Who Manages Our Waste?
Suez (SITA UK)
SITA UK is part of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT, which is a multinational water and waste treatment company. SITA was established in 1988 and the company now employs more than 5,500 people. They operate in over 300 locations across the UK, and run everything from recycling centres, to energy from waste and secure document shredding facilities.
Their focus is on recycling and conserving resources, and they offer services to 12 million residents and 40,000 business customers throughout the UK.
The company helps their customers to reduce their environmental footprint by using waste to create new products and energy, preserving natural resources, and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.
Company facts at a glance
- The company advises their customers on how to reduce their waste and conserve resources. They recover around 5 million tonnes of waste per year and are continually striving to build on this.
- The company invests in waste management technologies like in-vessel composting and energy-from-waste. They recover energy from landfill gas and waste incineration, which reduces the need to burn fossil fuels.
- They operate according to high environmental standards and they like to think of themselves as a ‘good neighbour’ who looks after the community in which they operate. They take part in community liaison groups, run tours of their facilities, and run educational programmes in schools. The SITA Trust has distributed over £100 million to community and environmental projects since 1997. The funding comes from the Government’s Landfill Communities Fund where a proportion of the landfill tax collected goes to environmental projects that will benefit communities.
Giving something back
The company looks to establish close links with the communities in which they operate, and they also support both local and national charities.
They have built up a network of ‘education ambassadors’, who go into schools and community centres to talk about recycling. They have also set up an educational website for schools and put together information packs for teachers.
The SITA Trust supports a variety of local environmental and community projects. It is run by a committee who are always on the look out for new ways to give something back.
Their charity and fundraising work was recognised in 2011 when they became the first recycling and resource management company to feature in the Sunday Times ‘Best Green Companies’ league table. Their commitment to the environment was recognised when they were awarded the Carbon Trust Standard, and again, they were the first recycling and resource management company to receive the award.
Innovative waste solutions
The company knows that one of the biggest challenges they face is how to process waste materials to create products. There is a need to come up with innovative solutions which are sustainable and commercially viable. Their technical experts are continuously developing new ways to reuse the resources they recover form waste.
Recycling road sweepings
The company’s recycling facilities in Wolverhampton and Birmingham process more than 70,000 tonnes of road sweepings per year.
Around 98% of road sweepings that pass through the facility will be sorted into separate materials including sand, washed aggregate and compostable material. The sand and aggregates can be used in road construction, or mixed with rock salt and used as grit on roads in the winter.
SITA is working with CEMEX UK, who are one of the UK’s leading building materials providers, to develop 2 waste recycling plants for the production of an alternative fuel for their cement plant in Warwickshire. Climafuel is an alternative fuel which is made from domestic, commercial, and industrial waste.
SITA has developed 2 recycling facilities to make the fuel and they will provide CEMEX UK with a more sustainable fuel to power its cement kilns. This will reduce the reliance on fossil fuel and it will help to divert non-recyclable waste away from landfill.
Currently, the 2 plants provide 250,000 tonnes of Climafuel to CEMEX UK, which equals 65% of its energy needs.