SULO provides services covering the whole range of waste management needs, including container and process technology, recycling of raw materials and waste management. The primary goal of all divisions of the company is to ensure full recycling of materials, comprehensive solutions for customers and responsible treatment of the environment. The Environmental Technology division is engaged in the production of innovative containers, identification and weighing systems and custom-designed container management. The Environmental Services division is responsible for all services relating to waste disposal and waste management, including the marketing of recycled secondary raw materials. Both divisions work on behalf of local authorities and also for private, commercial and industrial customers, as well as for the German packaging recycling system, DSD (Duales System Deutschland).
- Business Type:
- Industry Type:
- Waste and Recycling
- Market Focus:
- Nationally (across the country)
A pioneer in the branch, SULO has been working on the concept and optimisation of recyclable material collection systems and is currently a leading manufacturer in Germany and worldwide. With their headquarters in Herford and an additional production facility in Neustadt (Weinstrasse), the SULO group covers a broad range of activities, including the production of recyclable material collection systems for SULO environmental technology, the manufacture of industrial packaging for SULO packaging, the logistics services of WESTFALIA intralog and SULO Envicomp, a leading IT computer retailer for solutions in the recycling sector. The parent corporation of the SULO group, the listed French concern Plastic Omnium, generated an annual turnover of 3.65 billion Euros in 2010 with more than 18,000 employees at approximately 100 locations worldwide.
Our top priorities are always values such as sustainable innovation policies and long-term business development. Our mission statement also emphasises the excellent quality of our products, a high level of reliability as well as intelligent solutions for the protection of the environment.
The headquarters and production site of the SULO Group are in Herford, Germany. One of the key factors contributing to the high quality of SULO bins are our highly qualified and well trained experts. Consistent personnel development and constant staff training ensure that SULO, the brand with a tradition, continues to be successful in the future as well.
You can find SULO bins in streets all around the world. A distribution and logistics network spanning the entire world ensures that your regional and national demands are considered in product development and that you experience excellent customer service and fast delivery times at your location.
Because SULO produced waste disposal products and offered services itself, very close contact with customers developed. Consequently, SULO came up with the idea of a bin system that had wheels, was made of plastic and could be lifted onto a waste disposal vehicle via a comb bar and emptied. As a result, SULO filed its patent for the MGB (large-volume bin) on 12-11-1971 in Munich. The MGB revolution a that time involved not only the newly developed level of comfort for residents and garbage collectors when emptying. It also had to do with the larger bin volume, 220 litres back then. The pioneering spirit of the SULO management team at the time developed into a one-of-kind success story. Over the past 40 years SULO has sold around 75 million mgbs worldwide.
Everyone wanted the patent for the refuse bin. Following countless attempts to appeal against the granting of the patent, it was fi nally granted after eight years and seemingly endless negotiations
The path to being a bestseller
In the early years, the MGB system had supporters even outside the industry. Eberhard Alber, whose family had been working as sales representatives for SULO products in the state of Baden-Württemberg for three generations, witnessed the premiere of the MGB. He recalls the following: There were doubts that plastic products would be as sufficiently stable as steel ones. On the other hand, the introduction of the MGB system meant investments in a new vehicle system because the vehicles then didn’t have the DIN comb used to empty the MGB. In the 1970s, many households still heated with furnaces. Many municipalities saw dumping ashes into a plastic bin as a fire risk. While we can grin about these concerns now, they were then a source of concern for decision-makers. We therefore offered cities and communities the chance to
purchase the containers on a trial basis. We limited the trial period to one year and agreed that SULO would buy the containers back at a used price
if they weren‘t pleased. Because the Altvater Group had a large clientele, the risk for SULO was limited. Not a single community in Baden-Württemberg returned the containers.”
The MGB over the decades
At the beginning of the 1980s, the trend in the two-wheeled sector was towards smaller bin sizes. Eberhard Alber reports: “Residents used the 220-/240-litre volume of their mgbs completely. That led to an end of disposal site capacities at the beginning of the 1980s. This resulted in the desire for smaller receptacles, which limited the volume at the source. SULO reacted to that with the development of the 60- to 140-litre MGB sizes.” The MGB 1100 with a domed lid was among the most important innovations of that decade. With the introduction of the European standard calling for all containers with domed lids to be child-safe, the domed lid was then replaced by the flat lid.
After this, SULO engineers faced the challenge of finding an affordable solution for a child-safe domed-lid bin. The occasion for this was a problem with day-to-day waste disposal. If the bin became stuck in the vehicle’s compaction process when emptying, this could then lead to the lid being caught and torn off by the compactor due to the lid’s size. This problem did not occur with the 660- and 770-litre flat-lid containers, due to their smaller size. SULO mastered this challenge as well, answering it with the development of the lid-inlid. This development is also due to SULO’s engineering knowhow, another example of its pioneering spirit.
