Posted on Friday 21 September 2018 by Ulster Business
One area which businesses increasingly can’t ignore, or place in the pile of ‘things to do tomorrow’ is the issue of their ‘green’ footprint on the landscape here, writes John Mulgrew.
Bryson Recycling, which is part of the Bryson Group, is one of the firms from across Northern Ireland helping ensure councils, private firms and individuals get rid of their rubbish, the right way.
Speaking to Ulster Business, boss Eric Randall says in the last few years the social enterprise has grown considerably – now boasting 250 staff and turnover of around £13.5m.
“We actually collect or receive recyclables from 60% from households across Northern Ireland,” Eric said.
“We also run household recycling centres in Donegal, on behalf of the council, with two in north Wales.
“In the last 10 years we have seen a big growth, where we went from a handful of staff up to around 200, and picked up a lot of contracts that we still have today.”
Eric, who has been with Bryson for 26 years, says the core of the business is collecting and sorting, which Bryson receives from councils.
“It’s part of life. People recognise the environmental sense, but also the economic as well.
“We have been around, and we were there when it was a niche. Then EU directives came in to make councils do more, and we started the process of innovation to help form the direction for councils, and we came out of that with deals.
“We have been at the forefront, and are punching well above our weight. We have been there from the start and are continuing.”
But despite its charitable status as a social enterprise, Eric says the business “isn’t just handed work”.
“There will be a lot of change over the next two or three years. The trend initially was to put in wheelie bins to most households, but a lot of councils have seen the sense of separating, rather than putting them all in the same area.
“That makes it much more suitable for manufacturing - that’s the value.
“Our role is to collect, or sort, putting into the marketplace. That is a massive industry which we look to feed in to.
“We are able to put separate compartments on our vehicles, which are very high quality, and there’s not much additional work needed done to them.”
He says the Bryson Recycling lorries, which can be spotted out and around Northern Ireland, were first developed with a first draft in his Donegal caravan on a rainy day.
And looking ahead to the next three to five years, Eric says along with the further development of its vehicles, it’s looking at other recycling activities, and providing additional services to businesses.