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Manchester Fort Shopping Park

Case Study: Manchester Fort Shopping Park

At Manchester Fort Shopping Park, the Centre Manager has engaged with the retailers on waste management initiatives to increase recycling and improving the collection procedure. The programme allows for bespoke collections to be implemented for individual tenants resulting in better cost analysis of the waste management services provided.


Manchester Fort Shopping Park is a 325,000 sq ft shopping park owned by TH Real Estate, Workman are the Managing Agents. The management team in partnership B&M Waste Services, reviewed the waste procedure in 2016 in order to meet a number of key objectives that were outlined including:

  • Improving the efficiency of waste collections by replacing large quantities of small containers with a smaller number of bigger containers, thereby improving the housekeeping on site;
  • Lowering carbon emissions through less waste vehicles visiting the site and causing less disruption by visiting outside operational hours;
  • Increasing recycling rates through better waste segregation and avoiding the contamination of waste streams.
  • Introducing cost efficiencies


A full site waste audit and risk assessment was completed initially and ongoing Service Improvement Plans conducted by B&M Waste Services, to ensure transition from the previous service was smooth, and new innovations were introduced where appropriate.

Before initial project roll-out, a representative from each of the park’s tenants attended a meeting where they were given a detailed training pack outlining all the new facilities. This encouraged buy-in of the new waste management system from all the tenants.

New colour coded Rear End Loader (REL) containers were introduced to separate waste streams, including general waste, food waste, paper and cardboard. These were strategically placed in key locations throughout the Fort’s service area. A pallet weighing system was introduced into the waste compound and all bins are tagged with a Radio Frequency ID system (RFID) which allows each tenant to be monitored for their waste from the data which is fed back to Manchester Fort from weighing each individual bin.

Due to loading time inefficiencies the original mill-size vertical baler was replaced with a horizontal baler and bin-tipping system. Baled commodities including p

lastic and cardboard is revenue generating and therefore this offsets the cost of the waste management on-site.

To further reduce time spent by operatives moving waste from the front of the premises to the rear waste compound, B&M introduced their latest innovation ‘Ethel’ the electric truck. This plug-in vehicle emits zero emissions into the environment and decreases the amount of time moving the bins around site. Therefore, increasing cost efficiencies.

By replacing large quantities of wheelie bins with a compactor, B&M was able to dramatically reduce the collection frequency from three times per week to just once a week. Therefore reducing the scheme’s overall carbon footprint.

The Result

More than 79,000kg of waste is collected in a year, of which Manchester Fort currently diverts 100% from landfill, as a result of B&M’s dedicated RDF facility.

The Fort’s carbon footprint has been enhanced by the reduction in the number of waste collections at the site, something that has had the added benefit of reducing the service charge costs to retailers.

Derek Askew, Centre Manager at Manchester Fort Shopping Park said “Workman Retail and B&M waste have worked tirelessly to deliver added value for the tenant’s while ensuring our environmental responsibilities are met on this project. We have devised and delivered a plan, to deliver more effective machinery, tenant collections based on need with factual data, increased waste streams with more income, more compact bales delivering 750Kg’s and above on cardboard and a cost saving on the overall waste budget, while being able to deliver better standards of tenant service and ensuring our environmental responsibilities are met.”

The significant cost savings which were achieved allowed the centre to employ an additional member of staff dedicated to ensuring the success of the new waste strategy. Johnathan Greenhalgh, who has been employed as the yardsman said, “The new system has allowed me to collect and recycle waste streams as required for each tenant.  This means I can use my time effectively to deliver better service and standards for tenants at Manchester Fort Shopping Park, while ensuring our commitment to sustainability is delivered supporting the local community on the environment.”

Wendy Mitchell, from B&M Waste Services stated “We are delighted with the success of our partnership at Manchester Fort. The results owe a lot to the retail park’s staff who we have helped understand the fundamental difference they can make to the successful achievement of the targets and who are regularly informed of their progress.

“We produce a comprehensive reporting system endorsed by the organisation Carbon Footprint which details the amount of carbon saved, the equivalent number of trees and car miles and the amount of material reused for RDF.”

As we move into 2017 we will continue to look for innovations which will further move Manchester Fort up the Waste Hierarchy. One of the systems we are looking to introduce is a rainwater harvesting system, which will allow rain water to be re-used as opposed to draining away”.

Download the full case study here

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