County Armagh based food manufacturer, Avondale Foods, have recently embarked on an exciting new waste processing project. By renting equipment such as balers and compactors, they have completely changed the way they handle their waste and recyclables on-site. This is not just food production waste, along with baling cardboard, they are now separating their plastics by colour to add value.
Waste equipment specialist, CK International, based in Dungannon, sat down with Avondale Foods at the start of the project to look at their current costs, where they could generate a revenue stream.
Avondale Foods knew exactly what they wanted to spend on this project and had set out a fixed monthly budget. As with all new projects there is apprehension around purchasing new equipment but CK International were able to offer a rental option which was ideal.
It included all breakdowns, warranty and planned and preventative maintenance over a 5 year period. It also meant that, without any unexpected costs regarding the machines, the company could stick to their monthly budget.
With multi-nationals such as M&S, Waitrose, ASDA, Dunnes Stores and Morrisons among their many customers, waste from packaging and food had become very costly for Avondale Foods. With their new portable compactor, the company are achieving better weights on their general/non-recyclable process waste. They can now get 11-12 tonnes loaded onto the lorry which is a 20-25% increase on before, thus saving on transport costs.
Previously Avondale Foods paid for skips to dispose of non-segregated or baled cardboard. Now it is baled using the CK450HFE horizontal baler and turned into a commodity, therefore adding a new revenue stream.
The company also took a new approach to baling their plastics. In the past, they baled the plastic material in one machine. They are now using three CK250 balers to bale the plastics by colours: clear, blue and black. This has certainly added a lot of value to the plastic waste.
James McBennett, Senior Purchasing Manager at Avondale Foods, adds, “Over the past 5 years Avondale foods, in line with legislation and our customer aspirations, have really changed the way we think about waste and how we process it.
“Waste is a cost to a business, whatever way you look at it, and it comes in many forms for us, from unpackaged food waste/trimmings, packaged food waste, general waste and of course recyclable material.
“Our latest project is to take complete ownership of our recyclables from start to finish. We have had to retrain front line staff to do initial segregations on the shop floor so we can maximise the rebates per material. This also makes it more efficient in the baling process. We now separate cardboard, aluminium cans and 3 different variants of plastic at source which capture different values during rebate calculations.
“The equipment provided by CK international is perfect for our requirements as regards processing the waste, keeping costs to a minimum and generating income from companies who use it.”
Garrett Loughran, CK International’s Regional Sales Manager for Ireland explains, “Our equipment rental option is ideal for customers like Avondale Foods who are just starting to recycle in-house. It gives them peace of mind and is a risk-free option for them as they know we cover all of the preventative and reactive maintenance, including warranty.
“We also will be supplying the company with their consumables, such as wire and tape, on an on-going basis. CK International have many years’ experience in this industry, so can offer the best advice as to which solutions will give companies like Avondale Foods the best return on investment. I’m delighted to see how well the project is working for the guys.”
Avondale Foods, based in Lurgan Co. Armagh, is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of coleslaw, wet salads, side salads, vegetable accompaniments, soups, sauces and mayonnaise to retail and food-service customers throughout Britain and Ireland under their Country Kitchen brand name.
CK International, based in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone is one of the leading suppliers of waste compaction equipment in the UK and Europe. The knowledge within the team and the customer focused approach that they take, has led them to become experts in the field of waste recycling equipment.