Wetherspoon’s national distribution centre, at Daventry, Northamptonshire, is the hub of the group’s operation. The 166,000-square-foot warehouse has 427 full-time employees working around the clock. Not only does it supply the pubs, but it also deals with their waste.
For the last 10 years, Wetherspoon has worked in partnership with DHL Supply Chain and DHL Envirosolutions to make the process as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible, using a closed-loop solution in which the lorries which make deliveries pick up the waste too, returning it to Daventry to be recycled.
Around 2,500 ‘cages’ of new supplies are sent out daily, with about 2,000 cages of recyclable material coming back – a total of 9,470 tons in 2014, an 11.5% increase on 2013.
Daventry can currently recycle 29 kinds of waste, with more streams being added. Most of it is cardboard (with 5,233 tons a year being turned into various paper products) and cooking oil (3,148 tons are converted into bio-Diesel).
Plastics, steel, aluminium and paper are also recycled (beer bottles and other glass are dealt with by the pubs themselves). Clothing, cutlery, books, DVDs and crockery are donated to charities – and the small percentage of waste left is incinerated to generate energy, rather than going to landfill.
Among recent innovations, a corkscrew compactor crushes milk bottles and aluminium and steel cans, saving £56,000 a year and 30 tonnes of CO2, while the installation of a bulk oil tank on the site has halved the number of collections needed.
In 2014, the Wetherspoon/DHL partnership won a Sustainability Leaders Award; in February 2015, it passed its first three-yearly reaccreditation assessment for ISO 14001.