Supporting our community and working on projects that help impact change are really important to us. We are always open to discuss a project that could help a charity, benefit the environment or help change a process to solve a recycling problem.
Cobalt is a medical charity, working hard to help people affected by cancer, dementia and other life-limiting conditions. Back in 2009, they approached us about getting involved with their festive campaign, The Big Sort.
- If you haven’t heard of this already, every January, the charity encourages both businesses and the general public to donate their old Christmas cards to them. They then work their magic to upcycle these into new greeting cards, ready to be sold the following Christmas.
- In doing so, Cobalt raises vital funds (a whopping £30,000 each year!) for the medical work they do.
- So, of course we said yes to helping out – and we’ve been doing this annually ever since. Now, every January, our Printwaste staff kindly turn into Christmas elves, delivering the card recycling boxes to local businesses, taking away the waste produced from upcycling the cards, and encouraging customers to donate.
- It’s an absolutely fantastic cause and one in which we love being part of – the perfect January pick-me-up!
- To see it all in action, check out this video from the 2019 Big Sort: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR7n5HbW8OQ
The Butterfly Garden
The Butterfly Garden is a local project for people of all ages dealing with disablement of any kind.
When they were in need of vital transport for their service users, we got involved and supplied them with a mini bus, now named “The Butterflyer”. And we weren’t alone in wanting to help out…
- Cotswold Supported Living and Ellwood Doors and Windows came on board to sponsor the repairs and maintenance of the vehicle.
- SignLink Graphics created the sign for the mini bus free-of-charge.
- K&R Crash Repairs agreed to service and MOT the vehicle free-of-charge.
- And now, because of this team effort, The Butterflyer happily transports service users to and from the Garden, as well as on a whole host of day trips.
ProCook are the number one supplier of cookware and kitchenware in the UK – and are also one of our lovely customers. In partnership with Life’s a Beach, they’ve created a line of multi-use drinks containers and coffee cups, made from 100% recycled material.
- To help promote this eco-friendly range of products, we partnered up with them to organise a beach clean at Weston-super-Mare.
- On our end, we supplied bags to put the waste in, vans to transport that waste back to our depot, and a few members of our team to help out with the actual beach clean.
- For each hour cleaning the beach both teams collectively managed to gather 25kg of waste. Unfortunately due to high contamination levels the materials were unable to be recycled. Instead we recovered resource through energy generation (waste-to-energy) – producing 15.625kWh of electricity – enough to make 1,250 cups of tea or coffee.
Some of our internal and industry projects
Polystyrene Recycling Solution
Back in 2009, we were asked to help dispose of some IT and furniture packaging waste, including polystyrene. This kind of waste takes up a lot of space in landfill and can take a thousand years to degrade. Because of this, plus the cost attached to landfill, the customer wanted a more environmentally-friendly way of disposing of it.
- We took on the challenge and looked into the viability of buying and selling polystyrene, as well as transportation options for this material.
- Manufacturers across the UK and Spain said they would accept the material if it was baled. So we invested in a specialised polystyrene compactor machine (aka a baler), which turned the polystyrene into a solid block. And bingo, our polystyrene recycling service was born.
- All of this is then recycled into new products, such as building insulation, packaging and car sun visors.
Solar Panel Roofing at our HQ
In a move away from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources, in January 2016, we worked with Solarsense to install 384 solar panels on our roof at Commerce House (our high security shredding facility).
- These solar panels now supply over 50% of the power needed to operate our shredding machinery on site and, as an added bonus, have led to a 51% reduction in electricity costs.
- The panels were a big contributor to us winning the BSIA ‘Security Industry Environmental Award’ in 2017.
Recycling Technologies – Plastic Film
In an opportunity to be involved in developing future technologies, we’ve teamed up with Recycling Technologies, who are trialling a developed and patented process to turn waste plastic back into oil, Plaxx®. A material which can then be used in the manufacture of new plastic and as a petroleum wax in packaging and cosmetics.
- This trial is being done with a leading global supermarket who are encouraging people to bring back their ‘soft’ plastic waste to 10 stores across the south west region.
- Customers have been able to return to trial stores everything from pet food pouches to shopping bags and crisp packets, all of which cannot commonly be recycled by local councils.
- Our involvement has been to collect and transport the ‘soft’ plastic back to our facility for shredding through one of our mobile shredding vehicles, before the material is baled, palletised it and shrink-wrapped.
- This is then sent back to Recycling Technologies depot in Swindon where it’s taken to their reprocessing plant.
- Here, the material is now being tested, as part of the trial, to check the recyclability of each type of plastic material and whether there’s any specific requirements i.e. a different shred size