Powering Through Londons Waste



With landfill tax set to hit £84.40 per tonne from April 2016, one business sandwiched between a canal and main rail lines in Willesden Junction West London, is set to become very busy indeed.

One such business is independent waste processing specialist Powerday, founded by Chairman Mick Crossan, who Finning News met in his head office at Old Oak Sidings, right next to what will be the largest new housing development in London.

Thanks to the future construction of a Crossrail-HS2 super hub and 25,500 planned homes, over a 650 hectare site, that will turn Old Oak into the capital’s newest neighbourhood, Powerday’s state of the art waste processing facility will certainly be in demand.

First opened in 2006, the twelve-acre site has a license to operate 24 hours day, using a range of Caterpillar® equipment, supported by Finning. As the largest of three London based material recovery facilities (MRF) owned by the business, when combined together, Powerday has the capacity to handle over 2 million tonnes of construction, municipal, commercial and industrial waste per year.

Reaching the 100% holy grail

For Mick, the recent opening of its latest MRF in Enfield, towards the end of 2015, is all part of the businesses strategy to localise facilities based on customer demand, with the aim of reducing waste miles for a more sustainable offering.

Mick: “When I first took the decision to develop the site at Old Oak Sidings, I knew that we had the opportunity to really change how waste was processed in the capital. My ambition even then was for Powerday to reach the holy grail of diverting 100% of waste from landfill, by turning everything we processed into reusable products or refuse derived fuel.

From transactional sale to performance led partnership

“When we first kitted out our Old Oak Sidings facility, we made our needs very clear in the tender process for both fixed and mobile plant. We wanted suppliers to come on the journey with us, but at the same time, needed the best price and the highest possible uptime for our equipment, so it was very much a transactional approach.

At that time in 2006, Finning came up with what was a very practical and innovative way of working, to support both our fixed and mobile plant,
by suggesting the use of Cat engines in other OEM equipment. This was a compelling proposition,

that when wrapped up into a service support package, secured the first contract.

“Since that time, we have built up our relationships with a whole range of individuals in the Finning business, particularly the engineers that have serviced our equipment for years. These individuals recognise the importance of reducing downtime and when on the rare occasion we call them out of hours, their response time is excellent.

“I know we have got a few of the team out of bed very early over the years, but they have never complained, as they really do see themselves as part of our team, which is brilliant. It is also one of the reasons why ten years on, our relationship with Finning has evolved into much more of a performance led partnership, where we have recently committed to a full repair, maintenance and improvement contract.

“Essentially what this means is we now have both equipment and service costs rolled into one monthly fee, across all three sites, covering 24 items of mobile Caterpillar equipment and a further 4 Cat engines, powering other OEM equipment.

“The R&M contract also incorporates GPS telemetry and technology services, through the use of Finning EMSolutions bundles. In practical terms, this means we have access to a whole range of additional services, including the Finsight
condition monitoring team in Cannock, where engineers analyse information from each unit.

“This includes everything from data sent directly from the machine whilst it is operating, results from regular fluid sampling, right the way through to service engineer reports, which incorporates data from direct downloads, each time Finning service the machine. “This information is then compiled into easy to use reports that give us a clear understanding of key performance indicators that are important to us, like the health of the fleet, operator driving techniques, idle time and fuel burn. Because with our R&M contract we are now in much more of a partnership relationship, so it is also in the Finning team’s interest to help us improve productivity.

“For example, a recent analysis showed some excessive braking on a number of movements involving our wheel loaders that if continued would incur more wear and tear. Knowing this information we were able to simply talk to our operators, who slightly adjusted their driving, which will ultimately reduce maintenance costs. Seeing the impact this type of engagement has, we are now planning to roll out more involved operator training with the help from Finning, focusing particularly on reducing idle time and therefore fuel burn.

Certainly for me, the addition of EMSolutions services and the technology behind them has definitely opened our eyes to the possibility of further reducing our carbon footprint and costs, which can only help to build on our environmental credentials as we head towards 100% diversion from landfill.