The challenges for a charity retailer

“As a charity retailer, we receive lots of donations of stock through our shops and a chain of over 400 textile banks.  Where possible items are sold to the public, or a recycle merchant for additional income. Some items that are not sellable to either party end up in our waste stream. As a convenient way for the public to dispose of items they no longer want, we tend to have a high volume of waste.

UKWSL has supported our shops, giving us the tools to educate them on segregating the un-sellable goods into the 3 different waste streams; General, Recycling and WEEE. Our central team were also given the opportunity to attend the ‘WasteSmart’ course which enables them to understand waste further and support the shops.

The team at UKWSL has worked alongside the Scope Retail central team to visit shops and audit each site needs to ensure the correct and most efficient service is in place.

Overall, by increasing the amount we recycle and reducing our general waste, we have been able to save money and become a greener organisation. The reduced costs allow better profitability in our retail chain. The profits raised in our shops goes to support Scope to make this country a place where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else.

Scope Retail Operations Manager

Working in partnership with UKWSL

In 1952, three parents of children with cerebral palsy set up “The Spastics Society” because no one would educate their children. The organisation grew and changed to become a household name, but attitudes to disabled people changed as well. The word ‘spastic’ became a term of abuse. The Spastics Society wanted to say something positive about disability. In 1994, The Spastics Society became Scope.

Scope exists to make this country a place where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else. Scope provide support, information and advice to more than a quarter of a million disabled people and their families every year.

In 2014 Scope awarded UKWSL a long-term contract. Scope felt that UKWSL offered engagement, education and innovation that they hadn’t had with previous waste providers.

Delivering exceptional collection services

UKWSL engaged with more than 50 service partners to ensure that we met the complex service needs of the customer. When sourcing our contractors for Scope, we considered the time and access restrictions for each store carefully as many of the high streets where the stores are located have pedestrian access only hours which limits the collection times.

Our average on-time collection service success rate across the estate has been 99%. Most contractors report service success by including missed collections recovered within an agreed number of days. For UKWSL, service success is about being “on-time”.

The benefit of the outsource model is that UKWSL can work with contractors to deliver the highest quality of service in each part of the country. We are not limited by our own operational capability. UKWSL works with multiple service partners in all key towns and cities across the UK. By doing so, we can operate on a three strikes rule. If a service partner provides a level of service that does not meet our needs we will work with them to resolve issues. Where a suitable resolution cannot be found, UKWSL will engage with alternate service partners. This is done so that our clients always receive the best service levels possible.

UKWSL approach to engagement & education

As part of our bespoke awareness campaign, key contacts within Scope completed the CIWM supported WasteSmart course. This course looks closely at waste as a resource, the environmental impact of waste, the cost of managing waste, understanding and applying the Waste Hierarchy as well as the legislation and compliance behind waste disposal. 

The advanced course places more emphasis on the upper tiers of the Waste Hierarchy by exploring opportunities to reduce waste and looking at how to identify waste as a resource to be used within the circular economy.

UKWSL took the time to review Scope’s working culture by completing audits across the country to get a thorough understanding of the waste being disposed of and to identify any segregation challenges that the stores were facing.

UKWSL doesn’t just look at waste after it has been put into external containers to find solutions. Our audit and engagement programme looks to identify the root cause of issues which often starts inside a property. Our account management team worked with the key stakeholders at Scope to increase awareness of recycling within the stores and improve segregation.

Signage was designed by UKWSL in conjunction with the customer to accommodate the requirements of staff with any disabilities or special needs. It was also specific to the typical waste make-up at each store.

Circular Economy

A circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.

The circular economy is important because it creates sustainable opportunities for growth, helps to reduce waste, drive greater resource productivity and delivers a more competitive economy. By realising the benefits, businesses would also be positioning the UK to better compete with international markets, address emerging resource security issues and reducing the environmental impacts of our production and consumption.

The strategic partnership approach between Scope and UKWSL allowed us to focus strongly on the circular economy. Because of this, in January 2018 we were able to deliver a landfill diversion rate of 98%. This means that approximately 1330 tonnes of materials produced by Scope are recycled or recovered each year.

Value for money

When UKWSL talks about ‘value for money’, we mean that best value for money is defined as the most advantageous combination of cost, quality and sustainability to meet customer requirements. Cost means consideration of the whole life cost, Quality means meeting a specification which is fit for purpose and sufficient to meet the customer’s requirements and Sustainability means economic, social and environmental benefits.