E A Tailby Ltd is a family-run footware component manufacturer, which was established in 1902. This fourth generation business is run by Steve Tailby and his wife Pip, and makes soles and heels out of, primarily, thick leather made from cow hides, for the majority of the high-end English footwear trade.
Due to the nature of the business, which is based in Kettering, Northamptonshire, approximately 20 percent of all leather purchased is left as offcuts or scrap. To avoid putting this into landfill, the company has had an on-site baler for over 20 years.
Once baled, the leather is shipped to Germany, where it is recycled and turned into regenerated leather. This is done through the process of mixing the leather with paper pulp and latex to form a gooey mixture, which is, in essence, blended leather. The mixture is then passed through rollers and turned into sheet form before being dyed and transformed into regenerated leather products, for example diary covers. Although not one hundred percent leather, it still has a high leather content, and is a fantastic example of a modern closed loop business model.
However, E A Tailby faced a challenge when their existing baler could no longer tackle the vast amount of leather produced at the site – the company could easily fill a skip per week with the scrap leather produced.
Steve knew the company needed a machine that could handle greater capacity, as they had begun to produce, on average, four bales a week, often weighing over 400kg per bale. In addition, their old machine was struggling to handle the 4-6mm leather it was being tasked to bale.
Steve researched baler providers and despite speaking with other firms, it seemed Riverside Waste Machinery could offer exactly what he was looking for. As conversations unfolded, the existing baler actually broke down completely, therefore a quick turnaround was required as the company had no way of handling its ‘waste’. Riverside was awarded the project and swiftly devised a series of solutions, of which Steve chose the RWM450 heavy duty waste baler.
Steve says: “Despite speaking with other baler providers, I struck up a rapport with Jonathan immediately. He knew what would suit our needs, and reacted quickly, whilst under a certain amount of pressure due to our situation.”
Steve is happy with the new machine, which he purchased only recently this summer. The company puts all scrap leather into pallet boxes, ready for baling once a week before being transported overseas. Although no profit is made on the sale of the scrap, funds are saved as the baler prevents the requirement of a skip, and the yield from the balers covers the carriage costs to Germany. Steve continues: “Our site is also neater, this is a tidier way to get rid of ‘scrap’, and rather than being sent to landfill, we are doing our bit for the environment too. I’m pleased that we now have a baler we can rely on!”