Zero Waste To Landfill, Glasgow

11 Jun 2014

“By using a combination of recycling and green energy solutions we have achieved 100% diversion from landfill at Silverburn. Achieving this in just six weeks shows that zero waste is a very realistic goal for any organisation.” Ian Goodfellow, Managing Director, Shanks

In 2012 , as part of a major initiative to improve economies of scale and increase efficiency, we consolidated our waste management contracts at Silverburn Shopping Centre through GBM Support Services.

The goal was to achieve a business plan target of an 85% recycling rate for 2012.

What we did

In Spring 2012, under GBM’s management, a single operator, Shanks, replaced the three separate providers responsible for waste services at Silverburn. Under the new arrangement, general waste is processed via a materials recycling facility, while organic waste is transported to an anaerobic digestion plant for conversion into biogas, green energy and digestate. See our Food Waste to Farmers Compost case study for more information on how we are managing organic waste locally.

The Outcome

In just six weeks recycling rates at the shopping centre rocketed from 9% in April to 96.5% in May, and 96.4% in June, easily exceeding our initial 85% target and securing a 50% cost saving in the process.

Now, around 96 tonnes of waste is recycled each month, representing a £4,100 saving per month in costs and dramatically reducing waste to landfill to zero. This has enabled us to comply with the new zero waste to landfill regulations in Scotland ahead of schedule.

This remarkable achievement is due to two key factors in the new waste management model. Firstly, the move towards recycling more than just glass and cardboard, and secondly, extensive engagement with the 100 retailer stores through a comprehensive training programme on how to separate and process waste for collection.  This sort outcome is a good demonstration of what can be achieved through a real partnership approach.