The UK’s most popular bookseller, stationer and newsagent is reaping the benefits of a cleaner, greener and more profitable waste management system at its Swindon distribution centre.

WH Smith is operating a new system devised and designed by waste management and recycling experts Greenbank.

The company originally approached Greenbank to discuss installing a conveyor belt to help with the management of waste cardboard packaging materials at its warehouse.

Such was the volume of material that had to be transported to an on-site compactor to be disposed of, that a more efficient system was urgently needed.

Greenbank worked closely with the WH Smith distribution centre to understand its requirements and produced a detailed analysis of the cost, time, lost revenue and machinery costs.

As Robin Evershed, Greenbank’s National Sales Manager, explains, the situation was far from straightforward.

“It was a complex problem to deal with but we did a careful breakdown of the issues involved to help solve the problem and make life easier for all concerned.”

“It was a challenge, but in the end we were actually able to offer a choice of solutions for the customer.”

Using its industry experience and knowledge Greenbank identified three possible options for the centre.

These included the conveyor belt system originally specified by WH Smith, an air conveyor system and a scheme specifically devised by Greenbank to create mill-sized bales where the cardboard was being produced which were then moved to the compactor.

The last option, which WH Smith chose to implement, reduced the number of trips required to the recycling holding area from two or three per day to 2 or 3 each week from each area.

Not only was this the most cost-effective option for the company, but it was also the one that generated the biggest revenue and created the fewest potential operational problems.

Robin Evershed adds: “The system we created actually came in lower than the budget that had been signed off and has also led to lower labour costs and higher recycling revenues for WH Smith.

We were really pleased to be able to deliver that result for our customer but what was especially rewarding for Greenbank was being able to work closely with the company as a consultant rather than just as a supplier of waste management and recycling equipment.”

Greenbank offers expert consultancy on all waste and recycling matters as part of its service at no additional cost.

The family-owned and run company, which has been a leading provider of innovative and efficient support for the waste management sector since 1993, operates with the overriding aim of making waste cost less for its customers.

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