Since its launch in 2013, Totus Environmental has grown its turnover from less than £100,000 to more than £9m in 2016 with 26 full-time employees.
While the rapid growth of the refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and solid recovered fuel (SRF) export markets meant that the company’s attention had been focused in this area, it was always the intention to build a hazardous waste business with its own operation capability.
The company is now moving to realise that business. Having already taken on a business development manager, there are other confirmed recruits for the division, including a technical assessor and a qualified chemist.
The company is also investing heavily in specialist equipment which, combined with existing IT systems, will enable the building of a high-end industrial services company.
At the recent IFAT exhibition in Munich, Totus showcased the first of its two Disab Vacloader LN30s. Also known as an industrial vacuum truck, the vehicle is the first of its type in England. This versatile machine uses an air conveyor system to generate massive suction power, enabling it to suck or blow both wet and dry materials.
Its horsepower, which enables the unit to work across hundreds of metres, is generated from an independent 9-litre Caterpillar engine mounted behind the cab. This drives the six belts that power the unit’s huge rotary piston blower.
Unlike other units, which drop material into intermediate bulk containers or another vehicle, the Disab can transport up to 15cu m of material to wherever it needs to be taken. This versatility and power enables the Disab to provide a single-vehicle solution that collects a range of materials from inaccessible areas in a single visit.
The final feature that sets the Totus unit apart is that it is compliant under ADR (carriage of dangerous goods by road) and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods code. This enables it to safely and legally transport hazardous material both on the roads and by water. This removes the need for additional movements of material between vehicles or containers.
This makes the Disab service more efficient and opens up a wider variety of international treatment facilities, which often provide an commercially and en-vironmentally attractive solution.
Totus will use the vehicle for a range of applications and to manage a variety of materials, which may include:
- Tars and heavy sludges from the petrochemical sector
- Silica, clinker and excess product from cement manufacture
- Flue dusts and heavy black oils from power generation
- Slag and mill-scale from the steel manufacturing process
An investment of around £1m signals the company’s commitment to building a significant presence quickly in the hazardous waste sector. The capability of the Disab vehicles opens a new and exciting chapter in the continued growth of Totus and, with longer term plans for its own UK facility, it certainly looks like one to watch for the future.
Totus Environmental’s Business
Totus Environmental works with clients across the commercial, municipal and hazardous waste sectors, and has developed a network of recycling and recovery outlets. The firm’s international experience and partnerships provide its clients with fully compliant and cost-effective alternatives to the UK market, where treatment options can have limited capability and capacity.
It provides a fully managed service, ensuring that, from the point of production, RDF and SRF will be collected, shipped and used in the production of sustainable energy, in full compliance with UK and country of destination law.
In addition to its export business, Totus also offers a range of hazardous waste recycling and disposal services.
Andy Jones is managing director of Totus Environmental