Lara Ayris - Nothing to Waste
2 February 2015
With rampant consumerism and an ever-more "throw-away" society, Waste is now big business and has moved on from the "dig a hole in the ground" mentality of the past to an increasingly innovative and careful industry. Pre-segregation of our 'post-consumer' waste with multiple bins for "recycling" is just the tip of the iceberg. Behind the scenes waste handlers and others are intent on recovering every possible re-useable material with value and only the least useful now ends up in landfill.
Part of this revolution in the way in which companies think of waste has taken place in the construction sector, which still accounts for something like a third of the tonnage to landfill each year in this country. This has been declining, thanks in part to the business acumen of Outstanding Woman in Construction 2012, Lara Ayris, with her company Waste Plan Solutions.
Lara has been championing the more intelligent planning and handling of construction waste for the past 5 years, initially impelled by the then mandatory Site Waste Management Plans, instituted by DEFRA. At their introduction SWMPs were designed to ensure that construction waste for any project of more than £300,000 was efficiently handled, the guidance stating "SWMPs apply to all aspects of construction work including preparatory work such as demolition and excavation, are required for civil engineering and engineering projects as well as projects involving the maintenance, alteration and decoration of existing structures including the installation, maintenance or removal of all related services such as electrical, gas, water, sewage and telecommunications."
While no doubt all businesses bemoan "red tape" and regret the encroachment of officialdom into their best practices, the present government's goal of reducing compliance obligations for regulations which are either "ineffective or hold back growth for businesses" led to the repeal of the SWMP compliance regulations on 1st December 2013. This might have spelled disaster for Lara's business, as many of her large customer base had been adopting Waste Plan Solutions' bespoke software solutions in order to ensure they met the regulatory requirements.
However, after a short lull, demand for Lara's very personal and efficient advisory services and for use of the WPS software tools has in fact picked up, with more customers now using the system in 2015 than at any time since 2013. What was once a "Small Business of the Year" in 2011 is now growing again towards being a major provider of the original waste management services and increasingly other related advice. The Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM credits both encourage clients to take WPS's services so thankfully, unless the world wakes up one morning and decides carbon is wholly superfluous (we hope not), the business which Lara began with an essentially regulatory driver will continue to prosper and develop.
Turnover this year is anticipated to exceed both of the last 2 years which, with a low cost base and plans to develop new software tools, should underpin continued success. As Lara says, "There is no time to waste" and indeed, nothing else to waste either. Much of the new business for WPS comes via BREEAM or Code assessors, so Lara is actively seeking additional assessors, who are rewarded with commission, to expand the customer base again.
For further information, or indeed to apply to help with referrals, please contact Lara Ayris at Waste Plan Solutions on 01604 859961 or firstname.lastname@example.org