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NRAs 2018: Independent Operator of the Year

WINNER: Ellgia

Cambridge-based Ellgia, established in 2012, provides a wide range of bespoke commercial waste, recycling and processing services to more than 7,000 customers across the east of England, East Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Humberside.

It is committed to driving waste up the waste hierarchy and ensuring that as much material as possible is recycled, reused or converted to energy. It works with its customers to ensure that recycling is effectively captured, and has also invested in post-collection sorting and processing equipment to extract maximum value from all waste streams.

Its model is to provide businesses with a 100% compliant, transparent and differentiated local service that focuses on quality and attention to detail from its team.

JUDGES’ COMMENT: “This showed innovative ideas, a holistic approach, good focus on maximising resource value and very positive customer feedback.”

Ellgia employs more than 120 full-time staff across four depots in Cambridge-shire and Lincolnshire, and has a growing fleet of around 100 vehicles.

The company has seen exponential growth since it was set up, both organic and via a series of strategic acquisitions including AJ Thompson, Bell Waste Control and Purple Skips. These have enabled geographic expansion, providing hub and spoke locations for the management of waste and recycling, while offering diverse waste processes.

independent operator of the year

independent operator of the year

Ellgia now has an annual turnover of £24m and is investing profits back into the business to provide greater efficiency and processing capacity.

Underpinning its service is advanced technology that enables customers to measure and monitor their waste accurately via a bespoke customer portal, and to download detailed information for environmental reporting.

The business operates a pay-by-weight solution using container weighing and identification technology, so customers only pay for what they produce. Its software enables drivers to use tablet devices for a fully traceable paperless service.

The company’s next target will be to accomplish £50m turnover by 2023. To achieve this, geographic expansion will be key, supported by the ability to redirect waste back to specialised depots where materials can be processed to extract maximum value.


  • ASH Group
  • Binn Group
  • Eco Waste & Recycling
  • Multiplex
  • GBN Services
  • J&B Recycling
  • Junk Hunters
  • Just Clear
  • R Collard
  • Reconomy
  • Thompson Recycling & Landfill

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