Local business boosts recycling

Local Shropshire firm Tudor Griffiths’ employ about 70 staff locally to look after over 75,000 tonnes of waste each year.  This is mainly builders waste from construction sites around the Shropshire/Cheshire area but includes some waste sourced from Shropshire’s Household Recycling Centres.  Their Wood Lane site in Ellesmere, north Shropshire includes the operation of a non-hazardous waste landfill site alongside recycling operations.  The company also operates commercial waste collection, skip hire, haulage, quarry, concrete and building merchant businesses which all complement each other.

The company has recently invested over £1.5 million in their Ellesmere site which attracted a grant of around £250,000 from the government funded Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP).  The investment went towards the construction of a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to allow them to reduce the amount of waste which goes to landfill.  The MRF was designed and built by Shropshire construction firm McPhillips.

Now all the waste from their skip hire business (which previously would have gone straight to landfill) is first taken to this MRF for pre-treatment.  As a result around 90% of the material is now being kept out of landfill.

The majority of this waste is soil, bricks and rubble from construction projects – but obviously with builders skips there is also a lot of general mixed rubbish and other waste items included – so firstly the skip waste is tipped and simply screened off by passing the material through a trommel (which acts like a giant sieve).  Once the heavy and rocky fraction of the waste has been removed the material gets sent through the MRF where recyclable materials such as tyres, plastics, metals and wood, are initially removed by hand picking.  Ferrous metals are also removed with magnets and this happens repeatedly at each stage of the operation.  Even the little nails present in wood and hinges and knobs off kitchen units and doors get removed at the wood shredding stage with magnets.

  • Rubble is then crushed on site to create recycled aggregates which can sold on by their sister business TG Builders Merchants to be used on local construction sites.
  • Soil can be re-used for local land restoration projects and on site at the Ellesmere landfill for engineering purposes.  
  • Metals recovered at the MRF get sent on to local scrap metal businesses like Challinors in Wrexham
  • Wood gets sent on to local factory Kronospan near Oswestry which makes chipboard.
  • Cardboard gets sent to local firm Oswestry Waste Paper to be sorted, baled and sent for recycling at near by paper mills.
  • Green waste gets sent to local firms in Shrewsbury & Oswestry to be composted.

It just goes to show how important recycling is to our local economy – it’s not only the local companies who benefit from sub-contracting of work but the supply of raw resources which power our local manufacturing sector.  If we didn’t keep these materials out of landfill it isn’t just the environment that would pay the price.  Recycling in Shropshire is helping to reduce the cost of doing business and supporting local jobs and investment across the whole region.  

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James Thompson James Thompson

Waste Prevention Officer, Waste Management, Shropshire Council

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