Hollingsworth & Vose comes clean with Grundon

171113 GRU 45

Manufacturing is an exacting industry. It must produce high quality products, often using technical industrial processes, while minimising environmental impacts. Grundon is helping to reduce the waste management burden for this sector.

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Industrial processes are now considerably cleaner than at any time in the sector’s history: the image of huge chimneystacks belching dirty black smoke and particles are mostly a distant memory, and every manufacturer is acutely aware of the impact their processes have on the environment.

Hollingsworth & Vose is a global manufacturer of advanced filtration materials. Based at Postlip Mill, Winchcombe near Cheltenham since 1982, it employs around 160 people.

A unique business…

The company is highly regarded and respected as a world leader filtration manufacturer. It is making an active contribution to manufacturing high quality glass fibre and air filter media. Thanks to state-of-the-art machine technology Postlip Mill is deemed as a world leader in Engine and Industrial Filtration, High Efficiency and Specialty Filtration and Battery Products. The company is unique in the UK and everything it manufactures is exported.

Graham Currie, Hollingsworth & Vose’s Health, Safety & Environmental Manager said: “Practically all manufacturing processes produce waste, including ours, there is no alternative. We work closely with the Environmental Agency, which understands that fibreglass, a key component in our manufacturing process, can’t be recycled and what must go to landfill is treated very carefully. That’s why we use Grundon.”

Investment in clean water systems

Hollingsworth & Vose draws water from the local river to transport fibreglass across its paper machines. The company has invested heavily in research and development to clean the water on site, so it can recycle what it uses before returning 97% back to the river. It operates way below Environment Agency (EA) abstraction limits and submits all relevant environmental information to the EA on a regular basis.

Grundon meets all Hollingsworth & Vose’s waste management needs including the recycling of paper, cardboard, wood and metal, and also through the recovery of energy from its unrecyclable general waste. It has also located a large mobile compactor on site for paper reel off-cuts to ensure that they are collected for recycling.

Waste management with military precision

Grundon generally has a vehicle on site every day supporting the Mill. However, one of the more unusual waste management projects that Grundon undertakes with Hollingsworth & Vose is the collection of waste from its filtration beds.

Over a period of time sludge builds up in the company’s effluent treatment plant. Much of it is made up from waste fibreglass and must be treated as hazardous waste. Graham Currie’s team at Hollingsworth & Vose has only a small window of opportunity, when the manufacturing plant is on a scheduled closedown, to remove the sludge

Graham explains: “We begin planning months in advance. With the help of our dedicated business development manager at Grundon, Daniel Peacey, we schedule it like a military operation. The waste is removed from the plant, allowed to dry and transported safely and securely from our site to Grundon’s local licensed hazardous landfill site. We run two or three Grundon collection vehicles in tandem: one vehicle comes in and loads up, leaves and then a second repeats the process until the job is complete.”

Good teamwork

Grundon’s drivers and Hollingsworth & Vose employees work closely together and everyone is transparent about who is responsible for what. On the face of it, it’s a simple process of emptying a sludge pond. However, operationally and environmentally the job must be done to perfection, which means that good communication and teamwork between Hollingsworth & Vose and Grundon is essential.

Graham added: “One of the most important things to me is that we formed a transparent partnership with our waste management provider because of the amount and sensitivity of the waste we produce.

Getting the job done

“I was looking for a contractor we could open up a relationship with. Grundon and the technical support the company offers was a big selling point for me. If Daniel doesn’t know the answer, he knows someone who does and together we know that we’ll solve the problem.

“Grundon is a family business. I’ve met the chairman and his son, the deputy chairman. They, like their employees, know their industry and I like how they do business.”