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Warwickshire's Clews Recycling sees turnover rise 70% in last four years

13 October 2023
From left: Adam Plumb (CW Growth Hub), Richard Clews (Clews Recycling) and Craig Humphrey (CW Growth Hub) - picture contributed
From left: Adam Plumb (CW Growth Hub), Richard Clews (Clews Recycling) and Craig Humphrey (CW Growth Hub) - picture contributed

Warwickshire waste management firm Clews Recycling has grown its turnover to nearly £5 million since 2019 and been supported by the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub since 2015.

Richard Clews, the managing director of the company, which was established in 1999, said the hub had played a major part in its growth, not least because it can be difficult to raise finance for plant and equipment in the sector.

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"In 2015, the Growth Hub helped us design and purchase a specialist hopper for lightweight waste, contribute towards mobile plant and assist with the enabling works to pull all the strands together to help us reach recycling rates of between 85 to 88 per cent," he said.

"Having the grants enabled us to buy the plant and machinery with as limited detrimental effect on cash flow as possible and when you are running a business, it is all about cash flow.

"The financial benefits through the grants we have received over the last eight years have made a difference in contributing towards buying capital equipment but it is also great to have someone on your side to listen, make valuable contributions and to want you to be successful – that’s worth its weight in gold," he added.

Craig Humphrey, the CEO of the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, said: "Clews Recycling is operating within a sector that is heavily legislated and Government and European directives that apply to the waste sector can sometimes be overbearing.

"It is gratifying to come back to a company that we have helped over multiple years to allow them to retain a competitive edge within a competitive sector.

"With the help we have given through grants, skills and training, it has led to the company increasing its turnover and increasing jobs which has led to improved productivity and that for me, as the CEO of a business support organisation, is fantastic to see."

Clews Recycling started life operating household waste recycling centres for local authorities but now focuses on industrial and commercial customers.

The business runs a fleet of ten HGV trucks and a Waste transfer station on Hunters Lane, Rugby, that handles 25,000 tonnes a year.

The waste is sorted into recyclables with value such as metal, cardboard, polythene or into those with a lower cost of final disposal such as soil, wood and hardcore.

The company is currently training five of staff from the Ukraine to improve their English so that they can undergo forklift truck training, while another member of staff is studying for an NVQ level 4 in waste management.

It also aims to create space for a baler at the end of the picking line so that it can bale and wrap 'refuse derived fuel'.

In April this year, the company expanded to take over an adjacent industrial unit next door and plans to use this for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) destruction and plant repairs.

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Giles Gwinnett is a writer at The Business Magazine. He has been a journalist for more than 20 years and covered a vast array of topics at a range of media settings - in print and online. After his NCTJ newspaper training, he became a reporter in Hampshire before moving to a news agency in Gloucestershire. In recent years, he has been covering the financial markets along with company news for an investor-focused web portal. His many interests include politics, energy and the environment. He lives in Dorset.

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