One of the biggest things we did was change the compactors and vehicles that were entering the Parliamentary Estate. There is very limited access – the estate was built for the horse and cart, so you do need to ensure that vehicles are the right shape and size.
We specifically designed new vehicles: they have been lowered and adapted because there are height and width restrictions. We needed to look at the payloads of the compactors to make sure that we were achieving maximum payloads with the smallest possible vehicle for that payload, so it was all about making sure you had the right equipment and the right vehicles that could actually service the site.
We designed a container that is carried on the back of this vehicle, which allows us to collect all bulky materials, exchange wheeled food containers, deliver sundries, collect WEEE and confidential waste – all on the same vehicle. This minimises movements in and out of Parliament.
Continuous training is also something we do. We [transferred] over three dedicated waste porters and a driver and ensure they are continuously trained. We also have an account manager on-site. We’ve also changed the signage and colour-coded bins.
We encourage our on-site staff and others around the estate to have a look at our facility in east London so they can understand what happens to the material.
Bywaters’ main goal in life is to fill our MRF, so more dry mixed recycling (DMR) from any site is what we are here to do. It is making sure that the DMR is going in the right container and that food is not contaminating other materials.
Contamination is being addressed by the on-site porters. They will know where the bin has come from so can ensure that education and support is given exactly where the contamination happens.
When we first start a contract, one of the most important things we do is carry out a waste audit, so we know where the material is coming from, what is being generated and where, and make sure the right receptacles are put in the correct areas.
We then do a full waste analysis of the material so that we understand what the material make-up is. Once you understand where all the material is coming from, it is just a case of making sure you put all the right containers in place.
The cleaners collect materials from around the buildings and put it where they think it needs to go, so the more control over the cleaning operatives and the more training you do with them ensures you continually improve the recycling.
Obviously we are delighted to be awarded such an incredibly prestigious contract and we look forward to working with the Parliamentary Estate for many years.
Amanda Brown is deputy managing director of Bywaters