Breathing new life into what was once the industrial heartland of Kidderminster is no easy task. The heavy industries that took two centuries to establish have disappeared in less than 20 years, with little to replace them.
So it is heartening to find Lawrence Recycling taking over one of these vacant sites to develop Forge Recycling. The 6.4 hectare site has the capacity to sort 250,000 tonnes of waste annually, recycling 90 percent of the mixed waste and construction and demolition waste that passes through its gates. The massive covered site, once used to manufacture ship prop-shafts, is now used to sort, segregate and recycle cardboard, plastics, paper, brick rubble, concrete, soils, glass, green waste, wood, plasterboard and metals before they are re-processed for use in the manufacture of new products. The site originally handled around 65,000 tonnes/year when it started but is currently running at 100,000 tonnes/year as the business has expanded. It is hoped that the site will be allowed to expand to ultimately process 500,000 tonnes/year from commercial, office and construction and demolition customers within an 80 kilometre radius of the site.
However, keeping this massive site in working order is no mean feat, as maintenance manager Lee Hodgeson points out. "We have a static Kiverco trommel, JMM Moldrow blower and picking station, material handlers, a number of wheel loaders, a new baleing facility, a large fleet of dustbin lorries and 18 skip carriers to keep operational,” Hodgeson says. “Thankfully, the company has had a longstanding relationship with Pirtek Kidderminster and know they can always turn to them to get things moving again if we have an unscheduled maintenance problem. Their response time is excellent. They may come in to repair the hydraulics on the dustbin trucks but will quite happily turn their hand to maintaining a piece of static machinery on the same visit. "This sentiment is echoed by managing director David Lawrence. "We’ve used Pirtek for many years and their service stands out from all the other hydraulic companies, which is essential when machines are broken down and can’t work. As a result we have used Pirtek for 14 years and will continue to do so."
This close relationship has even resulted in Pirtek Kidderminster and Pirtek Worcester sponsoring local under-14 football team "the Lions" that counts Lee Hodgeson’s son among its players. Pirtek Licensee Jason Woods supplied new kit to the team when they were in danger of folding due to lack of funds. Resplendent in their new Pirtek-branded kit, the team has gone on to win its local championship.