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Don’t face food waste colllection peak demand without back-up, warns WasteSafe

Fergus Healy - Head of Waste - SafeGroup


Fergus Healey

4 min read

Waste companies face major reputational and commercial risks if they do not have robust plans to deal with periods of peak demand, says emergency waste specialists WasteSafe Services.

The warning comes after WasteSafe won three national contracts to supply emergency food waste collection cover over the Christmas and New Year period, ensuring their clients fulfilled their contractual requirements.

WasteSafe Services Commercial Manager Martin Bull said food waste management firms have become increasingly concerned in recent years to cut costs to a minimum, so have introduced lean operations that reduce capacity.

CleanSafe Services use the most modern food waste collection vehicles
CleanSafe Services use the most modern food waste collection vehicles

Meanwhile, clients such as food retailers, caterers and restaurant chains, have themselves driven down waste collection contract values during the recession, while becoming less and less tolerant of poor service.

Martin Bull said: “There is a chicken and egg process going on here, and something has to give. All the new clients we worked with over Christmas and New Year, realised they faced real concerns in terms of business reputation and client confidence if they didn’t act quickly to plug the gaps in their service.

“This was where we were able to step in. We have the latest waste food collection vehicles and support technology, plus fully-trained and experienced driver operators who we can mobilised quickly to provide seamless support.

“This is not about going out and hiring a man with a van, who might or might not turn up, might or might not know how to collect food waste, and do is not used to operating to the highest industry standards.”

Martin Bull said he hopes WasteSafe Services will benefit from a trend in food waste brokers and collection companies realising they will be judged on how they manage peak demand periods, not their everyday service.

He added: “To use another food metaphor, with WasteSafe, food waste collection companies can have their cake and they can eat it. They can run their fleets at the optimum capacity for 10 months of the year, and we can step in for the two months when all hell breaks loose and they need extra support.”

WasteSafe Services provides emergency food waste collection services to a number of national waste management companies, and has developed the fastest, most effective national freezer breakdown response service in the UK.

Martin Bull said: “We have set out to use the best vehicle technology combined with the best food waste measurement systems. That means, for our clients, their costs are controlled, and their income from food waste collection is optimised. It’s a win-win proposition.”

This expertise and experience is now being used increasingly by food waste companies looking to manage peaks and troughs in demand more effectively.

With one client, WasteSafe Services operated four teams for three weeks – one from WasteSafe’s Manchester depot, one from its Birmingham depot, and two from its London depot – to provide a national service to retailers and major restaurant chains.

WasteSafe operators used the client’s PDAs, and worked under the direction of their operations controllers after attending a day-long induction and training course, which Martin Bull attended as well.

The second client needed help providing a food waste collection service for a national supermarket retailer, and the third needed emergency food waste collection support for a national pub chain.

Martin Bull said: “All our clients were impressed with how we could quickly become part of their team. We provide a seamless service. And we are gratified that they have said they will look to use us again in the future.

“Food waste management is changing. Operators need to become more agile. Experience shows the food retail and restaurant market is becoming more volatile. Waste collection services have to adapt. We believe WasteSafe Services is part of the solution.”

For more information on waste management during peak demand, contact WasteSafe today. Telephone:

Fergus Healy - Head of Waste - SafeGroup
About the author

Fergus Healey

Fergus is responsible for SafeGroup’s large and extensive emergency waste management service. He is a graduate analytical environmental chemist and holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Fergus has over two decades’ experience at manager and director level in the waste industry including organic waste processing and food waste collection. Fergus’s work focuses on the strategic development of our waste removal business, leading our rapid growth in this sector. Away from work, he is an avid golf player and he enjoys the great outdoors, hiking in the Lake District and North Wales.

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