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co op logo

Co-op

Strategic partnership with British Retail Business

Case study // Biffa lends a helping hand

Background

The Midcounties Co-operative is the second biggest independent co-operative in the UK with gross sales of £738 million. It has over 460 sites across Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Wiltshire and Worcestershire, with trading presence in the surrounding counties. The company has over 8,000 employees working in a number of businesses including food stores (convenience and super stores), travel, and pharmacy, funeral care, childcare, energy, employee benefits, and post offices. It produces around 6,000 tonnes of waste each year. At the end of 2010, just 21% of this waste was sent for recycling: now it recycles over 50%.

The Biffa approach to delivering more

  • We are keen to promote the value of waste, ensuring it is a benefit not a cost.
  • Our Dry Mixed Recycling service (which includes plastic bottles, paper, cardboard and tins/cans) makes it easy for businesses to recycle. We are the market leader in terms of capacity in Mixed Recycling Centres in London, Manchester and Birmingham.
  • Food waste is taken to one of our anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities to be processed into energy.
  • Our contract managers develop close partnerships with our customers to truly tailor-make services.
  • Our customers are provided with a full set of documents to ensure sites meet strict legal requirements.

Working with Midcounties Co-operative

  • Since the partnership began in late 2010, Midcounties Co-operative has gone from recycling 21% of its waste to over 50%. The group is on target to reach 80% recycling by 2013.
  • Biffa’s ‘three stream’ solution to include Dry Mixed Recycling, food waste and general waste makes it easy for employees to recycle.
  • Biffa and Midcounties Co-operative have worked together to appoint on-site ‘environment champions’ to promote recycling across the estate.
  • Biffa experts work proactively to identify areas of potential improvement in waste practices and implement tailored solutions for specific sites.
  • Success has been achieved by Midcounties Co-operative’s passion about recycling and dedication to reducing its waste to landfill.

Jamie Stapleton, Midcounties Co-operative Ethical trading manager commented “Since the partnership began in late 2010, Midcounties Co-operative has gone from recycling 21% of its waste to over 50%. The group is on target to reach 80% recycling by 2013.nBiffa’s ‘three stream’ solution to include Dry Mixed Recycling, food waste and general waste makes it easy for employees to recycle. Biffa and Midcounties Co-operative have worked together to appoint on-site ‘environment champions’ to promote recycling across the estate. Biffa experts work proactively to identify areas of potential improvement in waste practices and implement tailored solutions for specific sites. Success has been achieved by Midcounties Co-operative’s passion about recycling and dedication to reducing its waste to landfill.”

Biffa rolled out a three bin service to cover general waste, Dry Mixed Recycling (which includes plastic bottles, paper, cardboard and tins/cans), and food waste to make it as easy as possible for employees to recycle.

“We then set about implementing a culture change throughout the business in terms of recycling by integrating reducing waste into employees work objectives as well as appointing voluntary environment champions across the business to further promote recycling. In addition, Biffa experts continually work with the environment team at head office to improve recycling rates.”

“Since the partnership began we’ve increased our recycling rate to over 50%. The Midcounties Co-operative is passionate about recycling and dedicated to reducing its waste to landfill. We are continually striving to improve our recycling streams and will continue to work in partnership with Biffa to achieve our targets. We couldn’t have made the progress we have had without the buy in and enthusiasm of our employees and the support of our waste management partner, Biffa.”

Martin Nobes - Head of New Business

Martin Nobes

New Business Enquiries - if you're interested in how Biffa can help support you with strategic sustainable solutions contact Martin by emailing martin.nobes@biffa.co.uk

“At Midcounties Co-operative we are continually striving to improve our recycling streams and will continue to work in partnership with Biffa to achieve our targets.”

Midcounties Co-operative has gone from 21% recycling to over 50% across 460 sites in just 12 months thanks to support from Biffa. It shows that by making recycling central to their day-to-day business, retailers can reduce pressure on landfill, reduce greenhouse gases and deliver financial savings.