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NRAs 2018: Recycling Excellence – Retail/Public Services

WINNER: National Resource Consortium

The National Resource Consortium (NRC) implemented a waste and materials management system across The Original Factory Shop’s (TOFS) entire estate of stores, hubs and a distribution centre (DC). TOFS objectives included being cost-neutral on waste and recycling, achieving zero waste to landfill, engaging colleagues in recycling and delivering continuous innovation.

The NRC achieved all these objectives inside six months by consolidation of all waste and recyclables at the DC for segregation to extract maximum value. This included removing general waste and mixed recycling containers from shops and hubs, installing collection systems for newly identified material streams at the DC, and co-ordinating the processing and trading of all recyclable materials.

JUDGES’ COMMENT: “They had a really well set-out strategy, with a focus on taking waste up the hierarchy. They showed good, strong performance, achieved relatively quickly by quite a small team.”

Dedicated NRC team members created bespoke communication packs and training tools to ensure compliant management approaches. The scheme used a detailed account management plan to lay out contract requirements and to plot progress against targets. This included a 3i process for delivering continuous improvements: ideas, innovations and improvements.

recycling excellence retail public services

recycling excellence retail public services

A pipeline of further improvements includes identifying additional waste streams which have value. Monthly reporting on spend, recycling volumes and compliance are provided and scrutinised by TOFS and NRC to identify improvement trends and leakage.

TOFS also now engages with a chosen charity to collect unsellable stock for reuse, where previously it had been disposed of.

TOFS’ dedicated compliance and recycling manager role has ensured that the NRC could build up a detailed knowledge of processes and systems, and allowed for audits to help target further improvements. TOFS also invested in six dedicated recycling staff and two supervisers at the DC.

The measures have seen general waste from shops fall by 65% and from the DC by 55%, while the volume of LDPE collected for recycling increased in volume by 52% and OCC by 21%. These materials also increased in value by 48% due to improved quality.


  • Dreams
  • Greene King
  • Intu Retail Services
  • Mitie
  • Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Stone Computers
  • Used Kitchen Company

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