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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Ulverston firm GlaxoSmithKline meets targets ahead of schedule

AMBITIOUS waste reduction targets set by a major Furness business have been hit ahead of schedule.

GlaxoSmithKline set out last year to stop sending any of its waste to landfill sites by 2014.

The company, which recently announced plans for a £350m biopharmaceuticals plant in Ulverston, sent 168 tonnes of waste material to landfill sites in 2011.

Greig Rooney, GSK Ulverston site director, said he was delighted to have achieved the “zero to landfill” target so far ahead of schedule.

He said: “Hitting zero to landfill is not only environmentally beneficial but it saves on substantial landfill costs, which helps make GSK Ulverston more cost-effective overall.”

The original plan was to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill sites by a third each year but staff said the initiative quickly gathered momentum.

Mr Rooney said the company had achieved goals by reducing the amount of waste produced, recycling wherever possible and re-using what remained. Paper, card and plastic is sorted on site before being sent for recycling, saving 100 tonnes of waste a year from going to landfill.

Non-recyclable material is then treated by waste management companies and incinerated to produce fuel.

After a three-month trial of sending non-recyclable waste to a derived fuel technology facility, GSK was able to hit its zero to landfill target.

Mr Rooney said: “It is a tremendous result and shows what can be done in achieving greater sustainability by being resolutely determined and working in innovative ways with a variety of like-minded agencies.

“Work is continuing to find ways to further reduce recycling costs and of strengthening local community partnerships.”

GSK Ulverston employs 300 people at its premises in North Lonsdale Road, where it produces active pharmaceutical ingredients for antibiotics.

All staff members and contractors played an active role in the scheme, alongside external waste management companies.

On-site partner Veolia Environmental Services helped with the initiative, while GSK also collaborated with local businesses, the district and county councils and the Environment Agency.

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