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Interserve JV reduces landfill waste by 97 per cent

Interserve joint venture Landmarc Support Services (Landmarc) has recycled 66 per cent of waste and diverted 97 per cent from landfill in 2019/20 after implementing a range of measures to minimise its environmental impact.

Landmarc is the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO)’s industry partner for managing the Ministry of Defence (MOD) national training estate, and says it has achieved these results “thanks to the hard work of its regional teams working towards the objectives outlined in its Sustainability Strategy”, which was launched in April 2017. In practical terms, the company created eight Waste Sorting Stations across the UK which sift waste and ensure everything which can be recycled is processed accordingly.

Colleagues based at the stations segregate and recycle around 20 different materials including hard plastic, batteries, waste oils, metal, food, wood and cardboard as well as military debris. Dry mixed recycling facilities – for paper, card, cans, plastic bottles – are available on camp, and the team sorts the residual waste to ensure no recyclable materials are lost.

The team constantly investigates new ways of reducing the amount of rubbish that ends up in the general waste, as a way to increase the amount of waste diverted from landfill, and recently introduced a new glass recycling scheme and trialled a food waste digester.

Using the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for prioritising action, Landmarc created targets in relation to ‘Responsible Production and Consumption’ and ‘Climate Action’ to inform the approach to sustainable waste management, as well as the Greening Government Commitments and Sustainable MOD Strategy.

To support this, Landmarc invested heavily to develop an effective approach including waste sorting stations, staff training and development, and partnership working with key stakeholders.

The Waste Sorting Stations (WSS) are central to Landmarc’s approach. The stations are based in six regions across the UK: Westdown Camp in the South West, Lydd in the South East, Castlemartin and Sennybridge in Wales and West, Otterburn and Warcop in the North, Barry Budden in Scotland, and West Tofts in the East.

Originally established to sift for military debris, the WSS teams are now responsible for overseeing waste management locally and driving improvements.

As part of a wider drive to develop sustainability skills, the Landmarc Sustainability Team has toured the UK delivering Waste Management training to operational staff involved in handling waste. The aim is to ensure colleagues consider waste as a resource, apply the waste hierarchy, understand legal requirements and the environmental impact of waste, and are equipped to contribute to waste targets. The training is tailored to the different legal requirements of the devolved nations.

A key partnership in delivering sustainable waste management is Landmarc’s relationship with national waste broker GPT, who supports the company in sourcing the best and most efficient supply chain in rural and remote locations.

Landmarc supports a flexible approach to sustainable waste management, and services at each site are tailored to meet user requirements and geographical constraints. This maximises efficiency at site level, encourages landfill diversion, and improves recovery and recycling rates.

Amanda Williams, Sustainability Manager, said: “Meeting these standards has required commitment, both in developing sustainability skills and embedding good practice at all levels within the organisation, as well as from the operational staff who do the hard work at the frontline.

“Thanks to a long-term commitment to the development of waste and resource management strategy on the training estate, Interserve joint venture Landmarc has driven performance improvements from a four per cent recorded recycling rate in 2008 to a 66 per cent recycling rate in 2019/20.

“The key to this success has been a combination of partnership working, targeted investment, and a genuine passion and commitment among the sustainable waste champions at all levels within the organisation.”

About Sarah OBeirne

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