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Raising the bar for treating food waste – quality from start to finish

The GP Group are an established horticultural business based in Scotland and have understood the value of green waste as a soil improver for a number of years. GP Green Recycling is the composting division within the group and Jim Gilchrist, Managing Director of the division, has consistently managed the business with an emphasis on providing the highest quality of products and service. As a family business the GP Plantscape division, managed by Jim’s son Jimmy, also provides interior and exterior landscapes on a national basis from individual network locations to large corporate head offices. Clearly they are familiar with the value chain linked to soil improvement products, and the Company has produced green waste compost for a number of years on contract with the local authority

However, the Company is still ambitious and growing and in 2009 GP Recycling targeted an additional contract and investment opportunity to service the local authority co-mingled waste product at around 10,000T/annum. This additional waste stream contains food waste and therefore needs specific treatment to sterilise the waste before maturation (ABPR regulations). Jim and his team considered a few options but eventually settled on Wasteology Systems Ltd as the process equipment supplier. Jim says “Wasteology and their systems matched the site needs well not least as they were proven, scalable, well engineered and able to handle the inclement weather conditions experienced over the border”
Working closely with SEPA, who ultimately grant the licence for treatment, a decision was made to further invest in roof structures to ensure finished product is protected from elements and to avoid contamination risks and wastage. Provision was also made for reception building air treatment and under-floor ventilation in the maturation hall to ensure consistent and rapid maturation with limited odours.

As with all capital investments recently there were some initial delays to ensure the bank had all the details needed to be confident in providing funds, but the project team compiled the business case and with a little help from WRAP funding the project kick-off was granted in March 2010

RJ Doak & Sons Ltd were appointed as principle contractor for the site and managed the civils/buildings works with the exception of the vessels, which Wasteology installed directly. This was a £3.3M project lasting 12 months and providing 10 vessels, a reception hall at 1,500 m² and two covered frames for process area and maturation. The site extends to 12,000 m²

The build was completed pretty much on plan by the end of 2010, but inclement weather and finishing details (Scottish Power delaying electric connection) meant the project was formerly commissioned in March 2011

As well as ensuring an efficient, safe and environmentally-friendly operating site for household waste vehicles, the focus at this site remains centred on compost treatment and quality. The initial target is to satisfy the SEPA (PPC) licence conditions, all of which is firmly on track as we write, and then to further optimise site capacity and product quality. Attention to detail is seen throughout the process starting with incoming waste (plastic removal and handling), through the ABPR treatment “two pass” treatment in the vessels and onto maturation for around 8 weeks in the dedicated ventilated building with turning taking place weekly. Finally, careful screening means PAS 100 standard should be comfortably achieved during this early commissioning period. The finished product can then be stored on-site and under cover and even blended/treated to fill any gaps in the market for such soil improvement products – the landscaping market is an obvious area as identified through the sister company in the group.

GP Recycling have succeeded in funding, project managing and commissioning a state of the art facility for Green/Food waste at their site in Blantyre to ensure customer service and yield are optimised whilst creating maximum added-value for the end product, this was not just a gate fee project!

Hopefully the positive relationship now in place with various local authorities in the region and the clear demonstration of investment and future-proofing in state of the art waste treatment facilities could lead to additional initiatives – not limited to just green and food waste stream!!!! I wouldn’t rule out seeing more varied and exciting new projects appearing at this site and, after all, success tends to breed success!


GP Group is an office interior and exterior landscaping company based in Blantyre

Wasteology Systems Ltd are a UK/International supplier of IVC systems principally for treating co-mingled food/green waste

R J Doak & Sons Ltd are a family owned company providing construction, steel fabrication, hardware and plant and machinery.


Wasteology supplies Donarbon with second generation Green waste in-vessel solution

Following the waste PFI contract signing between Cambridgeshire County Council and local company Donarbon Waste Management Limited, Wasteology and Donarbon are able to formalise and sign agreements for the expansion and upgrading of the “In-Vessel” waste management solution operating at Donarbon’s Waterbeach site. A planning application has been submitted for the redevelopment at the site.

Wasteology have taken on the role of Main contractor for the £4M redevelopment of the green waste (kitchen and garden waste) processing site, including a re-investment of 20 new Green waste composting vessels, which will treat an estimated 75,000 tonnes per annum of kerbside collected food and garden waste from all of the District Councils in Cambridgeshire, plus similar waste collected by Donarbon’s trade recycling service to restaurants, pubs and colleges. Donarbon are currently working towards obtaining PAS 100 accreditation for the compost produced through the Wasteology in-vessel system.

The Waste PFI Project is a 28 year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract that includes the design, build and management of new facilities to treat household waste from Cambridgeshire, including a MBT (mechanical biological treatment) plant, visitor and education centre and waste transfer stations, as well as the expansion of existing composting facilities. 

Mark Davenport, Managing Director for Donarbon Ltd said, “Once again we are delighted to be working with Wasteology who will supply and project manage the composting facility for green waste for the new investment. Working together over the past few years we have been able to refine and develop the unique “In Vessel” technology to ensure safe, usable compost is made available from previously land-filled household green waste streams, and has enabled us to work with the county council to ensure they meet their recycling targets”.

David McVeigh, Managing Director for Wasteology Systems Ltd also comments, “Donarbon have worked in partnership with us for a number of years and the partnership relationship we have achieved has resulted in the further development of leading edge technology with the new air-controlled, retractable roofed “In Vessel” system. We are now carefully planning and co-ordinating the broader project plan to ensure a smooth installation and start-up within the carefully controlled project commitments made”





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