Commitment, Vision & Inspiration

Our customer is a total railway system supplier offering rolling stock, traction equipment, signalling, traffic management systems and maintenance centres. Our customer aims to deliver more than 200 new trains over the next two years.

In parallel, they are looking to expand operations further to build upon their global reputation for quality, reliability, innovation, design and technological leadership.

Commitment – Zero waste to landfill

UKWSL began working with our client in the transportation sector in 2018 when they were relative newcomers to the UK business landscape and were looking to achieve ambitious growth. As a new entrant to the UK market, our customer’s spend on waste management would inevitably increase in line with its business growth plans.

Within a matter of months, waste spend forecasts changed from tens of thousands into hundreds of thousands of pounds per annum. They needed help to manage this period of transition and were looking for a partnership that could provide the flexibility and creativity to cope with the ever-changing service requirements which would inevitably come as a direct result of their growth targets. Our customer saw UKWSL as their ideal partner.

UKWSL would be providing waste collection services to their 3 key maintenance depots on the M4 corridor from London to Wales and leveraging off our unique position as a broker, we were also able to provide a bespoke solution for a 24-hour emergency spill response service. This is a key challenge of the Transport industry: it needs suppliers which can react to emergency situations within 4 hours and this was a real differentiator in UKWSL’s service offering.

One of the key requirements of this contract was to deliver a zero waste to landfill solution in line with our customer’s environmental targets. Again, UKWSL could offer the benefits of the broker model whereby we can utilise the innovation of regional waste management companies that can be missed by other larger waste management companies. There was a clear commitment by UKWSL to fulfil this key requirement from day one of the contract.

Vision – Recycling

Our customer has an aspiration to achieve an 80% recycling rate across all depots. The first step to realising this was to garner a greater understanding of the material compositions and waste handling procedures: we could then create an accurate picture of the actual waste being generated and subsequently design a bespoke auditing programme to understand how waste streams were handled and processed. The UKWSL account manager spent time with the train cleaning teams overnight to look at how waste was captured, and how we could look at segregation processes to improve recycling.

By engaging with staff on the ground, it quickly became apparent that not only was most of the waste removed from the train’s recyclable, but that all waste was going into one bag with no segregation at all. The material composition generally consisted of newspapers, magazines, food packaging and cans. This was deduced from taking a sample of trade waste bins and looking at the volumes and weight of the recyclable material from a single train. Following the review and subsequent engagement with the Environmental and Management Teams, a solution was identified to improve segregation with no significant impact to the time or labour required to complete the overall training cleaning process.

Inspiration – Driving cultural change from within the heart of an organisation

To achieve meaningful results for any customer, UKWSL addresses change on both a technical and cultural level. Technical change is where we look at providing sites with X number of bins for £Y cost; cultural change is where we work with staff across an organisation to learn how to use the containers, improving operational processes and the staff’s own capability to handle change.

As part of our approach to cultural change, UKWSL looks at education and engagement: waste handling is now part of all staff induction programmes and consequently, people’s awareness and desire to recycle becomes the norm. UKWSL employs a whole host of educational and engagement strategies on-site:

• We create ‘environmental champions’ at each site, to ensure best practise is being delivered upon and reported on in monthly update meetings

• We share experiences from each depot and the challenges they have overcome. We draw up league tables to help encourage friendly rivalry

Toolbox talks are delivered by our Account Management team to key contacts at each depot – a ‘train the trainer’ approach. This improves knowledge of waste processes and the segregation of recycling material. Each member of staff who completes the training is provided with a certificate of recognition

• We design ‘waste journey boards’ to give people a greater understanding of what happens when waste leaves their site and what product it gets turned into e.g. How cardboard can be recycled up to 7 times, plastic bottles can be turned into fleece jackets

Bespoke posters and signage are strategically placed around the site to highlight the do’s and don’ts of correct processing, using the WRAP guidance and image work provided. We find that this provides a uniform approach across all sites i.e. staff will always see the same approach to total waste management at all depots

UKWSL’s commitment, vision and inspiration means that our customer can maximise recycling, minimise general waste output and best manage the impact their operations have on the environment. The impact of change doesn’t just affect the ‘here and now’. Changing the working culture for waste handling helps to mitigate against future cost increases and changes in legislation that will place more emphasis on producers to consider the waste hierarchy.

Delivering a “zero waste” solution makes our customer stand out from the crowd. Our customer-centric approach and the emphasis we place upon the waste hierarchy means that UKWSL continuously strives to improve processes to support not only recycling and recovery options, but also solutions to reduce and reuse waste to give it a second lease of life.