Rough [Shred] Diamond?
When Sapphire Energy Recovery announced it was redeveloping a brownfield site in Trafford into a bespoke end-of-life tyre (ELT) reprocessing centre back in 2006, the company’s 100,000 tonnes a year target may have sounded ambitious. Two years later the Manchester site is looking better than ever and is now equipped to de-rim tyre/wheel fitments and accept rough shred. And what’s more, thanks to the development of similar sites near arterial routes all over the UK, last year Sapphire broke the 50 million tyre barrier – something that is particularly impressive when you consider that the company was only founded in 2000.
When Tyres & Accessories first visited Sapphire’s Manchester site (located in Greater Manchester’s Partington, Trafford area) two years ago, the facility had only just received the might Colombus McKinnon shredder that forms the centre of the site’s works. Now that this is fully up to speed, the company aims to raise the bar 20 per cent from its 2006 target and process 120,000 tonnes of ELTs this year. Any further expansion is expected to depend on further cement industry growth.
This increased volume has come as a result of acquiring more national contracts than before, with “major players” that are said to appreciate the security and sustainability of Sapphire disposal route.
Recent site upgrades have seen Sapphire invest upwards of £250,000 on new rotors, health and safety upgrades and a new energy efficient de-mounting machine that seperates tyres from old wheels. The latter saw the company convert a diesel power piece of machine to more efficient (and much quieter) electric engine. During T&A’s tour a new JCB loaders (on trial with the company) could also be seen being put through their paces.
As a result of the investments, Sapphire now claims to be the only company that offers passenger car, 4×4, truck and rough shred disposal in one site – not to mention de-rimming.
Sapphire & Glacier conduct nationwide safety tour
Management from Sapphire Energy Recovery and Glacier – the resource recovery businesses owned by Lafarge Cement – have recently embarked on a nationwide tour to review safety improvements made at sites and to elevate safety awareness amongst employees. Senior staff, including Sapphire’s resource recovery manager Jamie Randall, commenced their week long roadshow at the Thurrock site where Sapphire collects and processes used tyres for transformation into fuel for cement kilns. Visits were also made to Westbury, Cauldon, Hope, Oldbury, Manchester and Dunbar, where the focus upon safety awareness tied in with Lafarge’s global safety month, which has been held this summer across 76 countries and 3,000 sites.
Each individual site was encouraged to present details of its own specific safety initiatives to management, highlighting significant local level improvements that have already been achieved or are at a planning stage. Safety improvements made in the last year include:
The installation of semi automatic feeders, which significantly reduce manual handling activities; new vehicle unloading platforms, reducing vehicle/pedestrian interactions and eliminating working at height; improved signage and information, highlighting laboratory safety; tools and material storage improvements, aimed at reducing slip, trip and fall risks; welfare facility improvements, including drying facilities for staff PPE; the creation of a mobile plant working group, giving staff the opportunity to be involved in plant selection.
Nigel Clamp, Lafarge Cement’s safety manager, accompanied the resource recovery management team on its visit to Thurrock. “Lafarge Cement has made real progress in improving safety standards across its businesses and sites, but until we consistently achieve zero injuries there will always be more that can be done,” he said, adding: “I strongly believe that zero injuries can be achieved and will be achieved, but only if every single employee takes ownership of the safety not just of themselves, but their colleagues.”
So far this year neither Sapphire nor Glacier have suffered lost time injuries.