Further development non-stop The MGB is fi rmly established in today‘s waste disposal sector. Modern containers are much lighter than the original mgbs and ease the burden even more on those who have to move them. The debate over whether to replace steel containers with plastic ones was settled quite some time ago. In the meantime, materials science has developed to such an extent that SULO can produce containers made of recycled materials or even plastic based on renewable materials (100% Green Made) without sacrifi cing quality. Today, when discussing vehicle technology, one talks about identification and weighing systems and about software solutions that are used to map and optimise collection routes, generate fee notifications and manage containers. Since the 1990s, SULO’s development department has been involved in designing containers that are more user-friendly. A unique range of accessories has resulted, which contributes to SULO‘s reputation as a premium producer. To get the MGB’s look ready for the next millennium, the EURO2 lid was designed in 1998. It was offered as an alternative to the traditional lid design for all two-wheeled containers. Nevertheless, SULO customers still prefer the original – a true design classic. The EURO2 lid’s special charm is the clip that is used in various colours to identify the material being collected. That way, the entire bin does not have to be a different colour. SULO developed this clip technology simultaneous with the launch of the DSD category, thereby offering SULO customers a priceconscious and flexible solution.
The intelligent bin
Influenced by the fast-pace development of information technology in the 1990s, SULO demonstrated its pioneering qualities yet again, realising the first identification and weighing project in Germany in 1990. Based on the growing success of identification and weighing technology, the Envicomp Systemlogistik gmbh systems house was spun off in 1994. It was formed from SULO‘s and DASA‘s specialised departments. So far Envicomp has equipped 10 million containers with RFID chips in Europe only and installed identification and weighing technology in about 2,000 vehicles. With the help of Envicomp software applications, about 200 million euros in fees are assessed each year in Germany alone. The first system for vehicle configuration, even before the founding of Envicomp, was developed at SULO Pontech.
The first software system – developed in the age of Windows 3.11 as a desktop application – is already being further developed in its fourth product generation. The current software applications of OPTINET (bin management and notification generation) and OPTIMANAGER (route mapping, location identification and vehicle tracking in real time) require absolutely no installation because they are web-based. The decisive advantage involves the systems no longer needing to be installed. They thus run independently of any operating system because they only require an Internet browser. As a result, updates no longer have to be installed on an internal server, the configuration of the software no longer has to be tested with the other software products used on the computers and there are no licensing fees for the database systems, such as costly Oracle licenses. The decisive advantage, however, has to do with data security. Increased networking also means increased security risks, and therefore also the administrative expense of protecting the internal server permanently against outside attacks. With both of the two new systems, which are constantly being adapted to current security requirements, this risk is minimised on the user side, and the associated costs can also be saved.
Since the MGB system was developed in 1972, SULO has been successful as an innovation leader for bin systems worldwide. SULO has always been considered the pioneer in bin technology and continuously drives the further development of the MGB system.
SULO has always developed products with the customers‘ needs in mind. However, the impulses for innovation have not only come from the markets but also from our engineers at SULO. Employees that have been responsible for the SULO brand innovation for decades form a team of experts that gladly faces the permanent challenges of the waste disposal industry. Materials specialists, mechanical engineers and process engineers are working together for continuous innovation and a high number of patents that have been so typical for the SULO mgbs for 40 years now.
The immediate availability of everything at our production site in Herford, Germany, allows smooth development. What makes it perfect is the cooperation with the French team at SIGMATECH, the development centre of PLASTIC OMNIUM ENVIRONNEMENT. Not only bin systems are developed in Lyon, France, but also all products for the automotive division of the company. Developmental processes from the automotive industry are incorporated into bin development and thus create valuable synergetic effects.
Quality & certification
sulo is a brand that has been synonymous with quality for more than 100 years. With a production site in herford, germany, sulo is the quality brand for bin systems worldwide and therefore one of the many quality products „made in germany“. Sulo bins are known to be sturdy and durable, thus helping you save investment costs in the long term. All production steps are constantly monitored, which allows any deviations to be corrected immediately. In addition, sulo employs a strict quality management system, which goes far beyond the required standards. Our sulo test laboratory on site constantly performs quality tests in order to ensure an excellent level of quality.
- Certified to comply with en 840 and ral-gz 951/1
- Certified management systems according to din en iso 9001 and din en iso 14001
- Regelmasige uberwachung der qualitat durch eigenes labor und unabhangige testinstitute
- Hochwertige materialien und sorgfaltige verarbeitung fur langjahrige funktionssicherheit
A responsible approach to the environment is a core element of our corporate strategy. The implementation of an environmental management system means to take an active part in the sustainable conservation of natural resources. We take responsibility for our environment and see a preventive, efficiently operated environmental management as a major factor in our company's long-term success.
To ensure a constantly high standard of quality and to continuously improve processes, sulo implemented an environmental management system in accordance with din en iso 14001:2004.
Health and safety
We care about the health of our employees. Therefore we do not compromise with regards to the safe performance of all our activities. As a company, we are well aware of our responsibility for the well-being and the safety of the people we work with - whether they are employees, external companies or guests.