Hundreds of people turned out at Weston-super-Mare seafront on Saturday 10th June to watch Equinox Recycling and other crews from across the UK compete in the National Refuse Championships.
17 teams took part in the Championships including ourselves, Biffa, Amey, Simply Waste, Kier, Aspect Solutions, Hills Waste, Devon Contract Waste, Swindon Borough Council, Weir Waste, Pirtek, Grist Environmental, FCS Cleaning and Cartwright Skips.
The event, organised by Refuse Vehicle Solutions in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society was devised to test the skills of drivers including tracking and manoeuvring skills, loading skills, health and safety and weight-lift challenges.
Each team consisted of five people (including one driver) working in pairs and taking turns to run, load wheelie bins (240 litre and 1100 litre) with stones and push them 50metres to an awaiting refuse truck to empty it. The gruelling process was repeated multiple times, as the refuse truck moved in 50m stages towards the finish line.
The race began with a series of timed heats during the morning culminating in a final race between the two remaining teams in the afternoon. Despite ‘Team Equinox’ being knocked out in the second round, our boys did amazingly well and we placed 7th overall.
The coveted National Refuse Championships 2017 trophy was won by Aylesbury Vale District Council and the event raised over £12,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society. It was such a success that organisers have already confirmed that the event will go ahead next year – 15 & 16th June 2018.
Spencer Law, Founder of the new National Refuse Championships and Managing Director of Refuse Vehicle Solutions Ltd (RVS) said: “It was a fantastic weekend of fun and we drew a big crowd.
“I have wanted to recreate the National Refuse Championships for around 10 years but I would never have achieved it without the support of friends, family, my staff and industry colleagues, along with the superb organisational skills of Tracy Standing. We are already planning next year’s event and I hope it will become a regular fixture on the waste management calendar!”
Equinox Recycling is constantly moving forward and over the last 12 months we have enjoyed a period of remarkable growth. As always, we are committed to providing our customers with the best possible service and in order to maintain our high standards and services we are continuously investing time and money into our equipment and employees. We have a vacancy that’s opened up within our transport division and we are currently seeking to employ an experienced HGV Rigid (Class 2) Driver to join the team.
As part of the role you will be responsible for the servicing of wheeled bins and REL skips so experience with the waste industry is preferred, but not essential. Successful applicants will be based at our Tonbridge depot and required to work Monday to Friday morning/afternoon shifts and every other Saturday morning.
As part of the Equinox driving team you will be at the forefront of our company so it is essential that you are fit, reliable, trustworthy and above all, committed to delivering the highest level of service to our customers. You must hold either a Cat C or C1 driving licence and be up to date with transport law regarding driving hours and tachograph operation. You must also hold a valid Digital Tachograph Card and CPC Card.
Full training will be given. Excellent rates of pay and uniform provided. Equinox Recycling is an equal opportunities employer.
Equinox Recycling is an equal opportunities employer.
Applicants should apply in writing to our Transport Manager, Zac Payne, via the Jobs In Kent website.
If you wish to speak with someone regarding the vacancy or your application, please call our customer services department on 01732 355865.
Litter wardens in Ashford have been suspended from duty after a Panorama investigation revealed they were getting bonuses for issuing fines.
The special investigation called Inside the Litter Police, which aired on BBC1’s Panorama on Monday, saw an undercover reporter working alongside enforcement officers in Bexley.
It looked into the training, behaviour and practices carried out by staff at enforcement company Kingdom Services, who are currently under contract with Ashford Borough Council, Maidstone Borough Council and Swale Borough Council.
Kingdom wardens can issue £75 on-the-spot fines to those who litter or fail to clean up after their pets. The council takes £28.50 from each fixed penalty notice, while Kingdom Services takes £46.50.
One litter warden – secretly filmed by the undercover Panorama reporter – boasted of making nearly £1,000 in ‘bonuses’ while patrolling the streets of Ashford. The manager told the reporter that ‘every ticket over four, you get a little competency allowance”, which he described as “a bonus” when quizzed.
In a statement, Kingdom Services said that it offered a “competency allowance” but that it was discretionary and only paid if officers met all basic competencies.
At one point during the undercover filming, one enforcement officer admitted regularly pretending to phone the police in order to encourage the public to hand over personal details. Another officer said he tricked people into stepping away from dropped litter to prove they intended to leave rubbish behind.
The Panorama investigation also revealed that people in Kent were wrongly fined for tipping coffee down a drain and putting their recycling out on the wrong day.
A spokeswoman for Ashford Borough Council said: “In light of the recent Panorama programme we have decided to take this opportunity to give our wardens some important additional staff training exercises so they can continue operating fairly and effectively.
