Suzuki GB PLC: Recycling and Landfill Diversion Strategy
£0 In Rebates
By improving recycling rates, Suzuki GB recieved £22,000 in rebates from their recyclable materials.
Over £0 Saved
Circa £27,000 saving made during the first year of the contract through rebates and improved efficiences
0% Recycling Rate
Recycling rates substantially increased from 26% to 96% within the first 12 months of the contract
As a wholly owned subsidiary of the Suzuki Motor Corporation, Suzuki GB PLC is responsible for the distribution of Suzuki parts and accessories for their automobiles, motorcycles, ATVs and marine engines throughout the Suzuki dealership network in the UK. In 2007-2008, the waste disposal costs for Suzuki GB’s Milton Keynes site exceeded £64,000. Due to a lack of on-site waste segregation practices, only 26% of all generated waste was recycled throughout the year, with the remaining 74% going to landfill.
Following an open tender in 2008, a 3-year waste management service contract was agreed between Suzuki GB and MT Waste Management, with the aim of improving recycling rates and reducing waste-related expenditure. MT Waste was subsequently acquired by Reconomy (UK) Ltd, who took over management of the Suzuki GB contract, which has consistently been renewed and remains active to this day.
To identify quick wins and longer term opportunities to reduce waste volumes and disposal costs, a thorough waste audit was carried out at Suzuki GB’s Milton Keynes site. The audit identified that roll-on, roll-off (Ro-Ro) containers were commonly being used to dispose of up to 3 tonnes of cardboard packaging each week, along with over 2 tonnes of wood waste, mostly consisting of unbroken pallets.
This combined with weekly collections of over a tonne of general waste was requiring 1,300 vehicle movements per annum to service the site, creating a substantial carbon footprint. The audit identified high-levels of crosscontamination, where waste streams were being mixed together, limiting opportunities for recycling and contributing towards high landfill rates. Reducing the high number of collections and changing on-site attitudes to waste to improve recycling swiftly became a key priority.
To bring about a change of mindset, the decision was taken to embed a full-time waste champion at the Milton Keynes site. As an employee of MT Waste (and subsequently Reconomy), the waste champion would be responsible for implementing the site’s new waste management strategy. Their first job was to establish a waste compound that would allow for waste to be properly segregated, enabling Suzuki GB to reduce expensive general waste disposal costs. The waste champion then held regular toolbox talks with staff to make them aware of their individual waste responsibilities and educate them on how to correctly segregate their waste.
Once the waste compound was up and running, new equipment was introduced at the site to minimise overall volumes, with the aim of reducing the frequency of collections. Balers were introduced to compress collected cardboard and other forms of packaging, while a static compaction unit was also installed to minimise the volume of general waste. The disposal of wood pallets can be problematic due to the amount of empty space they leave when placed into skips or containers. Though they can be broken down by hand for more efficient loading, this can be a time-consuming and costly exercise. Therefore, the decision was taken to install a roll packer at the site to compress all unwanted pallets, which significantly reduced their volume, achieving a 5.1 compaction ratio.
Within 12 months of introducing the new strategy, Suzuki GB’s recycling rates jumped from 26% to an impressive 96%, with the site also achieving 100% landfill diversion. By substantially improving their recycling rates, Suzuki GB also received over £22,000 in rebates from their recyclable materials. Through the introduction of the new compaction equipment, vehicle movements for wood and cardboard/packaging waste were reduced to a single collection per month, while general waste collections dropped to once a quarter.
This substantially reduced the number of waste vehicles accessing the site by over 1,250 visits per annum, improving the site’s carbon footprint significantly Overall waste expenditure for the site during the first year of the contract saw a reduction of 42.7% – equal to a saving of £27,701.37. In the subsequent years since this initial success, Reconomy has managed on average 600 tonnes of waste for Suzuki GB per year, maintaining recycling rates of 96% and consistently achieving 100% landfill diversion.