Scottish waste recyling firm expands to national UK coverage despite driver shortages

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A SCOTTISH waste recycling firm is now operating full UK coverage despite the nationwide shortage of drivers.

Linlithgow-based Keenan Recycling says it has invested over £4m in new trucks in the past year, added six new depots including London, Exeter and Manchester, and boosted driver numbers by 25%.

The firm, which reduces the amount of waste going into landfill by collecting and recycling organic material, now plans to more than double its headcount in the next two years and invest in another 200 high-tech trucks.

Keenan currently processes over 100,000 tonnes of food waste annually, turning it into premium grade compost or biofuel which generates electricity at numerous anaerobic digestion plants (ADPs) across England.

Claire and Grant Keenan

Initially set up as a garden composting business, Keenan Recycling launched its commercial food waste collection services in Scotland in 2009.

The business expanded to England in 2018. Keenan has introduced a Driving Academy at sites in Manchester, Leeds, Guildford, Shrewsbury and Newcastle, helping tackle the 100,000-strong shortage of HGV drivers in the UK.

More than 1,000 people have applied for the Academy which includes paid-for training, a competitive salary, and job security following training with Keenan.

In addition, the waste management company is also offering accommodation for those who need to relocate to undergo training.

Claire Keenan, collections director with the Scottish recycling firm said: “We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with the response to our new Driving Academy which has allowed us to place our own vehicles across the length and breadth of Britain.

“Last year saw us make significant investments into England, that allowed us to serve a wealth of new customers south of the border including colleges, restaurants and fast food chains.

“Our new fleet of trucks boast a bespoke configuration including, individual bin weighing, slave bin for caddy and bag uplifts and RFID technology that allows customers to track when their bin has been uplifted.”

With a top of the range and ever expanding fleet, Keenan believes it can continue its growth ambitions across the UK to cement itself as the market leader, especially as waste laws in England look set to change in the next two years.

Keenan added: “Scotland has been practising food waste legislation for seven years, and England is set to catch up by 2023.   As a result of the new regulation, businesses that produce, handle or sell food will by law have to recycle leftovers or food that has gone out of date.

“Offering full coverage across the UK puts us in an ideal position to expand our services and capitalise on these new opportunities. We have plentiful experience in the changes and know how we can best work with customers to not only reduce their waste – but help save them money too!”