When Grundon Waste Management began providing waste services to Bicester-based water filter cartridge specialist BRITA UK in 2014, it was a partnership which achieved almost instant results.
A detailed waste audit identified 30 different waste streams – including silicon labels, polystyrene and packing paper – that could be recycled or reprocessed, and the company rapidly gained zero waste to landfill status.
Since then, the two organisations have gone on to even greater achievements. In the period 2015-2017 Grundon has recycled nearly 600,000 kgs of BRITA’s waste material – that’s equivalent to 100 African elephants.
Now the partnership has become even closer, as Bryan Edwards, Professional & Services Warehouse Manager at BRITA, explains: “Grundon is our one-stop shop for waste-related advice and legal compliance questions. When we need good advice and quick feedback the team will respond and be here in the drop of a hat.
“For us, it’s about having the right partnerships and I find that Grundon always does the right thing in making sure we are compliant and giving expert advice rather than just trying to sell us something.”
One example, he says, was the advice given by Grundon when BRITA had to respond to ISO accreditation questions on the disposal of aerosols.
“We only use a small amount of aerosols – around 30-50 a year – but it had been identified that these were going into our general waste,” explained Bryan.
“Grundon was able to give us the technical knowledge we needed to dispose of them correctly, and as a result, we will be using its special aerosol collection service to do so.”
Expert advice on hazardous waste
Another success story has been the introduction of Grundon’s hazardous waste collection service. This sees the packing, transportation and disposal of items such as acids, silicon sealants and lubricating oil.
Bryan turned to Grundon’s technical experts to understand exactly who was responsible for the different elements of the process.
“We needed clarification around the loading and packing process, Ollie and James explained and are always on the end of the phone if to help,” added Bryan.
Ollie Stoddart, from Grundon’s Technical Department, said: “We often find customers need some support in understanding rules and regulations, especially around hazardous waste.
“In BRITA’s case, typically there will be a small amount of lab smalls and chemicals which require specialist disposal. They send us a list of the materials to be disposed of, we assess it and, depending on the requirements, will either just supply the packaging, or send in a chemist to pack the materials ready for transportation by our specialist vehicles and drivers.”
A new scrap metal collection service has been introduced and to date, nearly 5,000 kgs of scrap metal have been sent for recycling. Previously, the metal from used product was returned to BRITA’s headquarters in Germany, but Grundon was able to show it was more cost-effective to recycle the metal in the UK.
BRITA now earns a recycling rebate, saves on freight costs and, by reprocessing closer to home, is reducing its carbon footprint, a fact underlined as all Grundon’s waste collection vehicles are certified CarbonNeutral®.
Since June, damaged wooden pallets are now recycled by Grundon, and there are plans to introduce Grundon’s new Paper Cup Recycling Service.
James Standen, who has worked alongside BRITA since 2014, said: “We have been pleased to show BRITA what could be achieved and help them understand the benefits of segregating their waste.
“It shows that being able to handle all a customer’s different waste streams can really deliver change and the fact this now earns them a rebate on their other services is a big plus.”
It also means that BRITA has just one point of contact for all its recycling needs and Grundon regularly provides recycling statistics demonstrating on how much waste is produced, where it is going and the savings achieved.
As a world leader in its sector, BRITA takes its commitment to the environment very seriously, and its green credentials are one of the reasons it attracts successful partnerships with many top brand names such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Costa Coffee and Argos.
Figures show that over the three years (2015, 2016 and 2017) Grundon has achieved the following eco-savings:
- 6,964 trees saved
- 153,519 kg of CO2 saved
- 82 MWh of power generated