For November’s ‘Day in the Life’, we head back to our Bunny Lane site for a catch up with our washplant coordinator Richie who tells us what life’s like screening, segregating and recycling waste. It’s Richie’s revelation about a missing bouncy ball that has us the most intrigued though – if you see one bouncing by, we’d probably advise you to let it bounce away….!
Q. Describe your role at Waltet – your job title and what the role entails.
A: I’m the wash plant coordinator here at Waltet and I run the wash plant at Bunny Lane, our Romsey site. The wash plant is home to all sorts of exciting machinery that produces cleaner aggregate products. Our plant produces five products; two sands and three grades of aggregate, all to BS specifications
Q: How long have you been working at Waltet?
A: I joined the Waltet team in August 2021 and prior to working here, I was a CHP Power Plant Operator at a biomass power station. I’ve always been into sustainability!
Q: What’s the first task you usually tackle when you arrive at the office? How do you prioritise tasks for the day? Do you have a specific routine for planning your work?
A: The first thing I do when I head to the wash plant is to reset all the panels, clear all alarms and ‘de-sludge’ the plant, if necessary. If not, then it’s ready to fire up!
We prioritise our day around production and do everything to ensure we are getting the most out of the plant as possible. The routine of the day is quite specific when everything is running properly, although it can deviate when breakdowns occur.
Q: What is it about the waste recycling industry that interests you?
A: The machinery within the industry is what interests me the most. I love the fact that we take one person’s waste and recycle it to be reused and repurposed!
Q: What are your favourite aspects of the job?
A: Learning continuously. I enjoy keeping on top of my skills and knowledge.
Q: Can you share an example of a recent accomplishment you’ve had in your role?
A: Every day that we achieve a high output is an achievement. A lot of things need to fall into place to ensure conditions are right and the battle is constant. Much like a football manager, you win some, you lose some but once the day is done you move on and concentrate on the next day!
Q: What are the main challenges you typically encounter in your role, and how do you overcome them?
A: There are many challenges from every direction and running a wash plant can be an absolute nightmare! I’ve found that the key is to just stay calm and remember back to previous experience – nine times out of ten it is a simple fix.
If the wash plant isn’t running at full capacity then this can have a knock on effect for other departments within the company so I just ensure that I keep communication open so there’s no last minute surprises.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about your job?
A: Fixing things, achieving high numbers and helping the business be the best that it can be.
Q: What is it like working with the team at Waltet?
A: It is really fantastic. I work with a really great bunch of people down at Bunny Lane.
Q: Do you have any opportunities for professional development or learning as part of your job?
A: Yes, the Management are really good at keeping staff on top of their game and encourage us to learn as much as we can.
Q:In your opinion what three words describe Waltet as a business?
A: Sustainable. Diverse. Productive.
Q: Why is Waltet such a good place to work?
A: Honestly? I have a really great boss who teaches me a lot.
Q: Share a fact about you that may surprise people.
A: Once when I was a kid I swallowed a bouncy ball whole. I never did see it come out……