- 29th June 2021
Who is Fletchers Waste Management?
We are waste management specialists, offering skip hire in Sheffield and nationwide, servicing both domestic and commercial customers. Fletchers Waste was established in 1982 by Richard Fletcher, originally as a scrap metal merchant but it has now evolved into one of the largest privately-owned waste management businesses in South Yorkshire.
Did Fletchers start out with sustainability at its core or has the business changed?
Fletchers started out as a scrap metal business and over the years evolved into waste management. As the focus of the business evolved, as did our natural concern and dedication to being more sustainable. We have continually invested millions into new processes, plant and machinery over the years and work to ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001 standards. This ensures best practices and helps us to maximise the recycling of all materials processed in our facility.
We are continuously finding ways we can divert as much residual waste from landfill as possible to improve our sustainability. As mattresses are a key contributor to the UK’s landfill and fly-tipping problem, we have recently implemented new processes which have allowed us to better manage and recycle them. Once brought to Fletchers, we now separate and store them separately from all other waste. Doing this has made it easier for us to shred the mattresses down, separate the springs and send the fluff/fabric to be recycled for horse manèges.
Why is working with local businesses so important to Fletchers?
Although we work nationally, as a Sheffield-based business, we are passionate about focusing on Sheffield and providing excellent service locally. Richard Fletcher is from Sheffield and lives in Sheffield and his Stepson Freddie Ward is also a director of the business. So, the local family feel is an important aspect for us.
A lot of our clients are also local businesses who have been with us since the very beginning and they have grown with us. We don’t want to forget this and are very grateful for their continued business and support.
Because of this, we are also passionate about supporting local charities and volunteer groups. We recently joined forces with the Sheffield Litter Pickers and try to be as hands-on as possible. After the terrible litter problem in the city during the warm weather, we provided the volunteers with litter pickers, skips, bin bags and joined them for picks around Sheffield as much as possible. We also regularly support the Sheffield Children’s hospital, Bluebell Wood and S6 food bank.
How did the pandemic affect Fletchers?
During the Pandemic, we were actually very lucky to have been able to continue trading. However, our commercial bin/trade waste part of the business took the biggest hit due to a lot of our clients being in the hospitality industry. Although we saw the commercial market slow down, the domestic market carried us through. Due to the amazing weather in the first lockdown and people finally having the time to do house and garden jobs, we provided in excess of 250 skips per day throughout the lockdowns.
We also took the time to continue to grow, invest and diversify our business by launching two sister companies. The Soil Lab, which offers soil testing and sampling for commercial and domestic use as well as Fast Skips, a nationwide skip hire company, brokering out to skip hire companies across the UK.
This expansion meant we were able to continue to grow our national sales team as well as acquire another waste business called Retford Waste. This growth and investment in our staff throughout the pandemic meant we were proudly able to obtain the Investors in People Accreditation.
What future plans does Fletchers have to improve its Sustainability and environmental protection?
It’s really important that we improve our environmental impact as much as possible, because of this, we have recently joined forces with ARK, a not-for-profit organisation that helps connect businesses with environmental programmes. This conservation work will include seagrass planting and river clean-ups to help naturally reduce flooding in Sheffield. We are all really excited to be getting our hands dirty and working together as a business to really make a positive environmental change.
As well as this, we are currently in the process of upgrading all of our Fletchers fleet to Euro 6 vehicles, as well as looking into electrical vehicles to try and reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible with our skip hire journeys. All of our drivers now operate on handheld PDA which means we can have paperless delivery and collections.
Further to this, we are acquiring more depots across the UK and expanding our group. By acquiring other waste businesses, it means we can extend our nationwide offering and ensure our supply chain work to the same high standards, helping to reduce our carbon footprint due to reducing journey times.