“We haven’t suspended them but they are not patrolling currently. They should be back soon, after the training has been undertaken.”
Following the broadcast, Maidstone Borough Council suspended wardens for the day on Tuesday, but they were back patrolling the streets on Wednesday.
It is not the first time councils in Kent have had problems with enforcement company Kingdom Services.
In 2016, Maidstone suspended its officers for a two-week review after a woman was incorrectly fined for littering while feeding some ducks.
Gravesham Borough Council severed ties with Kingdom Services last year and now operates its litter enforcement “in-house”.
A spokesman for Kingdom said: “Our service operates under some of the tightest legal guidelines which set the fixed penalty notice level and affords anybody the right to appeal to the council or/and challenge with the courts if they choose.”
Residents in Ashford have been praised for their efforts to recycle household waste after achieving a recycling rate above the national target of 50%.
The latest figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) reveal that Ashford Borough Council has become the country’s most improved recycling authority, with 53.1% of the borough’s household waste being sent for re-use, recycling or composting in 2015/16.
A far cry from its rate of 14% in 2011/12, which saw the borough branded the worst place in the country for recycling rates. It’s current rate, however, is more than 10% above the national average of 40% and the overall figure for Ashford (53.1%) places the borough 44th in the country, 14th in the South East and 1st in Kent.
Last year, Ashford Borough Council launched a crackdown on contamination, pleading with residents to only place recyclable materials in their recycling bins after an increase in the number of waste loads being rejected. Given their current recycling rate, the issue has clearly been resolved since then.
In fact, since 2013/14, Ashford is the most improved area in Kent, increasing its recycling rate by 11.2%.
Cllr Clair Bell, Portfolio holder for borough presentation at Ashford Borough Council said: “Ashford residents are doing a tremendous job at recycling and recent figures have placed us top in Kent. But it is important we work hard to maintain, and where possible, improve this level.”
“We hope targets communications will help our residents receive relevant information and advice so they understand how to recycle smart and help the borough continues with its excellent recycling progress made so far.”
Tracey Butler, Head of Environmental & Landscape Management Services said: “It is excellent to see Ashford’s recycling rates remain strong. This has been achieved by the enthusiasm and committed efforts of our residents and we would like to thank everyone for continuing to support our recycling service.”
Also faring well are Maidstone Borough Council (47.8%), Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (45.6%) and Shepway District Council (44%).
The same cannot be said for Dartford which is one of just seven so-called ‘red zones’ with recycling rates under 30% in the South East, and Canterbury which has seen recycling rates fall by 5.3% from 48.5% to 43.2%.
BUSINESS WASTE AND RECYCLING SERVICES IN KENT
Equinox Recycling offers a comprehensive range of waste management and recycling solutions in Kent including zero waste to landfill. We are committed to collecting and treating business waste in the most practicable and efficient way to maximise recycling opportunities.
If you feel that your business could recycle more and would like a free waste audit, please call us on 01732 355865 or use the contact form on our website. One of our experienced advisors will be happy to identify how and where we can save you money, where improvements to your waste management can be made and how to reduce the impact your business may be having on the environment.
Local authorities in Tunbridge Wells, Dartford and Tonbridge & Malling are currently exploring the establishment of a joint waste collection contract, which could begin in 2019.
The Kent councils, which are all members of the Kent Resource Partnership, are looking into the possibility of a joint waste and recycling collection deal, with early discussions suggesting that a joint procurement process could start later this year.
At present, Tunbridge Wells council’s waste and recycling collections are provided by Biffa, under a 10-year contract which began in 2009. In Dartford, waste and recycling collections are provided by Amey, whilst Tonbridge & Malling council’s waste and recycling collections are provided by Veolia.
During a meeting earlier this month, representatives from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council approved the continuing discussions over a partnership between the three local authorities.
In a report published ahead of the meeting on 13 April, council officers stated: “The opportunity for partnership working within the new contract is evident. The current waste collection contracts for Dartford and Tonbridge and Malling councils also run until 2019 and discussions are taking place, together with Kent County Council, to enable a joint procurement process to be undertaken.
“The Task and Finish Group is mindful that, whilst looking at the options available and accepting that some standardisation of a service across a partnership is inevitable, retaining sovereignty over the design and management of a new service, and maintaining the high quality of the existing service is essential – as very few complaints are received about the standard currently provided.
“There is a risk attached to the potential equalisation of differing collection costs across those authorities in a partnership but there are also opportunities for efficiencies that can be shared and for a reduction in disposal costs from increased recycling rates which can also be shared.”
