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SMTS Witney Goes Greener

Waste not, want not – how we have improved our green credentials at our Witney factory

Stewart Milne Timber Systems in Witney has entered a partnership agreement with Smiths Trade Waste Services for the collection and disposal of all waste material from the factory, a move which will substantially improve the factory’s green credentials.

The agreement, which sees Smiths appointed as Waste Services Provider Partner, comes following a review of SMTS’s waste management processes. The agreement will not only introduce a more streamlined, efficient approach but it will provide us  with transparent reports so it can accurately track what happens to the waste after it leaves the factory.

“Before going into partnership with Smiths, we worked with several waste management contractors, each one responsible for collecting different types of waste,” said factory manager Frank O’Reilly. “Administering and managing this, having to duplicate processes such as invoicing, arranging collections, separately weighing and monitoring every type of waste generated a lot of extra work for our team, so it was a labour and time intensive process. Storing different types of waste in skips across the facility until it was collected also took up a considerable amount of warehouse and yard space.

“One of our biggest concerns however was the environmental implications. We felt that working with several contractors, who were all coming from different places to collect waste, added considerably to the road miles that we were generating. We were also very concerned that we felt we could not accurately track what happened to the waste when it left us and whether there could be better, more sustainable ways of dealing with it.

“We are committed to doing what we can, to be as green as we can as an organisation, and we continually make improvements that reduce our carbon footprint. We looked at our whole waste management procedure and knew we could do better.”

To make the process as efficient as possible, we are hiring a compacter from Smiths which will be used for all the factory’s general waste. The compactor will reduce the volume of general waste by two-thirds, compressing the equivalent of three skips full of waste into just one – another saving in road miles. Plastic and cardboard, plasterboard, and Fermacell which is segregated separately will also be collected by Smiths.

The waste collected by Smiths is taken directly to the recycling facility where it will be separated and sorted for recycling. Anything which cannot be recycled will be taken to the Energy from Waste facility. The steam created by the incinerator is used to make electricity which is used locally or fed into the national grid.

We will be provided with a full report on how the waste has been diverted, beginning with the weight of waste recorded up to an itemised breakdown of final dispersal. This information is then measured against our factory’s KPIs.

“We’re very pleased to have secured the contract for waste services with SMTS Witney factory,” said Josh Hill, Account Manager at Smiths Trade Waste Services.  “All our trade waste collections run at zero to landfill policy. We knew from our discussions with the team there that it was important to make sure the waste produced on site is collected in both the most efficient and green way as possible.

“To do this we will be locating a compactor on site to significantly reduce the number of pick-ups compared to previous  collections. We have also arranged for roll on/roll off for the Fermacell and plasterboard produced on site to help free up space on site.

 “It’s been a pleasure working with the team at SMTS and we look forward to developing the partnership further over the upcoming years.”

The only thing which Smiths does not collect is our factory’s timber waste which is collected by Giffords Recycling. Collected twice weekly as part of a local run, one hundred percent of the wood waste is recycled into products such as animal bedding, children’s soft play areas and pallet manufacture.

We also puts a box of timber offcuts aside for the Guideposts Trust, a local charity where we provide wood on a monthly basis for their gardening and woodwork classes. 

“As an ISO 14001 certified organisation, we have a duty of care and an obligation to be a greener company,” said Mr O’Reilly. “Traceability is important, and by partnering with Smiths we are confident that the waste generated at the factory is being dealt with in a responsible, accountable manner.”

Smiths was chosen as the preferred partner for two principal reasons; its location and its track record of achieving a zero to landfill policy which diverts all general waste it collects away from landfill. The recycling facility is just 40 miles from the Witney factory with the Energy from Waste (EfW) facility only four miles from that.

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