Tilbury Douglas: plastic recycling initiative

Tilbury Douglas recently launched its sustainability strategy called People, Planet, and Performance (PPP). As a leading UK building, infrastructure, engineering, and fit-out business, this framework will provide a comprehensive approach to carbon reduction, sustainability, and social value outcomes across the company.

Reconomy has been working with Tilbury Douglas to support the business with its waste and resource management. There is an opportunity with waste materials leaving the business to understand and re-engineer processes to move towards zero waste, reduce carbon, and shift practices away from a linear model to a more circular one. Over the years recycling rates have been steady but with some changes to site governance and the development of best practice processes, a shift towards waste reduction can be achieved.

Reconomy is using its five steps to circularity model to enable Tilbury Douglas to make this transition. Step one is to analyse what the current situation is, with step two being a thorough review of data to provide a clear and practical action plan that can be communicated.

A plastics initiative has initially been set up as a pilot phase to analyse volumes of plastic waste produced on site. The aim was to capture data, and assess stakeholder buy-in and engagement response whilst also understanding commercial and environmental viability in an isolated and manageable way.

The initiative has seen a suite of new bins set up to segregate at-source plastic waste. This was then collected, weighed, and sent off for recycling. Critically, before the pilot got underway, the teams on site were fully briefed on what the initiative was, its objective, and what process they needed to follow. Engagement and buy-in at all levels meant waste was segregated into the correct bins and a fair assessment was made at the end of the pilot. Initial results showed that low volumes of plastic waste material were being produced at this point of the project. A wider material assessment through the project journey will be carried out next to identify the points at which plastic waste is being produced.

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Ben Angove, Director at Reconomy, said:

Our role is to provide guidance and operational support to engage the hearts and minds of people on site to truly understand why consideration and action when it comes to handling waste in the right way is so vital. Using our reporting and technology tools, the business is now in a great position to see its way toward a more circular future.

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Sarah Burki, Sustainability at Tilbury Douglas commented

Working with our supply chain is such an important step in addressing the sustainability challenges we are facing. This collaboration allows us to have a more in-depth look and understand where we can have the largest impact in not just improving our own performance on-site, but our supply chain’s sustainability performance as well. The important thing is that we take collective action to continuously improve our environment.