% of the waste it receives, with residues going to energy-from waste.

NEC’s managing director Kathryn James said the achievement was down to the hard work undertaken by “Team NEC” who oversee the site’s recycling activities, as well as the company’s suppliers.

“It is fitting to announce this achievement at the Recycling and Waste Management exhibition. We’re committed to making a difference environmentally through waste management and reducing carbon emissions, and achieving zero waste to landfill demonstrates our efforts,” she said.

Maxine Perella

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