Ragn-Sells increases recycling at commercial centre
Ragn-Sells has been responsible for the waste at Väla Centrum shopping centre in south of Sweden for five years. Thanks to a new collection system, the service for tenants has been improved and the volume of combustible waste has decreased every month.
When Ragn-Sells took over the waste management at Väla Centrum, outside Helsingborg, the stores managed their own waste. The store staff left the waste in one of the centre’s recycling rooms and Ragn-Sells made sure that the sorting inside the recycling rooms was done properly.
The centre’s owner, Skandia Properties, wanted to reduce combustible waste and increase recycling. The task of rethinking waste went to Ragn-Sells, headed by foreman Christer Jönsson.
– We decided to completely reorganise the procedures. Instead of the store staff leaving the waste, we employed our own staff to collect it directly from the stores, says Christer Jönsson, who has been involved in several similar business development projects and is responsible for the project with Oliver Konovalov, Technical Manager at Skandia Fastigheter.
Makes life easier for tenants and reduces combustible waste
Recently, Ragn-Sells employed a third person, and they plan to increase staffing to seven days a week. The staff are responsible for collecting all waste and taking it to one of the recycling rooms left at Väla Centrum, where it is sorted and weighed.
– Sometimes we can make up to five collections a day from a customer, but it varies greatly. Since only Ragn-Sells staff are allowed to pick up and drop off the waste, there is less traffic around the centre and better control,” explains Christer Jönsson.
In addition to the important environmental benefit of sorting more waste, Skandia was able to free up space by making the recycling rooms redundant.
– In addition, we have converted four recycling rooms for other activities and generated new income. Among other things, we have built a car inspection centre, a car wash and a padel centre, says Oliver Konovalov of Skandia Fastigheter.
From the left: Oliver Konovalov, Operations Coordinator, Skandia Fastigheter; Christer Jönsson, Foreman and Business Developer, Ragn-Sells; and Anders Wikström, Section Manager, Ragn-Sells in Malmö. (Click the arrow for more pictures)
The new system at Väla Centrum is an example of how Ragn-Sells is trying to help its customers think along new lines and convert more waste into new resources. In addition to the new system, the statistical reporting has also been improved so that the property owner can keep track of waste better over time. For tenants, the change means that they now have access to their own annual statistics that they can present in their sustainability reports.
– Our tenants have started to ask for statistics for their waste, so this is a very important service that we can now offer, says Oliver Konovalov.
The most important effect of the change is that the volume of combustible waste has decreased due to better sorting. More material is recycled and less is simply burnt. Two years ago, 10% more combustible material was collected than recyclable corrugated cardboard, for example. In the same period in 2021, the figures were completely reversed. Today, the collection of corrugated cardboard is 26% higher than that of combustible waste.
– This is obviously an extremely positive development. One important goal is to reduce combustible waste, and we have clearly seen it decrease month by month, says Oliver Konovalov.
The key is creativity and good collaboration
Christer Jönsson points out that we must not stop here but constantly come up with new ideas and methods to optimise sorting.
– For example, we have contacted a couple of contractors to help us develop special concepts and new creative solutions, he explains.
The partnership between Ragn-Sells and the property owner is also continuously developing. The focus is on creating a quality overall service in the centre.
– We have a permanent partnership with Ragn-Sells that works very well. We constantly discuss all issues and how we can make things even better, says Oliver Konovalov.
– The next step is to find smart sorting solutions for the restaurants. In a test project, we reduced combustible waste by 40-50% by sorting food waste separately, continues Christer Jönsson.
According to Oliver Konovalov, the stores in Väla Centrum have adopted the new procedures and are very satisfied.
– We hear that it’s the ‘best thing that ever happened’ and of course that feels fantastic, says Oliver Konovalov.
– For us, it has been important to get the tenants to change their behaviour and start thinking differently about waste, Getting them to understand the value of separating waste, even if sometimes it is difficult, because in the end it saves costs and is better for the environment, adds Christer Jönsson.