Grafton Merchanting GB: WHG Housing Association Waste Management

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Over 4,400 tonnes of whg waste managed by Reconomy between April 2017 and March 2018


An impressive 96% of all waste managed between April 2017 and March 2018 was diverted away from landfill

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103.5 tonnes disposed of by Ace Tree Management

Social Housing

Grafton Merchanting GB specialises in the supply of building materials to housing associations, local authorities, construction companies and government bodies. In April 2015, Grafton Merchanting entered into a partnership agreement with whg to supply all building materials for the renovation, repair and maintenance of its 20,000+ social homes across the Walsall area.

As part of the agreement, a waste management service contract was included, enabling whg to maximise its resource usage and reduce the amount of waste it was generating. Fulfilment of this contract was awarded to waste management company, Network Waste, which took up responsibility for collecting and compliantly disposing of all general household waste created during whg property renovations and maintenance. It also oversaw the management of garden clearance waste, WEEE waste (white goods), hazardous waste and inert waste, along with a specialist service to safely dispose of asbestos.


In addition to supplying skips / containers for the on-site collection of waste and providing direct access to two primary tipping locations, Network Waste also established waste management compounds at three of Grafton’s depots (known as ‘stores’). This allowed all waste materials returned to the depots to be properly segregated, enhancing reuse and recycling rates. Training was also provided to Grafton personnel at each store, as well as whg trade colleagues, to improve waste management behaviours.

In October 2015, Network Waste was acquired by the Reconomy Group of Companies. Following a period of consultation, management of the Grafton contract was reassigned to Reconomy. Soon afterwards, conversations took place with both Grafton and whg about how Reconomy’s extended reach and influence across the waste industry could provide additional benefits.


During these discussions, it was identified that there remained a significant gap in the collation of waste management data for whg due to its use of numerous subcontractors outside of its arrangement with Grafton. By this point, data for all whg waste managed via Grafton was being consolidated and reported on Reconomy’s waste management portal, providing a detailed breakdown of tonnages, landfill diversion and spend. However, this was not the case for any waste handled by subcontractors, meaning whg was receiving only a partially account of its total waste arisings. Reconomy was therefore tasked with working with one of whg’s subcontractors, Ace Tree Management, to develop a strategy that would overcome this reporting limitation.


An agreement was reached whereby Ace Tree committed to disposing of all whg waste at Reconomy-approved tipping sites. This allowed the data for all waste handled by Ace Tree to be gathered as it passed over the tipping site’s weighbridge. From there it was then directly uploaded to the Reconomy Portal. This delivered greater visibility of whg’s waste arisings and provided reassurance that all their waste managed by Ace Tree was being disposed of compliantly.

It also benefitted Ace Tree by increasing their number of tipping locations in and around Walsall, minimising both journey times and fuel costs. Furthermore, it consolidated their invoicing for tipping down to just one supplier, saving them considerable administration time. Such has been the success of the arrangement between Reconomy and Ace Tree that the model established is now being rolled-out to other whg subcontractors.

Achieving Results

Between April 2017 and March 2018, Reconomy managed 4,428.35 tonnes of waste on behalf of whg, including 103.5 tonnes disposed of by Ace Tree Management. Excluding asbestos, an impressive 96% of all managed waste was diverted away from landfill. This has meant that although waste volumes increased compared with previous years, the disposal cost paid per tonne went down, as more waste was reused or recycled making it cheaper to dispose of. whg has now extended its relationship with Reconomy into other areas of waste management, with Reconomy now taking responsibility for the disposal of the company’s office recycling, along with ad hoc skip requests made by their Neighbourhood Service Teams and Tenancy Service Teams.

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