Integrated waste management offered to retailers

SWR is offering integrated waste management specifically designed for garden centres, which are producing more waste than ever, according to the Hampshire-based company.

The company claimed that garden centres generate a wider range of waste streams than other types of retailers, producing plant waste, plant pots, chemicals and compost, metals, wood, food waste, plastics and card.

SWR chief executive Giles Whiteley said few companies are set up to handle the variety of waste generated from garden centres. He added: "So much of this varied waste just ends up being dumped in landfill sites rather than being recycled or disposed of in a more sustainable way."

Whiteley said customers' high expectations of greenness compounds the problem. This all leads to expense and time spent dealing with multiple waste contractors.

Whiteley says he has pioneered a "simple" system for garden centres. He explained: "Once we've assessed the waste that each garden centre produces, we draw up a waste plan to suit. We use our extensive network of contractors around the UK to offer the best mix of capabilities for each site.

"Not only do our customers have a single point of contact for their waste issues, but they receive help in other ways. For example, where customers have implemented cardboard and plastic balers, SWR has been able to generate revenue for customers, which offsets some of their waste bill."

When the waste has been dealt with, the garden centre receives one monthly invoice that covers all the waste types.

Following on from that, SWR will produce recycling reports that can be used for PR purposes, to very good effect, and in the garden centre's marketing materials.

SWR, which works with 100 centres, is also able to provide garden centre staff training in waste management.

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