Ward Recycling
Russ Cockburn

Member Article

?Glass Act? as £750,000 new plant creates jobs

A £750,000 investment in a new glass beneficiation plant is set to reap dividends for a Middlesbrough recycling specialist.

Ward Recycling Ltd, which employs 140 people across the UK, is now able to take sub 12mm mixed glass and – using a special sterilisation and implosion process – turn it into non-sharp product for use in water filtration, shot blast and decorative aggregates.

Two new clients are being added every week, with the company expecting to produce 25,000 tonnes in 2013, adding a further £2m in sales and creating up to ten new jobs.

The expected growth follows support from the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) and Teesside University in working towards and successfully securing BSI PAS 102, the quality accreditation for processed glass used in secondary end markets.

“It’s been a hectic six months, but we are now finally in a position to take advantage of the investment and increase capacity,” explained Paul Stonehouse, Sales and Marketing Manager at the glass plant.

“Securing BSI PAS 102 opens up a whole host of new markets for us and, basically, is a public endorsement that our product is safe to re-use and of an excellent quality.”

He went on to add: “Getting this accreditation is a tough ask and we knew we needed some external support in achieving it. We discussed this with Teesside University who signposted us to MAS, who provided us with strategic advice and a £3000 grant towards consultancy services.

“They advised us to concentrate on moisture content, particle shape and distribution and chemical contamination, which we duly did. We then employed the services of accredited laboratories to undertake testing before we were assessed.”

Ward Recycling, which also holds ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 14001 (Environment) and OHSAS 18001 (Health and Safety), is one of only a few organisations of its size to hold BSI PAS 102 and further assistance has allowed it to display it in a sales document that is being used to drive new business.

On the back of the accreditation, the firm’s products are currently being assessed by the DWI (Drinking Water Inspectorate) under Reg 31/BS6920 and, if successful, could see the glass plant running 24 hours a day, 5 days a week within 18 months.

This will form a significant diversification from the firm’s core offer, which includes bring bank collection services, dry recycling sorting and various styles of kerbside collections.

Paul is part of a three-strong management team that includes Simon Barker and Gareth Godwin. The latter picked up the story.

“One of our biggest customers is Palm Recycling and we operate numerous recycling schemes around the UK on their behalf.

“This involves us running operations located in Coventry, Ellesmere Port, Garforth and Swadlincote…all in addition to our 12 acre site in the heart of Teesside.”

Jim Barr, MAS Advisor, highlighted the importance of SMEs seeking assistance with diversification.

“When you are investing sizeable sums of money into a project, there can sometimes be a temptation to rush in and make quick decisions so you start to see the funding pay off.

“This is where we come in and act as a sounding board for a manufacturer and, working with the management team, draw up a strategy or solution to help it achieve its aims.

“In Ward Recycling’s case it was about the best route to market and this involved securing BSI PAS 102. We understood the basics of what was required, but also understood that this required specialists and we found £3000 of funding towards supporting experts from Teesside University.

“I was also able to put the business in contact with a local concrete manufacturer, who took the waste material from their process and used it in their own products, thus saving on time and landfill costs.”

Garry Evans, Sustainable Technology Manager at Teesside University, added his support:

“We identified at an early stage that waste legislation would prevent the company from claiming product status on the reprocessed material unless it was produced to a particular standard…in this case BSI PAS 102.

“Our approach was to help Ward adjust processes, develop acceptance criteria for incoming materials and explore separation of resulting fractions. The products were tested and successfully passed.”

MAS, which is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), works for manufacturers and through experienced advisors can help shape strategy, create new products, reduce waste and review supply chains.

Companies can take advantage of a free review that identifies key priority areas and funding is available for improvement projects focused on increasing efficiency, developing new products, strengthening supply chains and boosting sales.

For further information, please go to www.mymas.org or follow us at @mas_works. More details on Ward Recycling Ltd can be found at www.wardrecyclingltd.co.uk or by ringing 01642 458666.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Russ Cockburn .

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