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Unilever chooses Shanks as partner for first major European waste management contract

Shanks Group Plc ("Shanks"), the international waste management group, has won the first major European waste management contract to be awarded by Unilever, one of the world’s leading household products groups.

Under the contract, Shanks will manage all of Unilever’s waste across Belgium and the Netherlands.

Shanks will recycle up to 90% of the contract waste helping the company to achieve its challenging 2020 target of maintaining or reducing total waste sent for disposal against a 2008 baseline, despite significantly growing manufacturing volumes. This represents an 80% reduction in waste per tonne of production, and a 70% absolute reduction since 1995.

Our ambitious plans to decouple growth from environmental impact, concretely halving our environmental impact on a product level, means that reducing waste is one of our top priorities. Shanks’ innovative approach and range of technologies makes them an ideal partner in helping us to achieve our commitments in this area", said Rudi van der Arend, Sustainability Programme Manager Unilever.

The contract, which started April 1st, will run for an initial three-year period and will involve Shanks handling up to 15,000 tonnes of commercial and organic waste per annum. Office and other commercial waste will be processed through Shanks’ existing network of recycling facilities to recover recyclable materials including cardboard, paper and plastics. Most of the organic waste will be treated through its Greenmills Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant, near Amsterdam, the largest of its type in Europe.

A further example of Shanks innovation can be seen in the processing of Unilever’s waste margarine. This will be taken to Shanks partner Rotie where it will be converted in to bio-diesel.

Tom Drury, Shanks’ Chief Executive, commented:
"Unilever is a world leader that has a truly enlightened approach to recycling waste, recognising that this is not only responsible but is a core part of their business strategy. We are delighted to have been selected to be their partner for this landmark contract. It demonstrates our ability to deliver a total waste management solution to major international companies."

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