Waste management company upcycles growth prospects following funding from Santander UK

  • Forge Recycling’s turnover grew by 26% in past year and is forecast to increase a further 30% by September 2022
  • The Leeds-based company plans to hire 15 new staff over the next year
  • Santander UK has provided six-figure funding to support Forge Recycling’s new waste processing facility


Waste management company Forge Recycling’s turnover has grown by 26% over the past year to reach £9.5m following the expansion of its services beyond its base in Leeds, and the addition of a new waste processing facility.

The company is targeting growth of a further 30% to reach a projected turnover of £13m by September 2022.

Santander UK has supported Forge Recycling with £500,000 funding, which the company has invested in developing a 9,000 square foot waste processing facility at its site in Leeds. The new facility has enabled the business to process waste through a more efficient and cost-effective procedure.

Over the past year, Forge Recycling has expanded its service area to cover Humberside, North Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire, as well as its previous market in Leeds. Its business plans are focused on growing its customer base in its new locations over the next two years. 

The business was founded in 2010 as a ‘man and van’ service by brothers Harvey and Fraser Mills, who aimed to offer a competitive and flexible waste management service to make recycling easy for their customers. Since then, the company has grown organically and through two acquisitions, and has a staff of 100 – which includes 25 new roles created in the past year – and it anticipates hiring an additional 15 staff over the next year as the business grows further. It operates a fleet of more than 25 specialist waste and recycling collection vehicles.

The wide range of services offered by Forge Recycling include: domestic and commercial bulk waste clearance, collection and disposal; waste audits and bespoke solutions for businesses; wheelie bin, container and skip hire and collection; and glass, food and paper cup collection and recycling. Each week, the company empties more than 12,000 bins, and collects about 600 tonnes of general waste and more than 100 tonnes of recyclable material. None of the waste collected goes directly to landfill - 60% is recycled and 40% is processed into energy.

The company is keen to instil in young people knowledge about recycling and sustainability, and last year launched the Forge Education programme. Through the initiative, Forge Recycling’s education officer works with schools in Yorkshire to deliver a programme of waste and sustainability lessons and activities to children free of charge. It is now taking bookings for the new school year.

As part of an effort to reduce its impact on the environment, Forge Recycling worked with an organisation to calculate the carbon emissions it generated through its operations in 2019. It then planted 6,138 trees to create four hectares of woodland, named Forge Forest, in Cumbria to help offset its emissions.

Harvey Mills, Managing Director, Forge Recycling said: “Santander UK’s funding and support has allowed us to accelerate our growth and develop our waste processing facility. It has been brilliant to achieve this in spite of the challenges we have had to navigate throughout the course of the pandemic.” 

Andy King, Relationship Director at Santander UK, said: “We’re delighted to have supported Forge Recycling over the past four years with funding enabling it to grow, including the financing of its new waste processing facility, which is critical to its expansion plans. The business has an exciting future ahead and we look forward to supporting its continued success over the coming years.”

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For information about Forge Recycling, please visit: www.forgerecycling.co.uk/