GENeco’s Bristol Food Waste Recycling Facility (BFWRF) in Avonmouth has been operational since 2013 and has grown into a successful commercial business with an annual turnover in excess of £1m. At its heart is the operational team, who are integral to the business and responsible for the smooth running and day-to-day management of the facility.
The team comprises six shift operators, led by food plant superviser Tom Phelps, who have come from varied backgrounds.
Throughput at the facility has been expanded, but the team has more than stood up to the task. Tonnage has increased by more than 23% since 2014 and the site is running efficiently at capacity, all without increasing staffing levels.
The team oversaw the fitting of a new shredder hopper design which saved £40,000 a year. This sum was then reinvested in the business to buy a Runi press for improved organics recovery, and this resulted in an increased biogas yield.
Another success is the delivery of core health and safety audits, to ensure the site does not breach its permit, along with ongoing plant maintenance. This involved creating a rigorous timetable.
This winner focused purely on the team, and illustrated what individuals and teamwork could achieve by people working on their own initiative
What sets the team apart is that it does not work in isolation but closely with other GENeco business areas. Team members often ‘hot-desk’ alongside other operational and business areas, meaning they have an appreciation of the work flows and issues faced by other areas of the business. As result, the operational team presents a knowledgeable and informed impression to frontline customers.
Individual members also show exceptional commitment. During the Christmas period, two members, Matthew Williams and Paul Newman, worked every day, including being on-call on Christmas Day, to ensure the anaerobic digesters kept operating. This meant the facility could continue to run at full capacity once the plant was reopened to customers.
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