Whistl is the UK’s leading logistics specialists in e-fulfilment, contact centres, mail, and parcels. The recently expanded depot in Rushden, provides 155,000 SQ FT of operational space to manage the demand for the company’s growing fulfilment activities.
The sustainable management of waste forms a core element of Whistl’s environmental commitment and this has been the driver behind a recent project to transform the recycling activities at their fulfilment, mail, and parcel centres. As a result of a successful partnership between Zest Recycle and Whistl Rushden, a new system is being rolled out across all Whistl’s operational sites.
Prior to implementing the new recycling system, waste generated from the fulfilment activities (apart from cardboard and plastics) was being collected in mail bags and then emptied into general waste wheelie bins.
Working with the depot’s Health & Safety Executive Simon Smith, Zest Recycle Account Manager Robin Packman identified a large proportion of this material was recyclable and set about finding a solution to extract and manage these waste streams more sustainably and effectively.
A new solution was implemented to capture, paper, wax paper & plastics. Colour coded bags are placed at fulfilment stations to allow for easy segregation of the different waste streams, this waste is then placed into corresponding colour coded wheelies bins on the factory floor ready for onsite baling.
A programme of promotional activity and training was delivered to support the scheme on launch. Promotional posters were designed and circulated to raise interest and awareness, with the tagline ‘Orange is the new green’ and encouraging staff to help reduce environmental impact.
On the week of the launch, training presentations was delivered to all appropriate staff to communicate the new system and educate the team on the benefits of the recycling for the business.
Clear signage was also designed to aid correct segregation at workstations, using actual images of the waste produced within the centre to further reinforce the message.
By introducing the new system, we were able to reduce the wheelie bin collections from 29, 1100 euro containers emptied three times a week, to 6 wheelie bins emptied once a fortnight, which is a huge reduction.
Overall the results see a diversion of around 200 tonnes of material away from the general waste recovery to recycling and we estimate that the reduced transport equates to a saving of over 10 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum.
The scheme has been so successful that there has been no hesitation from Whistl’s Health & Safety Executive and Head of Facilities in rolling this out across the rest of the business.
The identification of this opportunity and support to deliver the project by Robin & the team at Zest Recycle has been great to see on site, with a visibly clear output as a result of their efforts. I look forward to engaging further with Zest Recycle over the next 12 months as a strategic waste partner across the Whistl estate to help improve our ways of working, further advance our recycling capabilities, and reduce our carbon emissions. Huge credit to Robin on the co-ordination and development of the programme.
Christopher Stringer (Head of Facilities)
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