Case Study

Blenheim
Palace

Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site based in Woodstock, Oxfordshire attracts over 1 million visitors a year to the main palace and landscaped grounds, which were created by famous gardener Capability Brown. As one of 10 of the UK's treasure houses, its prominence among UK's heritage sites is unrivalled. Whilst they are most well known as the birth place of Winston Churchill and home to the Spencer-Churchills, they are also aiming to be known as the most sustainable and environmentally friendly heritage site in the UK.

Project Details

  • Package
    Eco 360
  • Primary Focus
    Increase Recycling Levels
  • Location
    Woodstock, Oxfordshire
  • Project Term
    Not Disclosed
  • Equipment Included
    Yes

Intro

Blenheim Palace have appointed The Waste Technology Group to assist them on a long term project to help them achieve their environmental and sustainability goals. We have designed a solution that minimalises their reliance on contractors and has increased recycling levels from the point of roll out. The solution we have designed is ever evolving and as new opportunities present themselves as segregation levels present new waste streams, we continue to provide Blenheim Palace with new and emerging technologies that will help to deal with these new waste streams on a long term basis.

Case Study

Blenheim Palace is one of the country's most recognised heritage sites, with almost one million visitors a year. The site is also home to restaurants and cafes as well as Blenheim's water bottling plant and hosts numerous prestigious events throughout the year. 

Before engaging us as their sole management partner for their onsite waste, Blenheim was reliant on frequent waste collections which meant that vehicle traffic to site was heavy and, given the number of public pedestrian visitors, Health and Safety was of paramount concern.  
 
As well as frequent collections, Blenheim Palace also had multiple contractors dealing with different waste streams across different areas of the site. As a result, when a problem arose with any given stream of waste, the site team had the laborious task of working out who they needed to speak with to resolve the issue. 
 
Their recycling levels were low with opportunities to segregate efficiently overlooked by contractors as it was not in their interest to suggest alternative approaches. There was also an inherent concern that their recycling efforts were reliant upon visitors who weren't expected to be held to account for the waste they produced whilst onsite. We provided bespoke education materials and signage, designed in keeping with Blenheim's branding, and deployed them across the front of house areas to promote Blenheim's environmental efforts and encourage visitors to dispose of their waste responsibly. Back of house signage was also provided to reiterate the message to staff and ensure that they segregated waste properly. 
 
When designing the solution, we considered the site and its grounds as one entity and put a solution in place that developed an onsite central location for all waste and recycling to brought to and stepped away from each area managing their own waste operations individually. We analysed the key areas where waste was produced across the site and worked with their onsite operatives to develop a coordinated approach that would be operationally efficient and would enable waste to be easily transported to the recycling centre.  
 
By employing compaction technology we were able to minimise collections and thus vehicle traffic to the site. The now reduced reliance on wheeled bins for General Waste and DMR meant that space in the bin store areas could be afforded to containers for further streams of waste. As a result, the Palace is now able to segregate waste into multiple streams and as such, benefit from cost-saving against a reliance on General Waste.   
 
Prior to engaging our solution, Blenheim had little to no understanding of the levels of waste they were producing per stream. As part of their package with us, they receive monthly reports detailing the levels of waste leaving the site. Our unique traffic light system highlights their levels to recycle and advises how efficiently they are segregating their waste.  The report also details how the waste is treated once it leaves their site. Blenheim have reported that this element is key to the success of their recycling efforts as they are able to benchmark against their targets and, if they aren't achieving the levels of recycling they set out to, understand what areas they need to focus on. 
 
The team at Blenheim Palace are so invested in our solution that they advise each event company that facilitates events in their grounds to put their waste services through us. This means that we can design a solution for any given event that reflects Blenheim's environmental ethos and ensures that waste is dealt with responsibly. It also means that any waste that is produced onsite during an event is accounted for in their monthly report and allows Blenheim the opportunity to assess the impact each event had on the sites environmental performance.  
 
As with any client, we see our relationship with Blenheim as a partnership. Our role is not to simply design a solution and leave a client to manage it internally. We are now two years into the project and are working with the Palace to evolve the solution. We are utilising our understanding of the waste they produce and employing advancements in technology to ensure that they continue to have the most efficient and sustainable solution onsite. 

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