£5m Allstone investment dramatically reduces the need for landﬁll
By Andrew Merrell | 17th October 2019
It's a vision out of a child's cartoon, where a skip full of rubbish gets fed into a machine and after a few clunks, bangs and shakes it comes out of the other end sorted, sifted and ready for recycling.
Thanks to a multi-million-pound investment from a Gloucestershire company in a state of-the-art piece of German kit, that cartoon caper has become a reality.
Allstone and Speedy Skips made the decision to invest £5.2million in a waste management system last year and it has already started paying its keep.
Simon Ford, managing director of the Gloucester based firm, said the plant has enabled the company to record a 15 per cent rise in the amount of waste it is able to recycle.
Now, the firm which started trading in 1983 and employs more than 70 people, is sending just two per cent of every skip load to landfill - with the rest ﬁnding a second use and, vitally, resale value.
Mr Ford said: "Last year we invested £5.2million in the business. Most of that was in a waste recycling plant and facility from Germany.
"We looked for around four or ﬁve years for a plant that would be ahead of the curve. We wanted one that would take waste streams that other plants wouldn't.
"Due to it being a state-of-the-art facility we now have increased our recycling rate dramatically. We were recycling 83 per cent already, but now we have gone up to 98 per cent."
Whenever one of the company's 56 skip lorries arrives at Myers Road, the initial load is given the once-over and any large items are removed.
The contents are then loaded into a hopper and a mostly automated system begins a process that sees all the reusable products separated in just over three minutes.
"When a skip arrives, we pre-sort it to remove all the big plastic items or pieces of metal that may break the machine, but then load the rest into the hopper," Mr Ford said.
"Then we feed the plant and a series of conveyors, screens, wind separators, picking stations, magnets, eddy current separators to sort and segregate it mechanically.
"If we put a skip full through at one end in the hopper, it takes just over three minutes to get through sorted to the other end.
"It separates plastic, plasterboard, cardboard, wood, paper and also the waste element, hardcore soils and different types of metals, so the iron, aluminium and steel is all separated."
Soil and hardcore is also retrieved and then sent for separate processing, alongside any glass fragments and that becomes various forms of aggregate.
"We put the soil and hardcore through a mill to crush it and then washing plant to get a 6mm, 10mm, 14mm, 20mm, 40mm and 75mm clean stone and flooring sand out of soil and hardcore," Mr Ford added.
"We then send the rest of the recycled waste out to various places, always trying to keep it local to cut down on our carbon footprint if we can.
"The metals go to various places. Some we take to Bimingham to a company like Wards, which is a speciﬁc aluminium recycler, but most stays local.
"Our wood is shredded and we have a contract with AW Jenkinson, which takes it to chipboard manufacturer or biomass - but it's all recycled.
"We have a link with a plastic recycler up in Durham, which takes all our plastics and heat treats it to form plastic blocks that are used for building.
"It all means that there is a second use for what some people think is waste. We can turn that into a product that can be used again, without needing to send to landﬁll.
"That's great for business and also great for the environment too, so it's an investment that's been really worth our while"
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