McArthurGlen Designer Outlets operate 22 designer retail outlets close to major cities across Europe. These include designer shops, restaurants and coffee shops. We have been working with the company since 2013 and currently manage waste services at 4 of the 6 UK sites.

The Challenge

The generic nature of the existing waste management contract meant that food waste was disposed of in the general waste, limiting the opportunity to recycle, with potential recyclable material contaminated with food waste.

With the cost of general waste disposal increasing year-on-year, the challenge was to increase recycling by improving segregation at source.

The Solution

The first stage of the waste management programme was to find a service provider that would accept food waste with a level of contamination that we expected to come from the outlets.

We then placed food bins around the site at recycling points, increasing the number of bins at high volume food areas. We engaged with all the individual tenants to highlight and discuss the new food segregation process, creating information posters to explain what would and would not be accepted in the new food bins.

The individual Brands were then audited regularly to assess their internal segregation processes and to highlight any issues they may come across in the day-to-day management of waste using this new system. This included an audit of the weight of the food waste, which was recorded and reported to the centre management monthly.

The Outcome

The initial update of the new process was steady, however, with a persistent programme of engagement with both the tenants and on-site waste operatives, the improvements are considerable.

  • Year one – 34 tonnes
  • Year two – 71 tonnes
  • Year three – 191 tonnes
  • Year 4 – 285 tonnes

The food waste is diverted to a PAS 110 certified anaerobic digestion plant, which allows all food waste to be classified as recycling, producing both energy and compost output.

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