Solar powered waste compactor at Pitreavie

In recent years, Pitreavie have made huge strides towards reducing their carbon footprint and enhancing sustainable practices across their four sites. Recent environment-conscious changes include; electrifying their vehicle fleet, optimising their truck routes to reduce carbon emissions and most recently, installing a solar-powered compactor with assistance from Highlander International.

Pitreavie’s relationship with Highlander began in 2020, when they launched their corrugated packaging manufacturing site in Cumbernauld, just outside of Glasgow. Highlander’s Managing Director, Stephen Duffy, saw the first solar machine made at an industry exhibition a few years ago and immediately saw the potential – around the same time, a customer of Highlander’s required a new waste compactor, but had issues getting a cost-effective power supply to the area it was to be installed, costing £40,000 to get the conventional supply to the proposed machine location. The concept of a solar powered machine was discussed as an alternative and within a few months, the machine was in and working, eliminating a huge capital outlay for the customer and obviously powering the machine completely free of charge.

A similar opportunity existed at Pitreavie a few months ago and a solar powered compactor was installed in April and has been working ever since, providing both energy savings, improved environmental performance and reducing collection frequencies and related environmental impacts by 75%, through vastly improved payloads per container vs the use of a traditional open stop container system.

The compactor uses high-tech solar panels to convert power from the sun’s rays, into electricity within the machine’s gel-type marine batteries. As well as offering a more environmentally sustainable option for the business plus savings on ongoing electricity consumption and power supply provision costs, Highlander’s solar powered compactor offers a range of technical benefits to offer maximum convenience to Pitreavie’s manufacturing team.

Stephen Duffy, Managing Director of Highlander International said, “We’re delighted to have installed this new solar-powered compactor at Pitreavie. It really is a great bit of kit and will enhance the environmental strategy at Pitreavie massively. We are pleased to be able to support Pitreavie with their environmental efforts and offer our guidance and expertise along the way. The team are passionate about caring for the planet, so we work brilliantly together as we share the same outlook.”

The solar-powered compactor from Highlander helps Pitreavie to move towards their 10-year plan of utilising as much renewable energy throughout the business as they possibly can. It also helps to reduce the business’ overall carbon footprint due to reduced uplift frequency. Scott Alexander, Manufacturing Director, said, “I’ve worked with Highlander for many years, even before my time at Pitreavie so I knew that when the time came to open our corrugated packaging facility, Highlander would make an excellent partner. They understood the environmental vision we had for the plant and helped us to prioritise this while simultaneously offering convenience and efficiency for our manufacturing team. We are really delighted with the solar-powered compactors and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with Highlander for many years to come.”

Pitreavie are also engaged with leading environmental consultants Mabbett & Associates Ltd to work with on their sustainability strategy and developing their ‘people, planet and profit’ vision.


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