Companies must innovate to thrive, urges metal recycler

Written by: Roger Morton | Published:

Innovation and ensuring compliance with growing industry regulation will be vital for the future success of the scrap metal recycling sector, says Roger Morton, managing director of metals recycler, S Norton & Co.

With potentially challenging times ahead, organisations that fail to maintain high standards and invest adequately in their businesses to ensure compliance could be at risk.

Regulation is increasing rapidly and these pressures come from all directions to do the job properly. Our industry is facing more challenging trading conditions and the surviving companies will be those that continue to comply with legislation, innovate and invest in their operations.

Consistent investment by S Norton & Co, a family-owned business since the 1960s, has enabled it to stay at the forefront of metal processing throughout the UK. Recent investment includes enhanced handling equipment at both its Liverpool and Southampton sites, while continuous processing improvements are maintaining the high quality of finished metallic and non-metallic products for both domestic and overseas customers.

The increasing non-metallic content and variability of our feed materials is a long-term trend in the industry. Hence the need for an innovative approach to tackle these on-going challenges and to deliver quality products.

S Norton & Co’s partnership with Manchester-based Axion Polymers has added significant scientific expertise and recycling capability, particularly in the recovery of plastics and other non-metallic fractions from end-of-life vehicles. The jointly-operated Trafford Park shredder waste advanced processing plant (SWAPP) delivers the 2015 EU ELV 95% recycling and recovery target. It produces recycled plastics, materials for the construction industry and high calorific solid recovered fuel.

This partnership allows the company to innovate more and take greater technical risk than many other similar companies. It also differentiates S Norton & Co from other recyclers and demonstrates their ability to meet and even exceed recycling targets.

Looking ahead, the triggering of Article 50 and Brexit is likely to lead to ‘choppier waters’. As a family business that treats its loyal customers with respect and thinks long-term, we have been and are continuing to invest for the future. While the better businesses will weather the storms, those that innovate will thrive.


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