A North East recycling firm has celebrated the beginning of its 20th anniversary with a series of investments totalling £1.3m.
J&B Recycling, the region’s largest independent recycling firm has rolled out an £800,000 plant upgrade and made further investments into machinery and its vehicle fleet across its three sites totalling a further £500,000.
The two-phase plant upgrade, that was completed in January, not only allows the company to take an additional 11,000 tonnes of waste per year but also allows J&B to continue complying with strict overseas regulations and ensures it is prepared for the future.
Vikki Jackson-Smith, Managing Director at J&B Recycling said: “The significant investments we have made to our Hartlepool MRF have been key drivers in J&B’s strategy for continued growth and sustainability, allowing us not only give comfort to our customers but to also increase our efficiency, flexibility and prepare for any future changes in the market.
“The investment will also massively support our continuing goal of maximum efficiency and high quality levels of service when working with our customers, especially in updates to our new vehicle fleet. Just last year we reported that 98% of our collections were on time when analysed over six months and this year we want to further improve on that already high percentage.”
The new plant includes more advanced automated technology, aimed at achieving the highest quality of materials for the firms end markets.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, who visited J&B for a first look at the new plant, was incredibly impressed by the quality and passion of the business.
He said: “Over the past 20 years, J&B Recycling has gone from strength to strength. Their drive for success is shown in their adaptability and willingness to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way.
“The new facility was seriously impressive and I was encouraged by J&B’s plans for the future. It’s wonderful to see such business growth and investment into the Tees Valley. Their commitment to the region combined with their expansion is great news for the firm and our area.
“I very much look forward to working with J&B Recycling in the future and eagerly await hearing about their next achievement.”
Vikki added: “It was great for Ben to come and visit and see what a thriving business we are in the region especially when we are just beginning our 20th anniversary celebrations. We have made a number of upgrades to our plants over the last eight years, but this latest set of expansions have been the most prominent. In the waste management industry, upgrades are essential as operations need to reflect the changes in the consumer market.
“Since our last major expansion back in 2009, the make-up of material we receive has changed dramatically and the new plant has been designed to add flexibility to our operations.
“It allows for a variety of process configurations and can handle different input streams with ease, whether it is fully comingled, comingled without glass, triple or dual stream, we can offer maximum recovery of the recyclable content.”
J&B has also purchased three new Liedherr LH22 material handlers worth around £550k, to ensure efficient operations.
Vikki concluded: “We have a strong line of development capital funding from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) that we acquired back in 2014. The fund has a figure of £2.6 billion of development capital, and we are not limited to how much of that we can access.”
The expansion supports J&B Recycling’s vision for future acquisitions and business growth. For the 2016/17 financial year, the company reported a turnover of £15.7m, increased its gross profit by 159% with an EBITDA increase up 87.2% from 2015/16.