South West picks up waste collector

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The Independent Online
SOUTH WEST Water's flirtation with the dry waste disposal business is being developed, via the pounds 27.5m purchase of Haul-Waste from English China Clays.

Haul-Waste, based in Taunton, Somerset, runs the largest waste collection operation in the South- west. Its 230 employees operate 18 landfill sites, 8,000 skips, and 143 haulage vehicles.

Eight of the landfill sites, which have total filling capacity of 12 million cubic metres, are operational. Three are virgin but have planning consent, while the other seven have yet to secure full usage agreements with local authorities.

Colin Drummond, development director of South West and chief executive-elect of Haul- Waste, said: 'The acquisition is a natural progression. It is a good business right on our doorstep.'

Haul-Waste has turned over about pounds 15m in each of the past two years, but profits have declined. Peter Elliot, company secretary of ECC, said Haul-Waste made pounds 1.3m pre-tax in 1991 but 'rather less than that' last year.

ECC put Haul-Waste on the market last August as part of a plan to concentrate on its core china clay and construction operations.

South West already has interests in wet waste, like sewage sludge, and a peripheral business in dry waste, mainly compost. It also has some established links with Haul-Waste, such as emptying of septic tanks.

Haul-Waste does not collect household waste, but does provide for domestic rubbish disposal through 11 depots in Avon, Devon, Wiltshire, Cornwall, Dorset, and Somerset.

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