Good practice

Zero waste at Denby Ceramics in the UK

Zero waste at Denby Ceramics in the UK
© Kenji Endo, image #170717016, 2017, source:
All sectors, Waste management and recycling
Medium cost
Annual saving:
50 - 80% / 10000 - 15000€
Payback time:
1 - 3 Year(s)
Associated cost savings: Waste:
70 - 80%
Total cost savings:
3 880 tonnes of ceramic waste and 56 tonnes of packaging and general waste have been diverted to symbiotic purposes (close to 80 % of waste material recycled)
Co2 emission reduction:
596 tonnes
Size of company:
Medium (less than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:

Synergy seals the zero-waste deal

  • Partnership deal diverts 3 936 tonnes of waste from landfill
  • Cost savings totalled around € 11 400 and additional sales of some € 125 000 

Denby Ceramics has been making pottery in Derbyshire, England for over 200 years and has moved on from the production of the salt-glazed pottery of its early days to the easily recognisable kitchen and tableware of today.

Denby had explored recycling options for its large quantities of ceramic waste, but due to the variety of materials involved and the sharp nature of some of the waste, the results were unsatisfactory. The firm consulted experts from the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP Network) who proposed four potential service providers capable of collecting and recycling ceramics waste.

Denby chose a local company, Nottinghamshire Recycling Ltd, which turns the ceramic waste into aggregates for the construction market and was able to use its on-site materials recovery facility (MRF) to sort additional waste materials, such as cardboard and plastics. The partnership between the firms proved even more beneficial than expected becase Nottinghamshire Recycling Ltd was also able to offer a service for Denby’s additional materials. The synergy has been fundamental in Denby achieving its zero-waste-to-landfill policy. 

Nottinghamshire Recycling Ltd offers a range of waste sorting and recycling services from its site in Worksop, England and its MRF is able recycle 80 % of the material. Once recyclables have been removed, remaining waste is treated to create a refuse-derived fuel.

Key benefits

The synergy resulted in 3 936 tonnes (3 880 tonnes of ceramics and 56 tonnes of general waste) being diverted from landfill. CO2 reduction reached 596 tonnes. Cost savings totalled approximately € 11 400 (£ 10 000), with additional sales of about € 125 000 (£ 110 000). 

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