A former surveyor who was inspired to transform a skip hire business into a recycling and waste management facility after renovating his own home is expanding his operation thanks to a £1.8m refinance package from Unity Trust Bank.
Julian Knights, who set up Radical Waste Group in 2015, has used the funding to consolidate the company’s debt, install 90kw solar panels on site and create new office space.
He said: “When I was having building work done on my house, I realised a lot of the stuff in the skip had value.
“I then watched a documentary about what we do with waste, and I became really interested in the subject.”
Bought a skip hire company
Mr Knights then carried out more research before leaving his job in commercial real estate and bought a skip hire company on the Norfolk/Suffolk border.
His aim was to recycle all of the materials that are received.
Starting with a turnover of £1.2m and 13 staff, RWG now has a turnover of £2.65m and employs 20 people, including a former apprentice who has been taken on full time.
There are plans to employ another six people in 2022.
‘We only work with commercial customers that share our ethos’
Mr Knights said: “Our vision is to ‘end waste in all that we do’ and we only work with commercial customers that share our ethos.
“We have a very good duty of care and know where all of the materials go.”
He added: “I chose to refinance with Unity because of their values and the expertise of their bank managers Andy Ball and James Whittaker.
“Our previous bank didn’t have a clue about the systems we have to follow or what we need to invest in. Andy and James understood our business and what we’re trying to achieve.”
‘Address social, economic and environmental needs in local communities’
Andy Ball, Unity Trust Bank’s relationship manager, said: “We work with businesses that address social, economic and environmental needs in local communities and we were delighted to support Radical Waste Group.
“Julian has turned a regular skip hire company into one that eliminates waste through recycling and reuse, which is better for the environment, and has helped boost the local economy through job creation.”
Having secured planning permission, RWG aims to generate its own power by constructing a small-scale energy plant later this year.
Mr Knights added: “Our aim is to become a self-sustainable site, providing power and heat to our processes while also recovering and recycling materials in a better way.
“If it can’t be recycled, we want to be able to turn it into power.”