Transwaste Ltd

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Transwaste Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Director Karl Butler
Recycling and separation
Transwaste Ltd was first registered in August 1995 by
John Connelly, who had 20 years of experience in the
water industry, with particular regard to the extraction,
treatment and disposal of silts and sludges. One objective
of the company was to redirect wastes otherwise going to
landfill, instead recycling them for agricultural or amenity
use. At the end of February 2014, Transwaste was taken over
by Karl Butler, who brought over 23 years of experience of
contracting in the UK water industry to the company. Karl
The Parliamentary Review
about the myriad functions that
Transwaste performs.
Our aim was to continue with traditional contracts while also carrying out specialist
in-house services. We were to use the equipment and plant that was already
owned by my other company, Site Services Britain Ltd.
Setting out a new focus
Once the takeover was completed, we decided it was time to take it to another
level. Transwaste had become just a small management company that John
Connelly used to project manage alone, but his contracts had become intermittent
as the industry had changed and he had become weighed down with new
Initially, I carried out all of the work with a few selected subcontractors, but we
soon grew to a point where bigger contracts were on the horizon; we needed
»Director: Karl Butler
»Established in 1995
»Based in Ammanford, Wales
»Services: Water waste
extraction, treatment and
»No. of employees: 12
Transwaste Ltd
Highlighting best practice
good people to join us. I selected a
few employees that I had known for
many years and with experience in the
sector. They joined us and we were
soon able to plan for areas where
we knew we could offer alternative
contracting solutions.
Our new focus lay in targeting other
areas of contracting within the water
industry where we could offer reuse or
recycling services for filter media. Our
specialist equipment allows us to wash
and separate various filter media on
site; this ranges from sand and gravel
to anthracite sand.
This service also offers the client the
ability to reuse the filter media if
their water quality teams approve it.
Offering this service automatically
allowed us to provide a full turnkey
contracting solution for complete filter
refurbishment, thus bringing greater-
value orders for the company.
In recent years, we have also
developed a specialist underwater
mobile robot which is able to remove
zebra mussels from live water feeds,
clearing them completely of this
invasive mollusc species.
Getting Achilles approval
Although we were on the approved
contractors list for a couple of major
water companies, we soon saw that
the industry was changing. Before
long, all companies were required
to be registered with Achilles –
an external body that the utility
companies use to audit suppliers.
Once we were registered, we then
had to achieve verified contractor
status, which required an on-site audit
of all our policies and procedures in
the field. Once we had certification,
we were able to carefully expand our
services to other water companies and
contracting companies.
Health and safety regulation
Health and safety is of paramount
importance to us, as our teams enter
and work in confined spaces on a
regular basis. All of our employees are
trained to City & Guilds specifications,
and we also have a number of first-aid
accredited team members.
Our record is great evidence of
the achievement undertaken by all
Transwaste personnel. We have not
had a single accident in the five years
we have been operational. This is
something we are very proud of and
wish to continue; we do come across
larger contracting companies with their
own specific policies, which can make
things difficult, but we nonetheless
continue to argue our case.
One big issue is that of Construction
Plant Competence Scheme cards. We
are not a construction company, yet
many contractors require us to have
certification at all times. I personally feel
Filter refurbishment
In recent
years, we have
also developed
a specialist
mobile robot
which is able
to remove
zebra mussels
from live
water feeds
that CPCS are crippling certain areas
in the industry. For the work that we
undertake, they require us to hold this
card – the criteria for which is based
on practice on construction sites.
As soon as we come onto a site that
is undergoing refurbishment works,
contracting companies instantly state
that we require a Construction Skills
Certification Scheme health and safety
card as well as CPCS cards for plant
and machinery.
Considering the only plant we drive
on site is a four-metre telehandler,
this is frankly ridiculous when you
consider the alternative training we
have undertaken – other cards should
surely be acceptable. We have already
had a statement from the CITB’s board
confirming that they do not have
any cards for the work we do in the
industry, yet these larger corporations
demand them purely as a matter of
in-house policy.
Right or wrong?
We can work direct for water
companies, and all of our training is
sufficient in that case, but as soon
as larger contractors arrive on site
these become unacceptable. This is
something that needs to be looked
into by government or regulatory
bodies. We have turned down several
opportunities as we feel that we
cannot offer cost-effective solutions
when the burden of additional training
is not warranted then passed back
onto the client.
Nonetheless, we have grown
substantially in the past five years
– from £30,000 to £1.5 million
turnover in just five years. We have
made outstanding progress, and I can
only hope this can continue to be the
case – whether there is intervention
or not.
We have not
had a single
accident in the
five years we
have been
These include:
»Filter refurbishment, including rapid gravity, slow
sand, pressure and daff filters
»Nozzle and stem nozzle refurbishment
»Filter media placement, hydrostatic and otherwise,
as well as washing and separation
»Filter media supply, removal, recycling and recovery
»Granular-activated carbon recovery and off-site
»Solid and fines removal from sludge
»Secondary digester cleaning
»Cleaning for all types of tank
»Intake channel and river intake cleaning
»Service reservoir cleaning and inspections
»Confined space entry, including NVQ level 2
»Plenum chamber cleaning
»Site clearance
»Lagoon cleaning
»The removal of zebra mussels, conducted using an
underwater robot – the first of its kind
Mobile vacuum unit

This article was sponsored by Transwaste Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.