Wolseley achieves zero waste aspirations

Building products firm Wolseley UK's Leamington Spa site is now zero waste to landfill after a number of its operating facilities reached ambitious waste targets.

Following a complete change in the way waste is handled, 99.8% of waste at the company’s national distribution centre and 97.5% of waste from its central headquarters is now recyclable, with the remaining 2.7%sent for incineration to generate electricity.

Wolseley UK worked with Biffa to analyse its waste arisings and then implemented a system involving centralised bins to separate out cardboard, plastic, paper and vegetarian food waste at the point of disposal.

Additional processes at the distribution centre were also implemented to recycle ceramics, timber and metal – along with backhauled recycling waste generated by branches.

Worm farms were installed to process the site’s vegetarian food waste, which is turned into compost and used on plants at Wolseley UK’s sustainable building centre.

Wolseley UK’s facilities manager John Page said the company had achieved a closed loop operational model.

“All recycled waste is collected by Biffa and taken off-site to process and rebates are received for recyclable materials, meaning that the process runs at nil cost to the NDC part of the business and substantial cost reduction to the Wolseley Centre,” he said.

Staff support was essential as a number of changes had to be implemented. In Wolseley Centre, for example, all 400 bins under desks were removed and replaced with 80 central bins and staff had to be educated about the new facilities.

“We put up signage next to the bins to ensure that people used the correct bin for their waste items. Having the correct systems in place meant that staff could really get behind the recycling drive,” Page added.

Maxine Perella

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