Garage door and security shutter manufacturer SWS UK embarked on a five year ‘zero to landfill’ scheme in 2015 but impressively, have achieved their target of eliminating production waste in under three years.
The scheme was created to eradicate the large volume of production waste destined for landfill, which at its peak in 2008, was recorded as 70 tonnes. Through increased recycling the firm saw a steady decrease in landfill waste which helped them achieve ISO 14001 in 2013. The ISO 14001 accreditation is the international standard for environmental management with the requirements being an integral part of the European Union’s and Eco-Management and Audit Scheme.
Encouraged by their achievements, SWS UK then introduced several additional processes which aided further waste recycling, including the use of a bailer which condensed the company’s unused plastic and a new method of recycling the plastic film, a material which is used to protect the slats delivered from their supplier.
In September 2015, SWS UK, which is one of the areas largest employers opted to increase their commitment to environmental responsibility by introducing a five-year programme which aimed to eliminate non-recyclable waste. By 2017 the company’s waste had decreased from 70 tonnes to 30 tonnes, and by the end of that year their waste contractor confirmed that everything would be fully recycled or sent away for use as fuel, with none of it going to landfill.
Peter Bailey, SWS UK’s Quality and Environmental Manager, expressed his delight at the company’s achievement: ‘since we began recording the levels of production waste in 2008, we were shocked to see it measure in at 70 tonnes, and as a result were determined to do everything we could to ensure this figure reduced significantly. Securing the ISO 14001 standard was an important step in cementing our commitment to responsible environmental management, and we are thrilled that we have been able to take this even further by completely eliminating any production waste, which previously would have been destined for landfill’.
Now the ultimate recycling goal has been achieved, SWS UK are determined to maintain their claim of ‘zero to landfill’ for their production waste, as Peter went on to explain ‘we are extremely proud of our achievement and are confident in ensuring that our landfill waste (from production) remains at zero. Any future contracts with waste management companies must adhere to our commitment of zero to landfill’