Bryson: the future of recycling

New_vehicles_1Bryson Recycling, part of Northern Ireland’s leading social enterprise, the Bryson Charitable Group, believes the future of recycling will focus on the quality of the material collected at source. 

Bryson has been delivering recycling services in Northern Ireland for over ten years and has recycled a staggering 350,000 tonnes of materials during this period. 
Bryson currently processes almost 60 per cent of household recyclables collected at the kerbside in Northern Ireland as well as providing a collection service to over 800 businesses and schools. The social enterprise also operates  a white goods refurbishment programme and recently launched a new shop called Arc Direct where products can be sold direct to the general public.  Bryson Recycling has recently moved into the Republic of Ireland and now manages three recycling centres in Donegal.

Challenge or opportunity?

The new Revised Waste Framework Directive  states that Northern Ireland councils have to achieve a 50 per cent recycling rate by 2015 or pay fines imposed by the EU. 
Eric Randall, Director of Bryson Recycling says: “The new framework emphasises the importance of ensuring that materials collected for recycling are of a high enough quality to be re-processed in Europe, although our priority would be to recycle them in Northern Ireland.  Our social enterprise model is driven by this very goal and we view this new framework as a great opportunity.  We have perfected a way of collecting materials at the kerbside that ensures the material is of the highest possible quality.

“The recycling materials collected are transformed into goods and this is where the value is added in economic terms;

re-manufacturing products is worth ten times more to the local economy than value derived from carrying out the collection process. It makes absolute sense to do all we can to improve the quality of materials to ensure that the Northern Irish economy benefits from the recycling process. The quality of output materials should be the foundation on which we rebuild our recycling collection infrastructure.”

Bryson is always looking at innovative ways to improve and increase recycling levels and doesn’t believe that there needs to be a compromise between quality and quantity.

Bryson’s innovations:

Kerbside sort recycling

Bryson currently provides a kerbside box service to over 170,000 households in Northern Ireland across six council areas. This kerbside system allows Bryson to filter out contamination at the point of collection which results in high quality recyclable materials that can be recycled locally. Recyclable materials are a resource. Bryson makes a concerted effort to sell as many materials locally and currently sells 35 per cent of it’s materials to Northern Irish companies such as Huhtamaki, Quinn Glass, Cherry Pipes and CTR, supporting around 1,000 jobs. 

New vehicles

Bryson recently used its experience and knowledge of recycling to inspire a  new recycling collection vehicle, called the Kerb-Sort, which was designed and manufactured by Offaly-based company Romaquip (pictured above).

These new vehicles are designed to be the most efficient collection vehicles on the market. Conwy Council in Wales was the first council to use them for it’s kerbside recycling service and more recently Bryson started using them for its own collection service in Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey. Bryson has therefore expanded the range of materials collected through their kerbside box services in these areas to include cartons (such as milk and juice cartons) and plastic packaging (such as pots, tubs and trays). Kerbside sort recycling also provides a means for collecting glass whilst maintaining the quality of the glass and the other materials collected.


Bryson has also assisted Leeds-based company Straight with the development of a new recycling container called the 3BoxStack. The aim of the multi-box stack is to maximise the range of materials that can be collected from households for recycling whilst maintaining quality. As the stack sits in a trolley, all three boxes can be wheeled to the kerbside at once, making it much easier for residents to use. Bryson is currently in discussion with a growing number of Northern Ireland councils about trialling this new container.  

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