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The waste businesses that are an inspiration

The London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report identifies the UK’s fastest-growing SMEs and high-growth companies across multiple sectors and regions. MRW has pulled together the 24 waste management and resource sector firms that made the cut.

Financial technology company Duedil combined key financial performance indi­cators and sector benchmarks to compile the list. To be eligible, companies had to be active and registered in the UK, have revenues from £6m-£250m based on latest Companies House filings and be incorporated for more than three years.

An average annual turnover growth rate was calculated during a three-year period, weighted to favour latest-year growth, while companies with more than 20% deterioration in net assets over a three-year period were excluded.

From the long list, companies were then sep­arated into standard industrial classification groupings and were ranked within these by individual growth rates.

Anthesis Group

Anthesis is a specialist and global sustainability consultancy that offers commercially driven sustainability strategy, underpinned by techni­cal experience – delivered by innovative collab­orative teams across the world.


Describes itself as the sector leader in modern­ising hazardous waste management practice and providing sustainable, compliance-led waste management solutions for Britain’s more difficult to handle wastes.

b&a group

Bristol & Avon Group

B&A Group, established in 1993, has developed from humble beginnings. “As a family company, we are very proud to be given this accolade,” said Clare Berkely, finance director.

“We offer a range of services from environ­mental consultancy, ground improvement, strategy and implementation, to tipper and plant hire and waste management. We also produce a range of recycled aggregates from our recycling facility in Bristol.

“We have always been an ambitious com­pany and strive to be the best at what we do. We invest in both our people and our plant. Being highly competitive motivates us constantly to evaluate ways in which efficiencies can be made to give our customers what they want and when they want it.”

Blue Group

Blue Group is a specialist provider of materials processing equipment for the quarrying and waste recycling industries across Britain. It offers total solutions, from single equipment specification and supply, to the bespoke design and installation of entire integrated processing systems.


Since its foundation more than 60 years ago, Bywaters has grown from a small waste man­agement company into a significant player, par­ticularly in London. Its portfolio of services encompasses a diverse range of increasingly complex and highly regulated areas including corporate and facilities management, sustaina­bility services, compliance and healthcare.

CDE Global

Since its birth in 1992, CDE Global has grown through its focus on developing and improving materials processing technology. Its five focused sectoral teams include CDE Primo, CDE Reco, CDE Solv, CDE Meta and CDEnviro – the latter focusing on recycling.

Chambers Recycling

Chambers Waste Management was established in 1969 by its current chairman and managing director Peter Chambers. Since then, the Cham­bers Group has evolved into an integrated recy­cling, waste management and aggregates business, servicing a wide range of commercial and domestic customers.

It has a MRF at its site in Slyfield, near Guildford, where its focus is on environmen­tally responsible disposal of commercial and construction waste, while its Runfold site now benefits from top-of-the-range aggregate wash­ing facilities, enabling it to provide secondary washed as well as primary aggregates.

Dow Waste Management

Family-owned Dow Waste Management has a 40-year heritage. During a fact-finding visit to Sweden in 2009 by managing director Sheila Dow and her brother Marshall, the pair were inspired to follow the Scandinavian approach to waste management.

Since then, the company has become the first in Scotland to build a refuse-derived fuel (RDF) production facility and the first to ship pro­cessed biomass woodchip to Sweden. It also built the first gas-to-grid anaerobic digestion plant in Scotland. The business also includes civil engineering and the renting of bins, skips and tipper trucks.

Uncertainty created by Brexit is a real chal­lenge to the business. Dow says: “UK exporters need to keep a close eye on Brexit to maximise the benefits of our trading relationship with Europe while taking advantage of new oppor­tunities that life outside the EU will bring.”

Dunmow Waste Management

Family owned for more than 25 years, Dunmow services a diverse customer base ranging from local builders to nationwide demolition and house builders in Chelmsford, Braintree, Brent­wood and the surrounding areas. Its recycling facility allows it to sort, process and recycle everything it receives on-site.

Erith Group

The Erith Group is a family-run, employee-owned trust, founded in 1967 by Tom Darsey. Its ethos is one of quality of service and client satisfaction. The group comprises Erith Hold­ings, Erith Contractors, Erith Haulage, Erith Plant Services, Erith Training Services and Swanton Consulting.

Its primary business is to service construc­tion and related industries through its enabling services comprising of demolition, asbestos removal, remediation, earthworks, infrastruc­ture, basement reconstructions, waste recycling and haulage. Erith has both waste transfer and disposal facilities, allowing it to transfer waste and contaminates from customer sites.

First Mile

The core aim of First Mile is to make recycling easy for companies and, in the process, to inspire the business community to adopt a more responsible attitude to environmental issues. Last year, the company collected more than 30,000 tonnes of waste for recycling from busi­nesses in London and Birmingham.

“Choosing to recycle is often the first step to sustainability that businesses take,” says founder and chief executive Bruce Bratley. “We have helped customers through tough economic conditions by making recycling easier than ever, so they can do more and reduce costs.”

This strong business case, combined with the rising awareness of environmental issues, means First Mile is looking forward to a period of what it hopes will be strong growth.

“In the next five years, we aim to triple our number of employees,” says Bratley. “On average and to date, we have added 30 custom­ers a day and 70% come via word of mouth. We will also be continuing to develop our technol­ogy to build a robust platform that will be the foundation to expand our service to businesses nationally.”

