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From Recycling Flooring for Traffic Cones to Re-Using Solvents for Fuel, Portakabin Announces More Sustainability Initiatives


The Portakabin Group has announced more sustainability commitments and initiatives to help its customers further reduce their carbon footprint.

Waste streams from the manufacture of its modular buildings at its international production centre in York have been increased from 18 to 26 and now include:

  • Used vinyl flooring recycled for traffic cones and other plastic products
  • Take-back schemes for batteries, fluorescent bulbs, printer cartridges and new vinyl flooring offcuts
  • Waste streams for plastics increased from 3 to 5 and mastic tubes are now recycled
  • 5 metal waste streams for recycling different grades of steel, aluminium and copper
  • Waste from solvents is re-used as furnace fuel.

Other new waste minimisation initiatives:

  • Investment in specially-designed containers to hold and protect components for the modular manufacturing process. These ‘stillages’ are then sent back to suppliers for re-filling, removing the need for packaging
  • The introduction of a new reporting structure to achieve further reductions in energy consumption and waste, and demonstrating the importance Portakabin places on leadership in this area
  • Increased use of internal education programmes to continually raise awareness of waste management best practice among staff at every level
  • An active Corporate Social Responsibility  (CSR) programme which instigates and promotes community recycling initiatives across the Group – such as collections for local clothes banks and for the distribution of spectacles to developing countries; the donation of carpet tiles and furniture to local schools and libraries following an office refurbishment, and timber offcuts to help Portakabin volunteers transform an area of wasteland into an allotment for local children
  • The extension of a programme to segregate and recycle six streams of office waste. This is now being rolled out across the whole of the York headquarters site, following successful trials
  • Portakabin now has compactors for general waste and bailers at its York manufacturing centre to put cardboard, soft plastics, plastic bottles and plastic strapping into bails. This reduces transportation and carbon emissions by achieving higher tonnage with each truck movement.


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