This week #madeinsandwell Monday celebrates Giffords Recycling (https://giffords.biz/) of West Bromwich, a company that believes wood is too good a resource to waste in landfill. For over 30 years, Giffords has been refurbishing and repurposing wooden pallets with the ethos that recycling is more than a business, it’s a way of thinking.
Giffords’ story reads like an entrepreneur’s dream. Founder Rod Gifford was the second youngest of nine children. He left school aged 15 with no qualifications and followed his four brothers into the paint trade. In 1984 he was made redundant and used his small payout to buy a van, rent an old coal yard and form West Bromwich Pallets Ltd, devoting his time to reconditioning discarded wooden pallets.
From these humble beginnings, the business has grown into a multi-million pound operation which runs from state-of-the-art facilities at a 13-acre site on Giffords Way. The company now employs four directors, seven office staff, seven drivers and 40 yard workers, including Kevin Brown who has been with the company for over 20 years.
As well as sending out over 100,000 reconditioned pallets every month, the company recycles waste wood into wood fibre for equestrian arenas and children’s play areas, landscaping mulch, and bedding for horses and poultry. It even provides the Queen’s horses with recycled equestrian bedding.
Giffords has won many awards that recognise the contribution the company has made to recycling and protecting the environment. Rod Gifford, founder and managing director, said: “We’re really proud of having paved the way for other business to follow. Think of all the trees we’ve saved over the years.”
The company’s Sandwell roots are also very important. “Being based in the heart of the country enables us to serve the whole UK while keeping delivery costs competitive,” said Rod. “There’s a great diversity of cultures and businesses here that all work really well together. We’re about to embark on an exciting new venture with a local soft drinks company, and Sandwell Council is supporting us to expand the business, create more local contacts and take on new staff.”
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