As environmental protection and corporate social responsibility becomes more of a key differentiator for businesses, the need to find a waste recycling partner to align with and deliver these values becomes more pressing. Standards are rightly being raised all of the time as is the expectation of what waste companies should offer. This was a challenge recently faced by North East based construction firm Esh Group.

Adding value

Esh is an organisation that believes there is enormous value in supporting and engaging with communities, clients and their workforce which goes far beyond contractual requirements. Based on their approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) they developed their “Added Value” model to deliver positive economic, environmental and social impacts in all the places where they operate. Keen to work with business partners who align with these values, Esh recently entered a tendering process to find a waste recycling contractor to assist with a variety of building projects.

Wallsend-based O’Brien Waste Recycling Solutions were successful in securing the contract due to a combination of value for money and it’s ethical business ethos which is underpinned by it’s innovative and thorough waste sorting processes. Industry-leading levels of waste recycling are achieved with a combination of manual and automated processes with the remainder being used to produce energy from waste. This promise of an increase in environmental performance gave the alignment of values Esh sought.

Service excellence

O’Brien is driven to deliver excellent customer service. This was recently recognised as the business won ‘Service of the Year’ at the North East Business Awards. O’Brien provides Esh with a variety of skip & roll-on/roll-off (RORO) containers for civil engineering, construction and renovation projects. This is coupled with a bin collection service which is designed to maximise recycling of its office waste. As specified in the contract, O’Brien respond within 24 hours. This responsiveness manifests in empty skip containers being supplied as specified and full bin containers being removed on time.

All collected skip and bin waste is taken to one of O’Brien’s regional recycling centres, where it is then processed at a dedicated skip or bin material recycling facility (MRF). The various waste streams (hardcore, rubble, plastic, metal, paper, cardboard etc.) are then all efficiently segregated through a combination of manual and technology-based processes before being moved on to be recycled into new products.

As with all key accounts, Esh has a dedicated O’Brien account manager who work closely with the Esh facilities team on a number of recycling and added value initiatives with the goal of improving their recycling rates over the course of the contract. This involves O’Brien designing and providing signage for containers and the yard, as well as posters to ensure Esh office staff know where to correctly dispose of recyclable waste.


Esh also benefit from a comprehensive waste recycling education program which O’Brien undertakes with all clients. Account managers hold workshops with client staff to illustrate the recycling process. These awareness sessions frequently result in a shift in attitudes in recycling within businesses and, again, improves waste segregation at source and results in better recycling rates.

Central to the O’Brien recycling education program is a viewing gallery at the company’s head office in Wallsend. This is an enclosed, elevated walkway around the material recycling facility where every aspect of the process can be seen – from the disposal of collected waste to segregation via a combination of manual picking, magnets, eddy currents and size-sorting equipment. This facility has proved very popular and is used by local schools, residents and businesses. All of this is complemented by contamination reports which are produced in an effort to identify areas for improvement and drive up recycling rates.

Simon Park, Energy & Environmental Advisor at Esh comments: “Protection of the environment is becoming an increasingly large issue to businesses. Businesses should know where their waste is going and should ensure their waste recycling partner is going the extra mile to help them raise their levels of recycling. Waste Management is one of the pillars of our Summit 2026 Strategy. Clearly our goal is to send zero non-hazardous materials to landfill by 2026 and to aid our progression to a circular economy.”

David Bennett, Sales & Marketing Director at O’Brien concludes: “The provision of waste services goes beyond simply supplying a business with a bin or a skip and picking them up when they are full. Businesses rightly expect more. They are looking a business partner to help them identify improvements in their waste recycling performance via a combination of industry expertise and innovation. We greatly admire Esh’s approach to business and are grateful to be a part of their journey.”