Builders merchants Jewson are recycling and re-using over 13,000 pallets a week under their new recycling scheme.
Pallets from Jewson branches and those collected from customer’s sites are included within the initiative, most of which would previously have been sent to landfill at a collective supply and disposal cost of around £4 per item, or £52,000 each week.
The service, which initially ran throughout the Jewson branch network, was rolled out in December 2008 and is already generating huge amounts of positive change within the industry.
Under the 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 per year.
Simon Wright, supply chain and sustainability director at Mansell, is supporting the initiative: “This scheme significantly reduces waste output and the number of pallets in the supply chain, but it also minimises the administration time and costs associated with their disposal. It’s becoming a key component of our overall waste strategy.”
Rod Leigh, Jewson’s procurement manager and the scheme’s creator, says: “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.