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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Reduced waste to landfill strategy pays off for CEMEX UK


Quarry firm in partnership with Biffa achieves 80% waste diversion rate from landfill  

A BOLD target for diverting waste from landfill of 80% has been reached by CEMEX UK. In 2015, the company invested in a new strategy – Recycle R8 – in partnership with waste operators Biffa, to significantly reduce the amount sent to landfill and increase their recycling activities. Currently, Recycle R8 has delivered concrete results with the 80% waste diverted from landfill and recycling reaching 49%. 

Andy Spencer, director of sustainability and energy for CEMEX UK, said: ‘We are a ‘waste eater’, now consuming 80 times more waste than we send to landfill. For example, in cement and concrete we use by-products from other industries such as fly ash from the power industry and GGBS (ground granulated blast furnace slag) from the iron and steel producing industries.

‘Through the partnership with Biffa and the strategy, Recycle R8 we are delighted to have achieved our bold targets. The strategy involved a challenging audit process and complete change of culture amongst our employees.’  

CEMEX UK run over 300 sites covering a wide diversity of operations, including quarries, concrete plants, cement/plants, factories, offices and asphalt plants. Once each site has been audited and the results analysed, the correct bins and skips for the right waste to minimize landfill and maximize recycling are put in place. 

With the recycling equipment provided on each site, a campaign highlighting environmental and financial benefits for better waste management was implemented to engage employees. Mr Spencer commented: ‘We have seen a real cultural shift amongst our employees. It is now everyday practice for them to recycle and divert waste from landfill. Before Recycle R8, we had 27% waste diverted away from landfill and today it is 80%, with us moving towards our 100% target.’

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