Entrepreneurs took days off work to set up their own Bedfordshire firm

WHEN Pure Planet Recycling was set up nearly five years ago, directors Paul Turbutt and Phil Gibbs knew they had a good idea but weren’t sure how they would make it work.

The friends had been working in the waste management industry for more than 10 years and had noticed that big companies hadn’t twigged what was happening.

“The law was changing on how electrical waste must be dealt with,” said Paul. “We both saw how large companies didn’t know how to deal with customers with electrical waste.”

So the business partners discussed their ideas and could find ‘no objections’ from either each other or their friends or families.

“It was a calculated risk,” said Paul, whose business, based in Cople Road, Cardington, now has customers in 20 counties from North Lincolnshire to south London.

So the two men took a day’s holiday from work and began leafleting businesses in Bedford town centre with their idea for taking away their old electrical equipment and recycling it.

There are strict laws around the disposal of business waste and the reaction was immediate. The friends knew they were onto a winner.

“We got a van and took it away,” said Paul. “We didn’t have anywhere to store it.” But they soon managed to find a processing area in Cardington and soon found the business growing as their customer base expanded.

There are now five people working for Pure Planet Recycling, which won the Green Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Pronto Plumber at last year’s Bedfordshire and Luton Business Excellence Awards.

The two director have been joined by business development manager, Simon Ockenden, operations manager Stuart Yeeles and nearly qualified apprentice, Brandon Day.

There is another member of staff, called EDD but he’s a piece of kit specially built for the company. EDD is short for Eco Drive Destroyer, which they take out to customers who can watch as computer hard drives are destroyed.

“We provide the full audit trail for customers but most people like to see the hard drives crushed,” explained Phil.

> Natalee Hazelwood’s video profile of the company will be available soon at www.lutontoday.co.uk/news/business