A new project has launched in our North West Network to stop old PPE going to landfill, and potentially using it to help keep people warm in their homes.
Hard hats, overalls, glasses, gloves, boots and more – you name it, almost everything can go into the new blue bins, which are at five NW depots.
We’ve asked our PPE supplier, PWS, to help us ‘do the right thing’ and look for innovative ways to reuse this abundant redundant kit.
So, working with recycling specialist ShredStation, we’re now encouraging all North West employees – Cadent employees, our contractors and sub-contractors – to dispose of their old PPE in these new blue bins.
The intent is to turn it into material that can insulate homes, as well as provide feedstock pellets for power generation plants.
“We have thousands of employees, who each have thousands of items of PPE, that right now just ends up in landfill after it’s no longer usable,” explained project engineer Connor Weaver (pictured), Energy Operations, who is leading this North West pilot.
“This project isn’t going to save money, but it is the right thing to do, to help us become a sustainable organisation that deals with its waste in the right way.
“We’re already talking to our other four networks about rolling this out across Cadent, and we’re also taking lessons learned from NGN, who run a similar scheme.”
Connor added: “I am extremely invested in sustainability, and so is Cadent. As part of the sustainability strategy we set out for RIIO-2, we have sustainability goals and we have to satisfy the criteria we set out. These bins can help that, as a small but important step. It’s helping shift our thinking and doing the right thing.
“Carbon management is so important for the future of our business, and every business. When the opportunity came my way to lead this project, I jumped at the chance.”
What can go in the bins?
Almost every item of PPE that is out-of-date, or no longer compliant, or unfit for purpose. However, items that are, or could be, contaminated will not be placed in these bins. For example, any that may contain asbestos. These will be disposed of in the appropriate, normal manner.
Where are the bins?
There are bins, clearly signposted, at our depots in Hollinwood, Garston, Blackpool, Oakhill and Warrington. We hope to have additional bins in Great Harwood, Crewe and one of Morecambe, Kendal or Barrow depots soon, to ensure full North West network coverage.
Zero waste to landfill
Stacey Weeks, Cadent's Sustainability Manager, said: "We're committed to zero waste to landfill, part of our environmental commitment, as we strive to make the societies where we work greener.
"Initiatives such as PPE recycling are essential in helping us cut bulky items from our waste streams and deliver against that promise, but not only that we'll be helping keep homes warm as the waste will be turned into material to insulate homes.
"I'm delighted the team are pushing ahead with this. It really will make a big difference."
Cadent's Sustainability Report 2022
Our fourth Sustainability Report
sets out the objectives, processes and outputs of our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) maintenance.