Hilsea recycling firm is back on its feet after terrible fire

The blaze devasated the firm's baling machine
The blaze devasated the firm's baling machine
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A FAMILY firm that has been trading for more than 30 years is back on its feet after a disastrous fire.

GHS Recycling, in Ackworth Road, Hilsea was hit by a fire last September, which destroyed a £70,000 baling machine and a storage area for processed waste,.

This almost meant the end for the firm, but five months on the business is stronger and tonnage is up thanks in part to the new machine and support from loyal customers.

For hands on general manager Rachael Harris and her brother James Harris, who operate the business started by their father, the fire was a sobering experience.

Racheal said: ‘The experience has made us more resilient. Customers have been extremely loyal.’

The company helps divert waste from landfill, collecting and processing a range of materials including confidential waste, paper, card and plastics from businesses of all sizes. Services extend from Hastings to Bournemouth and up to the M25 with collections further afield as required.

Replacing the lost baler was an immediate concern if the business was to continue functioning.

Rachael said: ‘We needed a quick solution. It would’ve to be a stop gap and unfortunately new wasn’t an option, but it was also an opportunity to source a machine that would allow us to achieve maximum weight for the bales we were producing and improve throughput.

‘Following recommendations and a site visit to assess our needs, Middleton Engineering clearly fitted the bill. And we were impressed by the attention to detail and their support and spares capability, clearly evident when we toured the factory.’

Waste recycling machinery specialist Middleton Engineering supplied a refurbished closed-end semi-automatic baler at short notice,

Installed rapidly, just a few weeks following the fire, the refurbished baler is an ME 80 semi-automatic baler capable of delivering consistent mill size bales with a press force of 80 tonnes. The high pressure obtained enables compact bales to be achieved reducing transportation costs, at the same time working well with all waste streams.

Rachael said: ‘With the new machine we are now achieving maximum tonnage in terms of bale size and weight. We’re more competitive which in turn means we can deliver improved rebates to our customers too.’