Plastic Expert partners with Tom's Rubbish Clearance to help recycle plastic waste; in October 2014 we installed a baler in their premises What's the story of how your business began?
“Well I left school at 16. Straight from school I went out and bought a flat bed truck, I started off with just that and I went around picking up scrap. I was knocking on doors, especially if there was rubbish outside or on people's gardens. I put an advert in the yellow pages and made some business cards. It's been 11 years since then." Founder Tom Francis, second from left, with team members. (See image) How much waste have you put through your new baler?
"I'd say between ten and fifteen tonnes since October, with more stuff ready to be baled right now!"
How has partnering with Plastic Expert helped your business to recycle?
“Oh a hell of a lot when you consider what we were doing before. Recycling plastic was nothing but a headache, then Callum and Kevin from Plastic Expert started helping out. Now we've reduced the tonnage going to landfill, saving loads of space on haulage in the bins, and the recycling rate is going up. With the weigh-ins and rebates, the money side of things is a big help too” See the team stood with their new baler (left) Can you tell us a bit about your hand sorting line?
“The process is this: no matter what vehicle it is, truck or skip, it comes into the store house, gets tipped on the floor and then we go through it by hand. We pull out the cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, board and metal, separating them into a line of material bags. They are big bags too, we have tonne bags for soft plastics, rigid plastics and landfill. We have large tubs for steel, non-ferrous metals, wire, wood, plasterboard and green waste.” On the house clearance side of things, how beneficial is it for B2B companies to work with dedicated recycling companies?
"The major benefit is that they know all the work will be done for them. They'll take it back to a licensed premises, sort it and recycle it. With businesses like Plastic Expert, it's all done legally and legitimately, it's a very honourable process.
It's easy for people to work with illegal vendors, but it comes with risks included. Businesses shouldn't mind spending extra to ensure it will not come back to bite them, and that the materials will be recycled." How has installing a baler improved your operations?
“It's made everything easier, it's made it a lot easier to get rid of things we were stuck with. We had an issue with soft and rigid plastics taking up space in our landfill skip. If you consider it all adds up to higher weight and volume, we make a massive saving on landfill costs alone. The baler will save us thousands a year.” See one of Tom's colourful skips (right) Where do you see Tom's Clearance in five years time?
“Hopefully nationwide, structurally we aren't quite ready yet. I'm trying to franchise the business to take it around. Our trucks are unique because they stand out, they have big writing and numbers and memorable cartoon characters.
Pick-ups have the Tom's Rubbish Clearance
cat that you see on our website and grabs and grab trucks have a bird flying away with a granny in a skip bag. Tom's colourful weigh bridge (left)
They stand out and most people locally recognize them. Because of the name Tom, and the fact that there are a lot of Toms in peoples families, everyone has a mate called Tom and because it feels closer to home, we get a lot of additional business. The clearance industry isn't very colourful, but I don't see why not, I've spent a lot of money on imagery and public branding, that's what sets us apart! I like to know that our skips don't look ugly on someone's driveway.” Thanks Tom.