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Five recyclers make Rich List

There’s gold in waste, The Sunday Times’ annual survey has shown.

The newspaper’s 2013 list (£) of the thousand richest people based in the UK, or with businesses in the country, put Robin Sheppard and family, owners of European Metal Recycling in 80th place.

While its turnover rose above £3bn in 2011, profits fell to £116m. But the family has wealth of £1.04bn, down from £1.23bn in 2012, when they ranked at 60th place.

This wealth made the Sheppards the only people in the waste industry richer than HM The Queen, who ranked at 268th on the list with wealth of £320m.

Gary Widdowson, ranked at 465 with wealth of £170m, fell slightly from 441st last year, though his wealth was unchanged. His money came originally from metal recycling but he now runs property group Kenninghall.

Placed at 572nd were John Harry and family, whose wealth was £140m although their scrap metal business S Norton saw its profits fall to £16m on £352m sales in 2011. Last year the family was ranked at 462 with wealth of £160m.

Richard Biffa, who no longer owns the waste firm associated with his name, was ranked 749th with wealth of £106m, up from a ranking in 2012 of 785 and wealth of £95m. He sold Biffa then later bought waste firm Rechem for £1.8m, later selling it for £171m.

A new industry entrant to the list was Danny Sawrij at 932nd. His £380m wealth comes from waste recycling and animal by-products company Leo Group, which made £7.3m on £60m sales in 2011-12.

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