Grantham recycling firm Environcom is back on track after May fire

Sean Feeney, CEO of Environcom. Photo: 0235A
Sean Feeney, CEO of Environcom. Photo: 0235A
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Recycling firm Environcom is back to full capacity following the fire that struck the firm’s Grantham site in May.

The firm’s operations were put back a few weeks, but now it is back to normal, recycling 2,000 fridges a day at the Spittlegate site.

Environcom fire engine.

Environcom fire engine.

The cause of the fire remains unknown, says CEO Sean Feeney, but the conveyor belt and machinery damaged in the fire have now been replaced or repaired. Up to 12 fridges at a time are conveyed into a machine, much like a “large mixing bowl”, where they are smashed to pieces. These are then separated for recycling. Even the cables from the fridges are recycled with a tonne of copper recovered every week. Harmful gases are also sucked out of the fridges and either recycled or destroyed. The company prides itself at being at the forefront of recycling and its engineers are constantly working to increase further the amount of material that can be recycled.

Environcom has grown fast since Mr Feeney took over as CEO in 2010. The company now has four sites and is looking to expand its Grantham operation, which currently covers an area of 150,000 square feet. It has more than trebled its Grantham workforce from 80 people to about 250.

Mr Feeney said: “We are keen to expand in the UK but not at the same rate and we are interested in expanding into Europe. We have gone from being the fifth or sixth largest recycler in the UK to close to being the first. But we are committed to staying in Grantham. This is our head office and we will remain here.”

The company also reconditions machinery. Thousands of fridges, for example, will be fixed every year and sold on either through Ebay, Amazon or the company’s own website.

Since the fire, the company has bought its own fire engine to use on site. A number of employees are former firefighters and so, in the case of a fire, can use the engine to fight a blaze while waiting for the fire brigade to attend.

As a Grantham company Environcom is involved in the community.

It has close links with Harrowby United FC as main sponsor. Recently, Mr Feeney handed over a cheque to local charity Hear 4 Kidz. The local deaf children’s charity teamed up with the football club to host a six-a-side football tournament in aid of raising funds to help towards their annual running costs.

The group benefits local families with children that have different types of hearing loss. Environcom matched the amount raised and handed over the cheque for £2600.

Mr Feeney, by coincidence, grew up in Grantham. Before moving to Environcom he worked in retail for Tesco and Dixon’s and had responsibility for WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment recycling). Married with three children, he now lives in Hertfordshire.