J&B Recycling, spoke this week about how it has dealt with the challenges presented by the Covid-19 outbreak, three months into this unprecedented global situation.
We have remained functional throughout the coronavirus pandemic, providing an essential service to local authorities, care homes, schools, food retailers and distributors, supermarkets and charities.
Although our collection of local authority kerbside tonnage increased by up to 30%, we experienced a considerable drop by over 60% in commercial tonnages due to the enforced Government lockdown. 68% of our commercial bin collections were suspended and we had reduced deliveries of commercial waste into our sites to be processed.
Adapting to the changes
Through implementing swift action, we reorganised the commercial collection routes to effectively cover areas and ensure continued servicing for the customers who were providing essential work. This resulted in parking up six collection vehicles in total. During this period, our 12 tonne curtain-sider was offered free of charge to assist with any challenges that the NHS or charities faced. This offer was taken up by a local charity to move premises, as demand for its meal service increased during the pandemic, and as a standby vehicle to assist with Stockton Council’s home meals delivery service.
Vikki Jackson-Smith, CEO of J&B Recycling, said: “We had to react quickly to look at our own contingency plans and we had to make sure that we could help our customers, by putting their accounts on hold, while they dealt with their own issues. Everybody had to play their part and the last thing we wanted to do was see our customers struggle to reach the other side of the restrictions. So, we absorbed as much as we could whilst being mindful of keeping our own operations and staff going.
“We have been continuously evaluating our collections and are beginning to bring vehicles back into operation and taking collection staff off furlough. Customers are beginning to re-open and requesting services to resume.
“Hopefully everybody comes back as strong as possible after this. During this lockdown I have been really heartened to see businesses pull together to support their communities and I think that will go a long way to keeping us all prospering on the other side of this.”
J&B Recycling worked to reorganise the company to ensure 95% of staff remained working throughout the lockdown. Only 5% of staff were furloughed, where they or someone in their household needed to shield, or if they could not be temporarily relocate to another role within the company.
We have focused on implementing safety across all four sites. One-way systems have been introduced in corridors, staff have been stationed two metres apart and where social distancing is not physically possible plastic screens have been erected to separate staff.
“All staff at J&B Recycling have been extremely dedicated and hardworking throughout this outbreak. We have been thrilled to see the support for key workers, including waste management workers,” said Vikki.
“Every day I am reminded how essential our role is throughout these difficult times and we are proud to continue providing businesses with a key service, whether the lockdown has meant they have had to close, stay open or partially reduce their productivity.”
Our hard work has resulted in being shortlisted for Company of the Year at the North East Business Awards 2020, along with being shortlisted for Recycling Company of the Year and Independent Operator of the Year at the National Recycling Awards 2020.
CEO, Vikki Jackson-Smith has also recently been announced as a finalist for the Business Woman of the Year at the National Business Women’s Awards 2020.
Interestingly, we have found that the material we are receiving from kerbside collections throughout lockdown has changed with significantly more glass and less newspaper and magazines being collected. This has required flexibility and changes in the recycling process to ensure quality outputs. For example, adjusting settings at the MRF and altering production to compensate for the change in composition.
Vikki added: “J&B is well placed for the future. Previous investments have led to the company ensuring we have lean and efficient processes. Thanks to this J&B Recycling has scope for growth in capacity, turnover and employee numbers in the future.”
For all other enquiries on J&B Recycling, please get in touch here.