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Wales & West Utilities has signed up to a hard hat recycling scheme as part of its commitment to sustainability.

With hard hats having a limited lifespan, the gas emergency and pipeline service has joined a national hard hat recycling scheme where recycling specialists will divert them away from landfill, breaking them down into pellets, making sure all plastics are reused.

Colleagues will be expected to recycle their hard hats by returning them to Wales & West Utilities depots and stores and they will then be sent to Yes Recycling for processing.

Wales & West Utilities, who look after the pipes that keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses across Wales and south west England, are committed to becoming a sustainable business, and doing their part to help the UK go green. The company will reuse or recycle 80% of its waste by 2026, and will send zero waste to landfill by 2035.  

Hard hats aren’t accepted for commercial recycling due to their plastic composition and as a business, we might dispose of up 500 hats a year as they reach the end of use or are damaged

At Wales & West Utilities, we’re committed to helping Wales and the south west of England go green. And we’re focussed on getting our own house in order too. Partnering with Yes Recycling to recycle equipment like hard hats is the right thing to do, while helping us reduce our own impact on the environment and become a more sustainable business.

Gerard Bateman, Wales & West Utilities Operations Health, Safety and Environment Advisor 

Every year, the UK throws away several million end-of-life protective hats. The Yes Recycling scheme is a user-friendly method for old hard hats to bypass traditional waste disposal routes, thereby ensuring end-of-life hats go directly into reprocessing at its bespoke Buckinghamshire facility.

The hats will be shredded into 10mm flakes that are separated, washed and dried, then melted down and made into polymer pellets. These pellets are the raw material for all plastic item manufacturing. Eventually, Yes Recycling hopes to use the recycled material to make new hard hats, completing the 360 degree process.

Wales & West Utilities is the company that look after the pipes that keep the gas flowing to heat the homes and power businesses of 7.5m people across Wales and south west England. They operate the gas emergency service, connect new homes and businesses, and upgrade the gas network so it’s safe today and fit for the future.

The company is also committed to playing its part in getting to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. 46 power stations connected to its network support renewables like wind and solar power while 19 green gas sites inject enough decarbonised green gas to power approx. 180,000 homes, Additionally, company’s network supplies bus garages in three locations across the south west of England, fuelling CNG buses that improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions from public transport.