Cumbria Waste Group celebrate 25 years in business

January 2nd, 2019

The waste industry isn’t the most glamorous, however it is an essential aspect of every day life. For the past quarter of a century, Cumbria Waste Group has operated across the county and undertake the vital role of helping deal with waste in a professional and compliant manner.

When trading commenced in 1993 most waste was being disposed of into landfill, we employed around 60 staff and had an annual turnover of circa £5 million. Now the group has almost 280 staff and an annual turnover of £36 million. The focus is now very much on recycling and providing sustainable waste solutions for local communities and our commercial customers.

As a result of the business growth, the Group now has four trading divisions Cumbria Waste Management Ltd, Cumbria Waste Recycling Ltd, Lakeland Waste Management Ltd and Lakeland Minerals, each undertaking an important role in the process of management, collection, disposal and reprocessing of waste.

Over the years we have seen environmental regulations tighten and a shift in attitudes in society and business. As a result of this and significant increases in Landfill Tax, we have invested hugely over the years in developing new facilities to broaden our recycling, resulting in higher levels of landfill diversion.

The group now operates four Material Recycling Facilities (MRFs), one hazardous waste transfer station and two landfill sites. Group facilities have gone from processing around 3,000 tonnes of recyclable materials a year, up to circa 100,000 more recently. The Management division, based at our Head Office in Rosehill, is responsible for the contract management of 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres, aggregates recycling facility and the day-to-day running of their operational sites.

Alongside the vast and varied site capabilities, we have a range of specialist staff who are experts in hazardous waste. The collection, handling and treatment of hazardous waste requires a great deal of knowledge and competence to ensure that legal obligations and conditions are adhered to throughout the whole process. We also specialise in the treatment of liquid waste with the added capability of tanker collections. In 2017, we were responsible for dealing with 600,000 gallons of liquid waste along.

The Recycling branch of the business was formed in 1997 to help meet the demand and support local councils and businesses with waste collections. Since then, the commercial collections side of the business has grown rapidly and now has a fleet of over 50 vehicles that enables us to successfully service around 3,000 customers county wide. Our customers range in size and sector from small high street stores to multi-national construction organisations.

As well as waste management, the Lakeland Minerals division operates a sand and gravel quarry near Carlisle which produces a range of sand types and aggregates which are used in the construction, agriculture and horticulture industries.

All of this work is going on day in, day out but there are also those unpredictable times when disaster strikes and Cumbria Waste Group has been on the frontline of some major clean up operations. We were on hand during the disastrous floods of 2005, 2010, 2012 and 2015 and the devastating foot and mouth outbreak in 2001; working around the clock to support local communities through very challenging times.

Group Operations director, Charles Riddell said

We have fantastic staff who put in long hours on a really difficult job, some of whom have been with the business for the whole 25 years. As we’ve grown as a business, they’ve grown as individuals and taken on more and more responsibility. The credit really has to go to the staff for being flexible, accommodating and allowing us to grow.

In the next 25 years further expansion is anticipated and the company will be looking to branch outside of the county. With this in mind, our Head Office and flagship site will remain in Carlisle, leaving the business roots firmly in Cumbrian soil.