Top waste management company for the retail sector – getting Christmas wrapped up

Cawleys is one the of the top waste management companies for the retail sector. Our experience in this sector spans all types and sizes of facilities, from the newest shopping centre in Leeds, Trinity Leeds, to Xscape also in Milton Keynes, the Riverside Shopping Centre in Hemel Hempstead; and our shared experience through Cawleys sister company Veris Strategies with the Westfield Shopping Centres. Our experience also includes working for Waitrose, where we were awarded The Waitrose Way Treading Lightly Award 2013.

We also offer deep experience of waste management for estates including Canary Wharf in London, Billing Acquadome in Bedfordshire as well as a number of university and hospital estates.

This experience means we understand the seasonal peaks and troughs in waste resource flows across large organisations, particularly those in the retail sector, and the need to be responsive at all times of year, but most especially in the run up to Christmas.

Back at home, retail customers might see the amount of waste – wrapping paper, extra food – piling up at home and think that the peak waste flow comes just after Christmas Day.  But in the retail sector the peak has arrived at least a month before Christmas.

Take Black Friday, the last day in November. On this day last year, Amazon reported its busiest ever day with over 5.5 million items ordered during the day or 64 items ordered per second.  DHL identified December 13th as its busiest day for Christmas shopping with up to 99 per cent uplift on that day compared to the usual volume of packages at DHL service points.  Much of this particular trade relates to online purchases, but our retail estates show a similar picture.

Based on anonymised data from our retail clients, we know that the peak in recyclate volumes is in  November as goods are supplied to retail outlets in anticipation of customer demand. Transit, protective packaging such as plastic, metal and cardboard all see major surges in volumes at back of house.

At Cawleys we ensure all our clients equipment such as compactors are running at peak efficiency; all storage and collection systems are in place for handling large increases in materials, and, where we have individual picking lines at centres,  that additional seasonal staff are fully trained and ready to go.

Ensuring zero waste to landfill and more than that, that a major retail centre is contributing positively to the circular economy by finding second life uses for waste, can only be achieved by ensuring best practice at all times of year including Christmas.

Achieving waste management best practice in the retail sector means being well prepared, and it also means incorporating the human touch.

To help our clients achieve the best possible value for their recyclate it needs to be well segregated, uncontaminated with other waste streams, and stored appropriately.  This is where clear communication with staff makes all the difference and is why we often employ staff engagement campaigns to help everyone understand and value what they are doing with waste, especially when it gets hectic in the run up to Christmas.

The quality of our work in this area was recently recognised by the Chartered Institute for Waste Management (CIWM) where Trinity Leeds won the 2015 award for “Best Resources Project by Facilities Management” celebrating its work with us and our sister company Veris Strategies.

In our experience everyone enjoys Christmas more if they know they have played their part in minimising waste, so that extra bit of indulgence can be enjoyed, knowing that it hasn’t caused any extra harm to the environment.

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