Maxilead Metals, the Lancashire-based scrap metal recycling firm, has sent 11,000 tonnes of ferrous material to Singapore, India and Bangladesh since it developed its exporting initiative just two and a half years ago.
The company collects and processes almost 60,000 tonnes of waste metal from homes and organisations around the UK every year, meaning that seven percent of Maxilead Metals' material is now disposed of via export to these countries.
Commenting on Southeast Asia as a scrap-processing destination, Tom Clay, managing director at Maxilead Metals said: “With China announcing tightened restrictions on imports of foreign waste from March onwards, the recycling industry is now looking to the Southeast Asian region as an alternative location for refining scrap materials.
“We have already been working in partnership with reclaimers and steel mills in Southeast Asian countries since July 2015. This means that we are able to avoid the disruption to operations that might be experienced by other exporters, which is critical for us during a period when we — and much of the industry — are busier than ever.”
The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) figures indicate that this isn’t just a UK trend, but one that’s being seen in the recycling sector around the globe, with improved economies heightening demand for recycled steel.
“Worldwide financial performance increases government and private investment, boosting incomes and driving the purchase of consumer goods — such as cars and new kitchens — which all bolster the requirement for metal materials.
“The old goods are sent for recycling and this scrap is often exported to Asian countries — a region where the new goods are frequently manufactured. It’s a circular economy, and one that is growing due to lots of different factors; increased household incomes, government spending and the introduction of the car scrappage schemes are a few main examples,” added Tom.
The firm expects this rise in demand to continue throughout 2018 as more people and businesses realise the monetary and environmental benefits to recycling scrap metal.
Mr Clay finished: “In recent years, both the government and local councils have had to start taking the issue of recycling much more seriously. The UK’s ambitious goal to recycle 79 percent of metal has seen the requirement for our services grow year-on-year. Of course, this is a good thing for our business, but a fantastic thing for the environment, as it diverts more waste from landfill.”
Maxilead Metals recently announced relocation plans to move from its 18.2 acre site in Lancashire to a larger piece of land three miles away. This will allow the company to expand on the back of a stream of national business wins.