Waste hierarchy at the core of Homebrook's business
27 Jan 2020 |
Homebrook partnered with Enva and made the decision to take the waste hierarchy into the core of their business plans. They introduced a waste segregation area at their Head office in Leicestershire and now the efficient sorting of waste sets the very minimum standard throughout the business. The segregation of metals, plasterboard, carpet tiles, wood, mixed recycling and general waste takes place at their offices helping them achieve zero landfill status. All residual waste is used in the production of energy from waste.
This process has then been replicated across all waste that is generated on customer sites, no matter how challenging. All third-party sites are managed to ensure that any waste materials that are generated on site are re-used where possible and then stripped and segregated at the point of generation for recycling. Homebrook has even come up with a novel way of utilising pallets to build contemporary walls for one customer. They have also brought back doors to their head office to strip and rework for re-use and continually work with their customers to try and rehome contents of their offices before recycling.
The company continues to invest heavily in training and the development of their staff to ensure that they understand the importance of the waste hierarchy. Just one example of where Homebrook has demonstrated and excelled in the utilisation of the waste hierarchy is Princess Street, Manchester. From the outset, it proved highly challenging project as it was a city centre location with no parking, restricted access and the building was 5 storeys high with no elevator and narrow staircases. It was still however important for Homebrook to effectively manage and deliver waste reduction on this project.
To kick things off, Homebrook and Enva carried out joint site audits and then held several planning and strategy meetings with the customer to establish the optimal way of handling the items. This allowed Homebrook to become really creative to maximise the materials that could be reused by their client or on another site. The second priority was to implement a process to maximise the safe segregation of recyclable materials. This project, to dismantle, recycle or rehome over 1600 items, was managed by by Enva. Initially, items that could be reused were taken offsite, with recycled material sorted by waste stream where possible.
Logistics was also carefully managed to minimise environmental impact. Only one skip could be located outside the building at any one time, with limitations on the amount of time they could be on the highway and the restriction that no containers could be left overnight.
Despite all the mitigating factors, Homebrook achieved outstanding results and recycled over 96% of the waste that they handled. Homebrook was able to reuse over 800 items on other projects, saving the customer the cost of purchasing new furniture as well as the disposal costs that would have been associated with disposing of the items. Out of the 44.05 tonnes of waste that was collected, 42.78 tonnes were recycled or recovered equating to a hugely impressive 96.99% recovery rate. Due to the innovation demonstrated by Homebrook, their client has been able to reuse some of their items in other buildings, so they are making savings moving forward on disposal costs and new equipment too.
Homebrook are true market leaders in their sector for championing environmental commitment and founders Jane and Luke have successfully driven the implementation of the waste hierarchy into the core of their business with safety and compliance also remaining high on the agenda.
Established in 2006, Homebrook is a contractor specialising in commercial refurbishment. Headquartered in Leicestershire, the company works with offices, business centres and retail spaces across the UK and offers a turnkey solution including design, construction and installation, fit-out and furniture. Efficient waste management has always been high on the agenda at Homebrook: not only to reduce their costs by minimising the amount of waste generated but also to reduce the impact of their business operations on the environment. Building walls out of pallets and segregating waste on remote and challenging sites saw them recognised with a Silver Green Apple Award at the Houses of Parliament in 2019.