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Engaging with retailers at store-level

Mitie Waste and Environmental are more than just your waste partner; they’re well equipped to go above and beyond to ensure the best results are achieved, whilst embracing innovative thinking at the same time.

Background

The Broadway is a multimillion pound shopping and leisure complex located in the heart of Bradford, West Yorkshire. Managed by Westfield, a multinational real estate corporation specialising in retail outlets, the complex contains around 70 shops and eateries, consisting of some major names such as M&S, Debenhams, Patisserie Valerie and Zizzi.

The Broadway has been in partnership with Mitie since 2015, before the complex was even complete and its doors open to the public. This means that as well as Mitie having good knowledge of the site, they have also been able to develop a strong relationship.

This partnership, worth around £2 million per annum, sees Mitie not only manage the waste, but also the cleaning and security at The Broadway, helping them to work towards their unique objectives by implementing and embracing new and innovative procedures.

What is The Broadway’s current waste situation?

The amount and type of waste on site within a retail environment can be large due to the number of varying retailers on site. For example, waste streams on a site like The Broadway tend to include anything from plastic packaging to coat hangers, or large amounts of food waste from the numerous restaurants or coffee shops. Working in partnership with Mitie, this shopping and leisure complex is a step closer to achieving their goal.

Like many other organisations, The Broadway revolves entirely around the goal of zero waste to landfill, which is a great step towards being more sustainable. To achieve this, it was clear there was work to be done but as Mitie was on board before the building was even complete, this was a fairly easy process.

How are we helping them get closer to their objective?

To deliver The Broadway’s ambitious objective, Mitie observed the real requirements needed, looking at innovative ways to enhance the processes in order to make maximum use of the infrastructure in place at the site.

The first step The Broadway took was updating their bin room by introducing a colour coded scheme to improve the segregation of waste, as well as installing compactors and baling machines onsite. Waste segregation is always the first option towards more efficient recycling, and in getting closer to the zero waste to landfill objective. However, it became evident that what was needed before any of this was addressing the culture and mind-set within some of these retailers, before any of these efforts could work.

Mitie, in partnership with The Broadway, were faced with the taxing challenge of influencing each of the independent retailers within the site. It was clear this would not be a straightforward process, namely due to the scale of the size and nature of each individual retailer, but it was clear something had to be done. As such, Mitie arranged an engagement day in 2016, aimed at challenging the common perceptions around waste, and the way waste is dealt with.

The day, arranged by The Broadway’s Key Account Manager, involved a small team from Mitie’s waste and environmental business, teaching retailers about important issues such as the waste hierarchy, how to recycle more efficiently and the impacts of poor waste segregation.

Rather than adopting a presentation style format in which all retailers are obliged to attend, the team visited each store individually to speak to their management team. They then asked them to sign an agreement, illustrating their support of the scheme. This personal approach was really successful, not only as it was highly engaging but it also gave each retailer the chance to get to flag any concerns. For example, one popular high street retailer stated they needed cages to transfer the bins from the store to the bin room, and another who expressed concerns with the lack of storage within their store for their bins. These concerns were then followed up afterwards by Mitie.

Results

The Operations Manager for the site was incredibly pleased with the feedback from the day, and how well each individual retailer took to the concepts communicated by Mitie.

Days like showcasing that Mitie Waste and Environmental are more than just your waste partner; they’re well equipped to go above and beyond to ensure the best results are achieved, whilst embracing innovative thinking at the same time.

“It was a great day to interact with the retailers on site and engage with them on the day to explain the processes for on-site and what we are looking to achieve by speaking to them on a one to one. It captured the full details on what the centre goal is and by working with the shopping centre we can achieve this as one team”
Andrea Brindley
Key Account Manager, The Broadway