All four of Knauf Insulation’s UK manufacturing plants will be sending zero waste to landfill from August.

Knauf Insulation achieves zero waste to landfill

Published:  31 July, 2013

Knauf Insulation has announced that from August 2013, all four of its UK manufacturing plants will be sending zero waste to landfill.

The achievement marks a significant milestone in the manufacturer’s sustainability journey, in which it is constantly developing its products and processes to contribute towards greener and more energy efficient environments.

At its glass mineral wool sites in St Helens (where the company’s headquarters are also based) and Cwmbran, Knauf Insulation has introduced a number of measures to divert both production and office-generated waste. Baled glass wool waste is re-used by a ceiling tile manufacturer, while mixed glass wool and incidental packaging waste is collected by a recycling partner and re-processed for use as underground bedding.

Other waste is segregated at source to enable efficient recycling. A ‘Bin the Bin’ campaign was introduced as part of EcoWorks, an employee initiative designed to encourage best practice techniques and education around sustainable behaviour. Clearly marked recycling bins, desktop recycling folders and skips for cardboard and polythene have been distributed throughout the facilities, so that the waste can then be collected and recycled.

At its rock mineral wool plant in Queensferry, Knauf Insulation has worked with industrial partners over the past few years to take its waste as a raw material. Initially this was achieved using the services of NISP (National Industrial Symbiosis Program), however after NISP was disbanded in Wales in 2011, Knauf Insulation sought a new partnership with a waste provider and has continued its work to drive down waste to landfill, recycling and reusing waste where practical.

Baled rock mineral wool is sent for use in ceiling tile manufacture. What’s more, Knauf Insulation has recently built its own recycling facility, which enables any excess material to be fed back into the manufacturing process. In addition to this, agreements have been reached with key customers to return their waste so it can be re-used, therefore improving the life-cycle performance of Knauf Insulation’s products.

Corinne Bowser, technical manager at Knauf Insulation, Queensferry, said: “We were delighted to win the Flintshire Business awards in 2012 for Environmental Performance and Sustainability and achieving zero waste to landfill has been a key cornerstone in that journey. We are committed to continually improving our environmental and sustainability credentials.”

At Knauf Insulation’s extruded polystyrene facility in Hartlepool, all manufacturing waste is recycled back into the production process, while general and kitchen waste is collected by a recycling and waste management partner company. In addition, Knauf Insulation has an agreement in place with a local community interest company, which collects waste materials such as cardboard and reuses them as low cost arts and craft resources for community centres, colleges and schools.

Kevin West, health, safety, security and environmental manager at Knauf Insulation’s St Helen’s plant, said: “As an insulation manufacturer we take our social and environmental responsibilities seriously. True sustainability is about much more than simply producing ‘green’ products – it must be an integral part of the business, which is what we have sought to accomplish with our waste management strategy. Reaching zero waste to landfill is a fantastic achievement and is a clear demonstration of Knauf Insulation’s commitment to improving our environmental performance.”

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