HTM are working with traffic management equipment manufacturers Melba Swintex to support the recycling of their equipment that is no longer in operation.

Highway Traffic Management are always looking at ways to improve their operations and minimise the impact of their business activities upon the environment. Recently, the business has been looking at changes that can be made to day-to-day activities and small improvements that could make a big difference.

This is where the conversation began with Melba Swintex, a traffic management manufacturing company based in Greater Manchester who have been able to support the recycling of broken traffic management equipment that has come to the end of its life cycle, with the ability to be recycled and put back into the manufacturing process.

HSEQ Manager, Matt Higgs, commented: “Previously there has been no way to recycle or repurpose damaged traffic management equipment, which of course means this is being sent to landfill. Working with Melba Swintex, we are now able to recycle various parts of our daily equipment, such as broken barrier feet, barriers, turrets, and broken cone bases.”

So far this year, the company have already managed to recycle 1.52 tonnes’ worth of equipment, which equates to the same weight as a Toyota RAV4 or 234 x 1 metre cones!

Kayleigh Sheward, HSEQ Administrator and member of Greener Highways Steering Group, has been exploring new ways the company can recycle and reduce their carbon footprint particularly since completing her NEBOSH earlier this year and has supported the implementation of this new process.

“This is a great opportunity for everyone within the business to make a difference. Operatives can play their part by ensuring that any broken or damaged equipment is returned to the depots, ensuring they are not left on site where they can negatively impact the environment.” said Kayleigh.

All the broken equipment is collected and then stored within depots by the depot team. Melba Swintex collects this and then processes and blends each item down again, before adding them back into the production line to create brand new products.

This process allows us to significantly reduce the amount of plastic being sent to landfill as these items can be put back into the manufacturing process.

“This is another example of how we can push back and challenge our supply chain – something that we can all do, across different industries. Being proactive and looking for alternative solutions now will benefit us all in the long run. With increased demand for kit, if we can ensure more is being put back into the system and not exiting from the industry via landfill, we can actually help towards a solution for a problem we and many others within the industry are experiencing; a shortage of kit.” continued Greg.

“It’s fantastic to have our clients coming to us with ideas and wanting to collaborate with us to support reducing material waste. We’re extremely pleased to have been able to offer solutions to reuse and recycle damaged kit and encourage other manufacturers to explore ways they can do the same. It is not only beneficial for the environment but also strengthens relationships and means that companies are able to contribute more in terms of social value. These small changes can make a big impact in the long run.” said Melba Swintex.

Due to the nature of the traffic management industry and the environment that this equipment is exposed to, a lot of the equipment returned is contaminated. Melba Swintex overcomes this issue by repurposing the contaminated items into the lowest grade products, such as traffic cone bases.

Melba Swintex also offset their own carbon through Forest Carbon: planting trees and reinstating wetlands as part of their sustainable mission.

Forton Supplies, one of HTM’s approved suppliers, have also engaged with Melba Swintex in support of HTM’s sustainability journey.

Charlie Strudwick of Forton Supplies added: “It’s great to be part of a supply chain where these initiatives are being led from the top. We’re proud to be joining HTM and supporting them with this sustainable and environmentally conscious process improvement.”

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