Rushlight Awards –
Resource Management 2014-15
Winner –
Ekko Waste Solutions

Ekko Waste Solutions was awarded the prestigious Rushlight Resource Management Award for 2014-15 at a glitzy ceremony held at The Royal College of Surgeons in London.

Awarded to the most environmentally effective resource collection, separation and handling system, the judges focussed on the following criteria:

  • The importance and novelty of the innovation in addressing a specific issue
  • The "cleverness" of the innovation, which may include either its simplicity or its complexity
  • The evaluation of the innovation: the bigger the problem that has been solved or the greater the technology advancement that has been made the better
  • Whether and how the innovation can be replicated, sold or multiplied to increase the beneficial effect for society
  • Evidence of the efficacy or effect of the innovation
  • The holistic impact of the innovation on the environment.

Ekko's Managing Director, Brian Williamson, explains: "Our towns and cities were designed in an age when life was slower. There were less vehicles, congestion wasn't the issue it is now and there weren't the same number of bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels as we have now. In an effort to maximise the number of dining tables, bar stools and customers, nobody really considered where the waste would go, apart from "outside."

Legislation is now requiring businesses to separate their waste at source. This is causing a huge problem as our streets and lanes cannot cope with the army of gargantuan bins that are multiplying across the country. Arguably the most difficult waste stream is glass because the containers are rigid and take up huge amounts of space, making it difficult to store and expensive to move.

We have invented a machine that can quietly crush the bottles reducing the volume and required storage space by up to 80%. The glass cullet produced by the machines must be over 10mm in size to allow the different colours of glass to be separated by laser, allowing it to be recycled back into glass bottles and jars."

The system has proven to be very popular in the hospitality sector and has seen Ekko Waste Solutions grow by 400% in the last financial year and the addition of new depots in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Ekko now boasts an impressive list of clients including Biffa, Veolia, Mitie, Mitchell & Butler, JD Wetherspoon, Greene King, Belhaven Breweries, Caledonian Heritable, The G1 Group, Principal Hayley & Network Rail to name but a few.