Go Green

Go Green is an outsourced waste management and recycling solutions provider that offers bespoke services. It believes that its cus­tom-made online client portal, combined with its fresh approach, means it can deliver accessi­ble and interactive services in a creative and flexible manner. It ensures competitive pricing through use of local suppliers as well as use of MRFs as an alternative to sending waste to landfill.


GRS is a supply chain partner in the construc­tion industry for sourcing, production, trans­portation and processing of aggregates and waste materials. Its workforce of 800 people across 75 locations nationwide handle almost 20 million tonnes a year of materials, supplying many of the UK’s biggest infrastructure schemes and leading builders’ merchants.

In April it formed a new partnership with WMR Waste Solutions, expanding its materials trading business into commercial and indus­trial waste management for the first time.

I&H Brown

I&H Brown is a privately owned company, with family members working at all levels of the busi­ness. Civil engineering typically contributes more than 90% of its annual turnover, across a wide variety of activities, including landfill engineering.

J&M Murdoch

Services on offer from J&M include skip trucks for household waste, tippers for muckaway or demolition projects and waste transfer stations for recycling. It also has a number of operational tankers that are dedicated to the removal and disposal of liquid waste.

Johnsons Aggregates and Recycling

Derby-based Johnsons Aggregates is a recycler of incinerator bottom ash (IBA), which reduces the amount of waste going to landfill. It extracts metals from the IBA and turns the residue into a quality aggregate, suitable for the con­struction industry. Johnsons is one of a limited number of companies in the UK with the capa­bility to recycle IBA.

In 2016 the Business Growth Fund invested £5m, the company opened a recycling facility in Stanton, Derbyshire in 2017 and increased the tonnes of IBA recycling from 150,000 to 450,000 a year. It offers customers flexible risk-sharing solutions aimed at reducing oper­ating costs and ensuring that they benefit from favourable changes in metals market pricing.

JWS Holdings

North-west based JWS helps companies and organisations to collect, recycle, process or dis­pose of every category of waste in a responsible, sustainable and cost-effective way.

W Maher & Sons

W Maher and Sons, which employs more than 150 staff, has been providing services to the con­struction industry for 40 years. Initially this involved bulk haulage, but has developed to include site preparation and remediation, waste recovery, aggregate supplies, demolition, landfill management, soils reclamation and associated civil engineering works.

mick george

Mick George

Mick George has grown to become a leading supplier to the construction industry in the heart of East Anglia and East Midlands. It had just a single tipper truck in 1978, but its com­mercial fleet is now in excess of 350 HGVs. It specialises in bulk excavation and earthmoving services, demolition and asbestos removal, a range of skip hire and waste management ser­vices and aggregate and concrete supply, as well as a facility management and retail offering.

Resource Efficient Solutions

RES is a resource management company based in Fife that offers consultancy services in waste, climate change, energy and compliance. It has two sites that include landfill disposal, RDF, leachate treatment, composting and anaerobic digestion and wood processing.


At the beginning of December 2017, SWRnew­star was created from a merger of the £30m revenue Specialist Waste Recycling and the £11m revenue Newstar Environmental. The company has built up a portfolio of customers across sectors including automotive, hospital­ity, grocery, retail, healthcare and property management. It operates as a broker, finding the right supplier for each customer’s needs.

“We are able to deliver the solution that the customer really needs through our regional supply chain,” says Andy Butler, chief executive. “We are totally agnostic to what collection equipment we hold in our depots because we do not run any of our own trucks. We find the right supplier to deliver the right solution and, as a result, increase companies’ green creden­tials while driving down costs.

“Historically, the industry has been driven by bin lift cost but, in the coming years, it will become more focused on the weight of waste being produced by the end user.

“This is good for the environment and for the producer because data will be more readily available which will highlight the volume of waste being produced. If that data is used effi­ciently, there is a huge opportunity for the waste management industry. Awareness is key in order to change people’s historic recycling habits.”

uk waste solutions max kanda

UK Waste Solutions

More than 1,100 companies rely on UK Waste Solutions to take the hassle out of business waste management and recycling. It is a broker­age business, seeking the highest quality and best-fit service provider for each of its clients.

Managing director Max Kanda says: “What makes us really proud is our ability to optimise and add value to the services received by our clients.

“The UK waste management industry has taken some huge strides in the past 10-15 years, largely driven by EU legislation. The combination of Brexit, a Chinese crackdown on importing recyclable material and the Govern­ment’s failure to commit to a clear policy that would help to deliver new waste facilities are major challenges.”


Burton-on-Trent-based family-run Willshee’s has been providing waste and recycling solu­tions for more than 30 years. It provides a range of services for domestic, industrial and com­mercial waste management.

WSR Recycling

Widnes-based WSR Recycling provides solu­tions to councils and business in the north-west. It works with waste collection and disposal authorities on a range of services including domestic waste such as household recyclables and residual waste as well as trade waste from commercial properties.

While many of the non-hazardous materials it deals with are already segregated, it has a MRF that allows it to separate out recyclables for onward processing at specialist facilities. It can also take in plasterboard along with soil and stone, which it processes to make aggregate materials for construction.

Read the report at


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