Construction waste. Household waste. Industrial waste. Liquid waste. The seemingly worthless by-products of everyday life and work is forgotten by most people as soon as the skip is picked up and driven away.
But Gary Tennant isn’t like most people. He’s the chief operating officer of S & B Waste Management and Recycling, and where others see rubbish, he sees potential. The company he heads was established in 1984 and has grown to become one of the largest skip hire and recycling businesses in the Midlands. But what makes S & B Waste stand out is the importance they place on good environmental practice throughout the business chain. “We recycle about 95 percent of all our waste, to maximise the re-use of non-renewable resources,” he explains. “For instance, we recycle wood and cardboard to generate energy. Sand and aggregate can be used as backfilling on pipelines. We extract all kinds of materials from the waste stream, wherever it is commercially viable.”
S & B Waste is one of the few operators in their region to hold the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) bronze award. They’re aiming to raise the standard of their operation to achieve the FORS silver soon with gold to follow, hopefully within a year or so. A government-backed scheme, FORS recognises best practices in safety, efficiency, and environmental protection. Naturally, the company’s entire fleet of skip hire trucks and vans are Euro 6 emissions compliant.
S & B Waste is committed to Cat® power throughout its site in Wolverhampton. Its waste processing machinery includes four MH3022 waste handlers powered by the Cat C7.1 engine, a loading shovel and, at the centre of operations, an Edge Innovate VS 420 twin-shaft shredder powered by an EU Stage V Cat C9.3B engine. All are Stage V compliant, another important contribution to the company’s environmental credentials.
Tennant explains: “We choose Cat engines for reliability and for the service we get from Finning. All our machines have a five-year warranty and are under a maintenance contract, because we can’t afford unplanned downtime.”
To keep all the Cat engines on site at S & B Waste in peak condition, dealer Finning uses Cat Remote Fleet Vision, a software package that collects real-time data from each unit to monitor usage and performance. This means each Cat engine only gets serviced when it needs it and provides vital advance warning if any components are showing signs of wear. “Finning remotely monitors all our machines,” confirms Tennant. “They know when each one is coming up to its 500 hours service and will just phone me and tell me when the engineer is coming. It’s quite handy, that.”
As wood, cardboard and other combustible materials can be used to generate electricity, the next logical step was to bring the process on site. “In July 2020, we started to build a waste to energy site in our top yard,” says Tennant. “When it’s complete we’ll produce enough energy to sell to the grid as well as powering our site, which means we won’t have any more electricity bills. We’ll be self-sufficient, and it’s more environmentally friendly.” As this forward-thinking company shows, business success doesn’t have to cost the earth.
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