This isn’t the first time Kent councils have explored a joint waste collection contract. In 2012, Swale, Ashford and Maidstone awarded a joint 10-year contract to Biffa – under the Mid Kent Waste Partnership Banner.
LOOKING FOR A WASTE MANAGEMENT PROVIDER FOR YOUR BUSINESS WASTE?
Equinox Recycling is a privately owned company operating a waste and recycling collection service that caters for all sizes of business establishments in Kent. We are able to provide a fully comprehensive range of waste management and recycling solutions for all businesses. Using a range of vehicles including trade waste (rubbish sacks & wheeled containers), rear end loaders, skip and Roll On Roll Off, Equinox Recycling operate throughout the South East of England.
For more information, please call 01732 355865 to speak with a member of our friendly and experienced sales team.
Equinox Recycling has signed up to take part in the National Refuse Championships at Weston Super-Mare seafront on Saturday 10th June 2017.
Formerly known as the ‘World Refuse Championships’, this exciting charity event last took place in 1995 and it is hoped that some of the original founders will be in attendance for the new ‘National Refuse Championships’ in June.
The event, organised by Refuse Vehicle Solutions in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society, is devised to test the skills of drivers including tracking and manoeuvring skills, loading skills, health and safety and weight-lift challenges.
Each team will comprise of five people (including one driver) working in pairs and taking turns to run, load a large wheelie bin with stones and push it 50m to an awaiting truck to empty it. The gruelling process is repeated multiple times, as the truck moves in 50m stages towards the finish line. The race will start with a series of timed heats during the morning culminating in a final race between the two remaining teams in the afternoon.
What’s happening on the day?
Registration starts from 9am on Saturday 10TH June 2017
Competitions commence at 10am
Competitions will last until around 3pm with the prize giving at 4pm. After which there is a Fish n’ Chips by the sea party, with live tribute acts playing through the night.
The general public is invited to come and watch the fun, enjoy the small funfair, take a stroll along the promenade and follow along with the action using hashtag #nationalrefusechamps on Facebook and Twitter.
Fancy taking part?
There will be 32 teams of 5 (four team members and 1 driver) for the National Refuse Championships 2017. Equinox Recycling, along with Devon Contract Waste, Simply Waste and Aspect Solutions have already signed up and registered a team.
The cost to register a team is £1500, which includes a range of additional benefits such as advertising.
If you fancy taking part, visit http://www.nationalrefusechampionships.co.uk and register your team asap, as spaces are filling up fast.
OFFICE OPENING TIMES
Please note that our offices will be closed for the Easter break from 5pm on Thursday 13th April through to Easter Monday inclusive.
|Thursday 13th April 2017||8.30AM-5PM|
|Friday 14th April 2017||CLOSED|
|Saturday 15th April 2017||CLOSED|
|Sunday 16th April 2017||CLOSED|
|Monday 17th April 2017||CLOSED|
|Tuesday 18th April 2017||8.30AM-5PM|
TRADE WASTE COLLECTIONS
Scheduled dustcart rounds will be running as usual on all days over the Easter break, including bank holidays.
|Thursday 13th April 2017||NORMAL SERVICE|
|Friday 14th April 2017||NORMAL SERVICE|
|Saturday 15th April 2017||NORMAL SERVICE|
|Sunday 16th April 2017||CLOSED|
|Monday 17th April 2017||NORMAL SERVICE|
|Tuesday 18th April 2017||NORMAL SERVICE|
SKIPS AND ROLL ONS
Normal service will be operating on all days except bank holidays. Customers are kindly asked to place any delivery, exchange or collection bookings for skips and Roll On Roll Offs (including compactors) with us as far in advance as possible, as we cannot guarantee availability for bookings made with less than 7 days notice.
|Thursday 13th April 2017||NORMAL SERVICE|
|Friday 14th April 2017||CLOSED|
|Saturday 15th April 2017||CLOSED (unless booked by 4pm Thursday)|
|Sunday 16th April 2017||CLOSED|
|Monday 17th April 2017||CLOSED|
|Tuesday 18th April 2017||NORMAL SERVICE|
BUSINESSES THAT CLOSE DURING THE EASTER PERIOD
If your business is scheduled to be closed over the easter period and you do not need any collections, then to avoid being charged for us attending your site, you must notify us by contacting our Transport Team on 01732 355865 or email email@example.com
We would encourage all our customers to book ad-hoc services as soon as possible as capacity is limited. Services on bank holidays can be arranged but require a minimum 7 working days’ notice.
HAPPY EASTER FROM ALL OF US AT EQUINOX RECYCLING!
