Posted: 25 October, 2023. Written by Emma
REAL created the role of producers’ representative prior to 2014 to enable all scheme participants to be represented at the CCS Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The producers’ representative would become the link between the CCS producer forum and CCS TAC. The aim of this role is to make sure that the voice of producers is heard at the CCS and BCS TAC, as well as REAL-led working groups, and to make sure producers have a spokesperson to whom they can raise any issues that they would like to be brought to producers’ forums if they cannot attend.
Gregor Keenan, Director at Keenan Recycling, has been the CCS Producers’ Representative since 2014 when the CCS was transferred to REAL, and has been involved in the compost industry for 18 years. We asked him some questions about his time in the role and in the industry:
How did you get involved in composting?
My brother diversified from a solid fuel business to garden bark (through forestry contacts). Whilst looking for work for a shredder he realised the Local Authority had garden waste they were landfilling. There was an opportunity to make compost to sell alongside the bark. I was working in London at the time but was thinking about returning to Scotland when my brother called me to ask if was interested in joining him to grow the business. Quite quickly we realised that all of the Local Authorities in the North and North East of Scotland were looking for an outlet. With support from WRAP we began to build a large-scale composting facility adjacent to the family farm. We grew the garden waste composting facility and expanded into in-vessel composting. In 2009 we began a commercial food waste collection and now run the largest food waste collection business in the UK.
Why were you interested in being the CCS Producers’ Representative?
I wanted to play an active role in the industry as it developed. I’m passionate about the role that the organic recycling industry plays in the UK and want to ensure its continued success.
What issues and challenges in the industry have you been able to contribute to overcoming through your role and work with REAL?
I think that a significant step forward has been made since the first PAS100 revision exercise. As an industry we were not so well prepared to provide the evidence for the changes we would like to make. The development of the research hub has begun to provide focus and direction to tackle issues and provide evidence for change.
Is there anything else you’d like to comment on?
I would like to encourage more producers to engage with the Producers Forums. There is an appetite to tackle issues faced by the industry and producers can help bring them to light as well as develop solutions.
As a producer, you can contact Gregor with CCS related issues that you would like raised at the forums using email@example.com