Reducing waste, leading recycling.

Pallet recycling scheme deemed an overall success

Published:  08 July, 2009

COVENTRY: Jewson has confirmed the overwhelming success of its pioneering initiative to recycle and re-use over 13 000 pallets each week. The scheme has greatly enhanced sustainability within the distribution chain, the company said.

Pallets from both the Jewson branch network and those collected from customers’ sites are included within the initiative. Most would previously have been sent to landfill at a collective supply and disposal cost of around £4/item, or £52 000 each week.

The service, which initially ran throughout the Jewson branch network, was rolled out in December 2008 and is generating positive change within the merchant industry.

With this initiative, Jewson now ensures that pallets across its 500 branches, and from its network of delivery sites are 'backhauled' on empty lorry space after delivery.

These pallets are taken to one of three Jewson Timber Distribution Centres: Grangemouth, Newport and Hull.

From there, the pallets are reintegrated into the supply chain using European Logistics Management, who redistributes them to companies in need of pallets.

The initiative reduces the requirement for new pallets, reduces the waste-to-landfill ratio, and has the potential to cut lorry miles by an estimated 135 000 a year.

Rod Leigh, procurement manager and the scheme's creator, said: "The benefits of implementing a system like this work on so many levels. There are the environmental benefits brought about by reusing existing materials, negating the need to produce more of the same; the lorry miles are significantly reduced through the collection of pallets on return journeys; and less material is sent to landfill.

“From an internal perspective Jewson branches are cleaner and tidier and health and safety risks are reduced. The scheme is a product of everyone working together to generate tangible results."

Simon Wright, supply chain and sustainability director at Mansell, is supporting the initiative and commented: "What's striking about this scheme is that it is both environmentally and economically advantageous. Not only does it significantly reduce waste output and the number of pallets in the supply chain, it also minimises the administration time and costs associated with their disposal.

“The sustainability objectives of the scheme combined with its ability to support our site waste management plans means that it is becoming a key component of our overall waste strategy.

“We're pleased to be part of the initiative and can see that it is creating a positive change within the industry."

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