Equinox Recycling recently celebrated 5 years in operation and we honoured the milestone with a corporate day out at Twickenham for the England vs Scotland game.
Joining our Managing Director, Andy Gibbons and Operations Manager, Zac Payne was Andy Butler, CEO at SWR Waste Management, Wayne Basham, Commercial Director at SWR Waste Management, James Capel, CEO at Simply Waste and Mat Stewart, Managing Director at Organic Waste Logistics.
The penultimate weekend of the RBS 6 Nations 2017 tournament saw Scotland descend on Twickenham Station in a bid for the all-important Calcutta Cup and what a game it was. A hat trick by Jonathan Joseph helped England to a 61-21 win against Scotland to retain their Six Nations title and equal New Zealand’s world record for consecutive Test wins.
L to R: Andy Butler, James Capel, Wayne Basham, Andy Gibbons, Mat Stewart and Zac Payne
In front of a celebrating capacity crowd they cut loose, running in three tries as they scored 30 points in a one-sided first half. Four more tries and thirty-one more points followed in the second period as they established an unassailable lead atop the Six Nations table.
There has been much debate about England’s form this Six Nations despite their long unbeaten run, but in front of a celebrating capacity crowd they cut loose, running in three tries as they scored 30 points in a one-sided first half.
Four more tries and thirty-one more points followed in the second period as they established an unassailable lead atop the Six Nations table.
Over the last 12 months, Equinox Recycling has enjoyed a remarkable period of growth, which has led to a growing number of vehicles. As always, we are fully committed to providing our customers with the best possible service and as such, we are constantly moving forward with the times and investing in our fleet and staff.
You may remember last year we had a welcome addition to the fleet in the form of a fleet support vehicle, which was fully equipped to respond to breakdowns, carry out repairs and provide roadside assistance to our trucks. Now we have gone one step further by introducing our own tyre team and taking tyre repairs and replacements in-house as well.
The system our tyre team has put in place is designed to ensure that our drivers get the most out of their tyres and that best practice is adhered to, as a way of helping with cost control and boosting operational efficiency.
We’ve found that about half of all flat tyres caused by a puncture can be repaired, avoiding the need of a replacement tyre and keeping our costs and customer costs down. All tyre repairs are, however, governed by strict rules imposed by the British Standard (BSAU 159) on how and when a tyre can be repaired. Equinox Recycling ensures that all repairs carried out by our tyre team comply fully with these standards.
Our full qualified technicians remove tyres from the wheels and carry out certain mandatory checks before repairing any tyre to ensure that it is suitable to be safely repaired. Any repairs required are then carried out by them.
The new tyre team is a welcome addition to Equinox Recycling as it enables us to continue providing an efficient, reliable and cost-effective service to our customers. Our technicians have the ability and resources to respond to flat tyres immediately, which minimises the length of downtime and any negative impact that may have on customer collections.
Latest government figures have revealed an alarming number of fly tipping incidents across England, with local authorities reporting 936,090 cases of fly-tipping in 2015/16 – up 4% on the previous year.
There’s been a significant rise of cases in Kent, with nearly 3,000 additional instances of fly-tipping occurring in the county since 2013. Despite the harsh penalties for fly-tipping, the number of incidents has gone up from 16,661 in 2012/13 to 19,547 incidents in 2015/16 – a rise of 17%.
Cases of rubbish being dumped illegally have more than doubled in West Kent in the past four years, with the largest increases being seen in Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells. Sevenoaks recorded 355 incidents of fly-tipping in 2012/13 and saw a considerable jump in 2015/16 to 883 incidents.
It is vital for members of the public to remember the importance of using a reputable and fully compliant waste management company, like Equinox Recycling, to collect and dispose of their waste.
2016 saw almost 1 million fly-tipping reports in the UK. The cost of clearing up those incidents was £45.2 million – a 24% increase on the previous year.
Fly-tipping is primarily a domestic waste issue and it’s been suggested that complicated charges introduced by councils for the removal of bulk waste from households is to blame for the increase. However, many businesses in Kent are also risking prosecution by not using a reputable and licensed waste carrier.
HOW EQUINOX RECYCLING CAN HELP
Does your business produce a lot of waste?
Do you have a problem with fly-tipping in your area?
Are you having a house clearance and in need of a skip?
Are you looking for a company to remove bulk waste?
Equinox Recycling provides a number of services to both commercial and residential customers across Kent. If you would like to discuss ways in which we could help manage your waste more effectively, please call one of our friendly and experienced sales team on 01732 355865.
To make sure your business is fully compliant, we can arrange for a free audit of your existing operations and make recommendations on how things could be improved.
Call us today on 01732 355865 or use the contact form on our website.