Meet the Reconomy Team “ David Seal-Yates
Job title: Commercial Manager
Daily number of hot beverages consumed: Probably 4 or 5. I’m exclusively on tea at the moment, though I have been known to switch to coffee. As far as I’m concerned it’s strictly one or the other “ you can’t mix and match!
Accompanying biscuit of choice: Custard Creams or Bourbons. I’m a biscuit dunker and I’ve perfected the art with both of these.
How long have you worked at Reconomy?
I joined Reconomy at the end of 2015, but it’s not the first time I’ve worked for the company. I used to work for WasteFile about 10 years ago, which subsequently became Reconomy when the company was acquired by Bregal Capital. After I left WasteFile I remained within the waste industry for a number of years and stayed in touch with quite a few people at Reconomy. I was contacted by one of my old work colleagues at the right time and was only too happy to come back “ it was just meant to be.
What are your core responsibilities?
I’m responsible for running the commercial team, which handles and submits Reconomy’s tenders and bids for commercial contracts. The commercial team is also responsible for arranging the disposal of some of the more unusual waste streams that we encounter. Within the housebuilding and construction sectors the waste streams are fairly standardised “ plasterboard, timber etc “ but we can encounter almost anything imaginable and it’s up to us to ensure it doesn’t end up at a landfill site.
Some of the more weird and wonderful things we’ve found new uses for include a fully-fitted caravan that had been fly-tipped and a bridge made entirely out of polystyrene that was used at a facilities management show. Our motto is that we never say no “ we will always find a solution that allows waste to retain a purpose in the wider marketplace.
How do you make a difference everyday?
By the very nature of what we do, I think the entire commercial team makes a difference every day. We work closely with a number of charities that have significantly benefited from waste streams that our clients have sought to dispose of. For example, we were asked to arrange for the disposal of an upright piano that had been involved in a house fire, but was in a room the fire hadn’t reached. Instead of simply disposing of it, we arranged for it to be cleaned, restored and donated to a cancer support charity that had just opened a new facility for terminally ill children.
How is the changing face of the waste industry directly impacting upon Reconomy and your job role?
The constant changes to waste legislation have significantly impacted the ways in which commercial companies view waste disposal. Instead of it being motivated purely by cost limitation, many businesses now view waste disposal as an opportunity to enhance their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agendas. A lot of our clients want to stand out from their competitors and a great way to do that is to demonstrate their green credentials. This has led to the emergence of many niche service providers that we work very closely with. Together we are continually finding new ways to turn waste streams that would have historically gone to landfill into resaleable commodities.
What did you do before you joined Reconomy?
I finished university with a degree in Human Biology and literally started work at WasteFile the following week. I initially started in the accounts team before moving into more customer facing roles. I continued this career trajectory with several other waste brokers, working in sales and business development positions. Before re-joining Reconomy in 2015 I spent 2 years working as a prison warden, which I really enjoyed because it was a completely different working environment to anything else I’d experienced. Unfortunately, it involved a lot of shift work and because I have a young family it made it difficult to achieve a good work-life balance. Consequently, when the opportunity came to re-join Reconomy and revert to regular working hours it was too good to pass up.
What one possession could you never live without and why?
My dog, Toby the Pug. He’s relatively new to my family but has already made a big impression and the kids absolutely love him to bits.
What is the best thing about your job?
The people. They make it a pleasure to come to work every day. I’ve previously worked in environments where colleagues don’t get on and it can be a very difficult place to find yourself. Working with a close-knit team of knowledgeable, intelligent people is incredibly beneficial and makes you feel that collectively you can overcome any challenge.