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Focus On: Sustainable Wood Recycling and Drum Re-Use

Summer 2023

As the UK’s largest distributor of cables and cable accessories, we are proud of our position at the forefront of sustainable and responsible supply chain management.

As part of our ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) responsibilities, we’ve dedicated ourselves to analysing our products and processes to maximise re-use and recycling yet minimise waste.

Drums and wooden battens are a classic example of a re-usable resource. We offer a free of charge collection service on empty drums, with all returns fed back into our system and re-used on future orders and deliveries.

With the war in Ukraine having a lasting detrimental impact on the availability and price of plywood stock, extracting the maximum lifetime from cable drums already in circulation has become a priority. To that end, we’ve launched our “drum amnesty” campaign, letting customers know our drum collection service is available for our drums.

While our focus is on keeping drums and battens in circulation for as long as possible, when they do inevitably reach the end of their effective life, we make sure they are broken down for recycling. We hold a waste transfer licence to transport scrap wood to UKWR (managed by ENVA), who operate a wood recycling facility adjacent to the pioneering Wilton 10 Biomass Power Station (the UK’s first purpose-built wood-burning power station).

UKWR’s process involves separating and grading the wood – Grade A (clean white wood) is used for animal bedding, while Grade B/C (mixed wood) is used to make panel board (for domestic use in furniture or flooring). Only the remaining low-quality scrap is processed and used as biomass fuel.

This process - along with our parallel recycling pathways for general waste, paper & plastic waste, and scrap metal from cables and other sources – has allowed us to recycle or divert from landfill 100% of our waste during 2022. We plan to maintain this high standard and are committed to staying above 98% waste recovered/recycled going forward.

For more information on our full suite of ESG information and reporting, please visit our sustainability page.

If you have a wooden drum or pallet you’d like collected, please email: emptydrums@clevelandcable.com