The Royal Albert Dock Liverpool is leading the drive towards a greener commercial future for Liverpool with a new on-site Waste Management Programme meaning 100% of waste from its businesses is now zero landfill, with more than 55% completely recycled.
As the region’s most iconic retail and leisure destination, the Dock has 84 businesses which inevitably generate huge volumes of waste. Now it has introduced a fully-integrated waste management system which allows every piece of cardboard, glass and mixed non-recyclables to be collected, separated and recycled, and food waste to be compacted and converted into green fuel – Refuse Derived Fuel.
The dock’s carbon footprint has also been drastically cut by reducing the number of waste collections, from previously up to 21 per day servicing individual venues, to just two each week for the entire estate.
Sean Morrison, Royal Albert Dock Estate Manager, explained: “Previously, each occupier and tenant sourced their own waste collection service so we had so many different companies coming on site every day with their lorries, that impacted negatively on our carbon footprint and meant the recycling numbers were not being closely controlled or monitored”.
“Sustainability as a part of environmental and social governance is a hugely important factor in property management, with landlords seeking to ensure that their assets are being managed and maintained with all of our futures in mind, this is reflected in day to day operations at the dock, so we have built our own waste management compound on site, brought in all the relevant equipment including a bailer and compactor, electric waste management vehicle and trailer and created new jobs within the estate team who collect, segregate and manage the estates waste.
“We have also extended the training to our existing estate staff, with a fully multi tasking team they are able to step up when needed to help manage the programme when needed making it a 24 hr service when needed.
“This programme was a big undertaking for us, taking 14 months of planning and liaison with our occupiers and stakeholders alongside their contractors, but it’s already had significant benefits for the dock and for our businesses in terms of cost and space saving. Their waste is removed when they need it to be, they make a single payment through their service charge and they have documentation to support their own recycling targets, whilst vastly reducing the direct cost to their business”.
In the six months since the new system was launched in August 2021, in partnership with Wirral-based B&M Waste Services, the dock has sent more than 300 tonnes of mixed waste to be converted into refuse derived fuel, 110 tonnes of glass for recycling, and almost 40 tonnes of cardboard to be recycled.
To keep the entire process as green as possible, waste is collected using an electrically-powered buggy with a rear tail lift and trailer which can transport six 1,100-tonne wheelie bins directly from venues to the compound.
The Royal Albert Dock has plans to expand its recycling even further, by introducing a glass separator in May 2022 and collecting coffee grounds from bars and restaurants to be sent to local urban farms for them to use as compost. It is also looking into the disposal of used cooking oil on site, storing it safely before selling it on to a local company to be converted to biodiesel.
Sean added: “Recycling on a site of this scale is a rarity so we are proud to be ahead of the curve. We are committed to growing our waste management system and the resulting recycling rates have already exceeded our predictions, so it’s been very positive.”