VIBES Award: Transport


  • Investment of £600k in transportation improvements
  • Development of logistics software to improve efficiency of operations
  • The bins are electronically chipped and vehicles have on-board weighing equipment
  • Be-spoke vehicle for shredding and screening reducing vehicle movements from 8 vehicles to 2
  • Be-spoke vehicles to collect 2 types of waste per visit
  • Decrease of CO2 per tonne of waste by 41%
  • Optimisation of collection and tracking system to minimise carbon footprint has reduced the number of miles per week by more than 300 with a saving of around £20k per annum in fuel and driver costs
  • Transport initiatives have reduced cost of waste uplifts to consumers by 50%
  • The enthusiasm from all of the staff and the commitment to the business
  • Hybrid car for company travel
Sponsored by: Lothian Buses
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Keenan Recycling is an organics recycling specialist located in Aberdeenshire who provide a range of services to businesses, private customers and Local Authorities. They turn food and garden waste into BSI accredited compost products which are used to enrich the soils with valuable nutrients.

The Transport Award recognises businesses that have reduced transport-related fuel consumption and consequent CO2 emissions. The VIBES Judges felt that Keenan Recycling are an excellent example of how all businesses can make changes to their transport approaches and reap the benefits.

The VIBES Judges (representatives from SEPA and Scottish Water) felt that Keenan Recycling is a fantastic example of a growing business which has made significant enhancements to their transport plans to improve their environmental impact and reduce their costs. The judges recognised that the company’s positive transport actions demonstrate clear commitment from all levels of management and that recent work has also resulted in enthusiastic commitment from drivers.

Keenan Recycling has an overall environmental policy and an environmental management system achieving ISO 14001 in 2010 – this is clearly a driver for the company to achieve environmental improvements in all areas of their business.

The company have a dedicated transport manager and a logistics team to focus on maximising efficiency of route selection. The company have invested in logistics software and have customised this to include a tracking system to allow customers to track their performance via a website. The investment has also included the provision of electronic chips on all the waste bins and an onboard weighing system on collection vehicles to accurately record the weight of waste being collected from each customer. The implementation of the new software delivers savings in fuel per tonne of food waste collected, these fuel savings translate into a carbon saving of 41%.

The system also delivers efficiency in terms of staff time, and improved reliability of service.

Flexible charging system has been introduced by the new logistics software, which means that the service can be offered to additional customers along identified routes. 100 customers (342 bin uplifts) have been added to the service in rural areas that are not legally required to have separate food waste collections.

The waste collected (now 6000 tonnes per annum of collected food waste) is then composted at the Company’s In-vessel Composting Facility at New Deer, Turrif. The total waste (commercial and Local Authority) composted at the site now exceeds 50,000 tonnes per annum. This operation diverts and recycles waste that was previously landfilled, significantly reducing CO2e.

A range of BSI PAS 100 accredited composts are produced from a variety of feedstock. Green Compost is derived purely from garden materials such as grass, plants and prunings and the Premium Compost manufactured in the In-vessel System has increased nutritional value with added feedstock from the food chain such as former foodstuffs, fish and food processing materials. Both grades are suitable for a variety of applications from agriculture to horticulture and landscaping. Keenans provide publications on their website which provide application rates and nutritional information for each type of compost.

The VIBES Judges were impressed by the future plans of the company. These plans included the development of an on-site biodiesel plant to turn the waste cooking oil collected by the company into biodiesel for the process machinery. The waste cooking oil currently being collected is transported, currently to a site in England, processing this on site would further reduce emissions associated with on-site activities. In addition to the biodiesel plant, the company also have plans to install a woodchip fuelled biomass plant which will provide heat to operate the biodiesel production.

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Gregor Keenan, Technical Director, Keenan Recycling said: “At Keenan Recycling our business is all about helping businesses and local authorities to improve their environmental initiatives.  To be recognised in the Transport Award category at this year’s VIBES Awards is a great result for our company and a fantastic endorsement for the service we are providing to clients around the country.