Astra Zeneca recycles waste with Rocket Composter on-site

The pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca has invested in an A900 Rocket Composter from Tidy Planet to process 24 tonnes of annual food and green waste in its manufacturing site in Macclesfield.

Tidy Planet Recycling circular economy composter

Astra Zeneca set a sustainability target to reduce waste and embrace a circular economy. As part of this environmental commitment, the company is also aiming to achieve zero-carbon status at its 4,000-person-capacity campus by 2025.

For this, the company installed the first commercial-scale composter on an Astra Zeneca site. "Installing an on-site composter seemed like a great fit for us, as by recycling our food and green waste at source, we can create a closed loop model that reduces both wastage and our carbon footprint", comments Guy Camm, FM development manager at AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield site. "Our horticultural team will be using the resulting compost across the campus, and there is a proposal in place that it will also be used to grow fresh produce – further reducing food transportation miles and carbon emissions. We’re also working with our catering supplier to ensure all our takeaway cups and tableware are compostable, to make sure our approach is a truly holistic one.”

Prior to purchasing the three-quarter-tonne machine, last year members of the Astra Zeneca team had a virtual meeting with The University of Liverpool’s Guild of Students, to discuss its existing installation and composting operation.

Huw Crampton, sales manager and composting expert at Tidy Planet, added: “It’s great to be working with a fellow local company, helping to harness its resource potential, and cut down carbon emissions associated with off-site waste transportation.”

And Guy concluded: “In terms of why we chose Tidy Planet, we loved the fact they were local to us – down the road in fact. And after speaking to their reference site in Liverpool, we gained a real feel for how the same model could work for us – and this was really exciting. We’ve made sure that we have space for another machine – futureproofing the demands of the campus if our food waste levels increase. And we’ve also recruited a ‘composter champion’ from our catering workforce to support, govern, and train others in how to use the equipment."

“Further down the line, we also aim to make the compost available for employees to take home with them, following a small donation to one of our local charities of choice. We hope that this is the beginning of a long-term composting journey not only here in Macclesfield, but at our other UK and global sites, too.”