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Argos tackles landfill waste

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Source: Materials Recycling Week

High street retailer Argos is trialling a new process for the waste arriving at its distribution centres from stores, with the aim of diverting its waste from landfill.

Distribution project manager Mark Jones told MRW: “The trial, focusing on Magna Park (Lutterworth, Leicestershire) distribution centre and around 170 selected Argos stores, involves minimising landfill waste by increasing recycling with the use of a dedicated team of people and specialist equipment. This enables us to achieve a step change improvement in our aspiration to get this down to zero waste to landfill by the end of 2010.”

The Magna Park distribution centre produces about 320 tonnes of landfill waste per year. This is predominately commingled waste returned from Argos stores.

Argos started the trial in mid-January and recently commissioned some analysis on the store waste it returns to its distribution centres.

Jones said: “We established that about three quarters of this waste is recyclable, for example, paper, PET bottles, cans and light plastics.”

Waste firm Cwikskip Waste Management Services are collecting the waste from Magna Park twice a week and moving it to their materials recycling facility at nearby Rugby.

Jones said: “The MRF we are trialling in Rugby can safely and efficiently sort through this waste and segregate it into waste streams for onward sale to end markets. Early feedback indicates recycling rates of 75-80% of what was previously all landfilled.

“We will continuously encourage our stores to segregate waste at source as this enables the best environmental and financial results.”

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