Q&A with Circle Waste Director and Shareholder Mark Garwood

Monday November 26, 2018

Mark Garwood Q&A

This week Mark Garwood answers the questions…

Q. The Circular Economy, what’s all that about then?

A. A little question to kick off then! For me, the Circular Economy encourages us to look at the effect to the environment and the use of its resources from an earlier starting point, ie at design and production stage of products and services. Design waste out at this stage, then the next bits, ie selling the product, then using it, then repairing or reusing it, then separating for recycling, then reprocessing material to be fed into the design and production stage, and now we’re using the same materials we started with, ie a circle!

Q. How does this fit into what you do at Circle Waste then?

A. At Circle Waste, we offer a one-stop shop which takes into account all of the five stages described above. We offer a free audit to look at your business and make recommendations that will give you significantly better environmental and financial results. We arrange training for your staff, and when the audit is complete, we’ll give you a proposal for Circle Waste to organise all your future waste and recycling collections. We will ensure various waste streams are separated for ongoing recycling and reprocessing at the appropriate facilities. Our team deal with all the administration that DEFRA requires and make sure you are fully legally compliant. This can be a minefield and is a job best handled by specialists in their field, such as us.

Q. Tell me about being a Chartered Waste Manager?

A. To become a Chartered Waste Manager means I have achieved a level of expertise in this field, which demonstrates knowledge to professionally carry out the auditing, training and recommendations mentioned previously. It also keeps me up to date with industry trends and events the CIWM (Charter Institute of Wastes Management) organise. I am also required to keep my knowledge up to date by attending CPD (Continuous Professional Development) sessions. I suppose it acts as an insurance policy for our customers that they know I’m operating under the industry’s code of conduct and am qualified to give advice.

Q. What’s your view on single-use plastic, which is headline news currently?

A. The Environment Secretary has indicated legislation will be toughened up in the Resources and Waste Strategy which will be published before Christmas. They are contemplating more restrictions on certain single-use plastics. In my view, legislation and education have to be the way forward now. if we look again at the Circular Economy and design out using single-use plastic packaging through education and consumers changing buying then packing behaviour through education. I’ll ask a question, how many people would have watched Blue Planet, which was incredibly revealing, and then gone to the fridge to take a plastic bottle of water out of it? Sure, it’s recyclable, but is it required in the first place? This is the first stage of the circular economy again. I think we’re relying on the political will here, so watch that space!

Q. Have you always worked in the waste industry?

A. Yes, pretty much, although our group company Vision Construction Services has businesses in the construction industry too, which fit well with Circle Waste. My business partner Chris Dear and I started selling trade waste collection contracts for more than 20 years ago and we work together well. We share the same passion for world-class customer service and providing solutions that benefit our customers both financially and environmentally. We have assembled a team of Industry professionals at Circle Waste, as it’s our people that stand out and have the knowledge and commitment to go the extra mile. We really do make a seemingly complicated issue into an easy to understand the concept that’s managed by professionals, us! We met our other partner Jules Gaylor along the journey too. Jules was an area sales manager for Taylor Bins many moons ago, and I think the first time I met him was at a depot in Cambridgeshire, where he sold me some metal bins! The three of us have all worked our way up from grassroots beginnings, and we all firmly believe happy and motivated staff will deliver the best results. We try our best to make that happen!