Keenan Recycling scoop major business award

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A BUCHAN green recycling business has won a prestigious Scottish business award.

Keenan Recycling, based at Hillhead of Auchreddie at New Deer, scooped the Wood Group Award for Innovation at the Grampian Awards for Business Enterprise 2011.

The family-run business faced tough competition from two other North-east businesses to win the title. The Wood Group Award, which includes a £5000 cash prize, recognises businesses that can demonstrate a proven ability to create, nurture and develop innovative products, processes or services that substantially improve the commercial performance or prospects of the company.

Keenan Recycling transforms food and garden waste into BSI (British Standard) accredited compost at an award winning £5m facility at New Deer in Aberdeenshire.

Launched in 2001, company Director Grant Keenan, saw a gap in the market for organic recycling in Scotland and set up the business as the first composting site in the North-east.

He launched the business with no prior knowledge or experience in waste but succeeded in securing contracts from seven local authorities to recycle garden waste before launching a new service to collect food waste from businesses in Scotland.

Until recently they operated the largest vertical composting unit in Europe but following an expansion they are now joint largest in the world with a similar site in Canada. The firm, which is run by brothers Grant and Gregor, launched an innovative commercial food waste collection service last year to help local businesses to increase their recycling rates.

The scheme, which is the first of its kind in the North-East, allows organisations in the North-east to recycle item such as leftover food, coffee grounds, cups and paper towels.

Accepting the award at a dinner in Aberdeen, Gregor Keenan, said: “Winning this high profile business award is a great achievement for the business and it is recognition for the entire Keenan Recycling team for their commitment to the environment and our drive towards zero waste.

“We continually strive towards approaching the waste issue through innovative ideas and approaches to ensure that we are industry leaders in organics recycling.”

Grant Keenan was also a finalist in this year’s Ernst and Young Scotland Entrepreneur of the Year.

The organics recycling company deals with tens of thousands of tonnes of food and green waste from local authorities all over Scotland and can also offer a recycling service to businesses and food processors with green targets.

Keenan Recycling’s food waste recycling scheme has been backed by First Minister Alex Salmond as part of the Scottish Government Zero Waste Plan, which sets out key actions and new targets to tackle the near 20 million tonnes of waste produced in Scotland every year.

The Government plans to introduce legislation requiring mandatory food waste collections by 2013.