Dealer for an exceptional range of equipment brands, Global Recycling Solutions is a company that has earned itself an enviable reputation among forestry professionals over the last 18 years. Ahead of its appearance at the APF this month, Forestry Journal approached the team to find out more about the firm’s history and its aims for the future.

FOUNDED in 2004, Global Recycling Solutions is a well-established and recognised machinery dealer and supplier in the UK and western Europe, and is currently a leading name in the forestry, recycling, aggregate, and confi-shred market sectors.

Heathpatch, a diverse group with interests in farming, composting, renewable energy, recycling, hospitality and general industry, is owned by the Buckle family, and is the parent company to Global Recycling Solutions. In 2001, James Buckle began to diversify Heathpatch, taking the business into different areas, with the aim of increasing return on capital. This, among other things, led to the formation of Global Recycling Solutions.

From the beginning, Global’s team understood the need for the recycling of commodities and the need for sustainable and renewable energy and has helped promote and develop these sectors over the last 18 years. The company started out by supplying machinery into the biomass sector, but soon expanded the product range to include solutions for other needs in the arboreal sector; supplying machinery used in tree surgery, stumpgrinding, greenwaste composting and land clearance. Bandit equipment supplied over the years includes the Beast horizontal grinder/chipper range, the whole-tree chipper range, the hand-fed chipper range, and the stumpgrinder range. 

Forestry Journal: Offering world-class machinery goes hand in hand with the company’s motto of ‘creating opportunities for a better environment’.Offering world-class machinery goes hand in hand with the company’s motto of ‘creating opportunities for a better environment’. (Image: FJ)

Since 2004, the company has continued to grow and has gone from a turnover of £4.1 million to £17.2 m, with a goal of reaching £50 m. Employment has also been created, with the company going from eight employees to over 50. Of the original eight staff, 70 per cent remain, which goes to show the commitment and support from both employees and the company to each other.

All businesses have faced hurdles, especially the financial recession of the 2000s and the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the industry must face up to the cost-of-living crisis, along with continuing issues in the supply chain.

Peter Banks, managing director, said: “It’s still a tough time for businesses and the industry as a whole, so we are incredibly proud of the resilience Global has shown. Not only have we survived, but we have continued to grow, and this is down to our incredible staff, suppliers, and customers who have continually supported us throughout. This support has, in turn, allowed the business to continue and ensure customer needs are constantly met, with the supply of new machines, preventative maintenance and breakdown repairs, and spare parts throughout the good and the tough times.”

The company’s unique and agile operating model has given it an advantage over competitors by being able to offer world-class machinery alongside a bespoke customer experience that continues long after the sale has been completed.

The Global sales team sticks with the customer from beginning to end, offering expert advice, tailored to their business, and where applicable, offering demonstrations in their own working environment. The company is proud to demonstrate that a sale is where the journey begins, not ends.

It is important to Global that it ensures customers are confident in their choice of product and supplier, ending up with a product that is going to not only work for them, but also exceed expectations and help to grow their business.

With an extensive team of mobile engineers located throughout the UK, Scotland, Ireland and Germany, a complete aftersales support service can be offered. Everything from machinery breakdowns to scheduled servicing is catered for, within a rapid response timescale.

Forestry Journal: Andy Dudley, sales consultant for Norwood Sawmills and Frontier Sawmills, with the Norwood LumberPro HD36V2. Andy Dudley, sales consultant for Norwood Sawmills and Frontier Sawmills, with the Norwood LumberPro HD36V2. (Image: FJ)

The company boasts a well-equipped parts department with an extensive range of parts and substantial levels of safety stock, promising next-day delivery, with an expert team including dedicated brand representatives, so that expertise is guaranteed.

Edward Baker, aftersales director, said: “With over £2.9 m of parts in stock, consisting of over 7,000 lines, we ensure we can supply the right parts to ensure minimum machine downtime as we understand what every second of that downtime costs the customer.”

The industry reputation of Global sees the company being regularly approached by brands that would like to be considered for addition to the current product lines. Due diligence determines whether a new brand will fit inside the already impressive portfolio, along with maintaining the Heathpatch passion of product recycling and sustainable renewable energy. Peter added: “Those key industries, along with forestry, drive the portfolio direction. If a brand approached Global and it didn’t fit with that, it is unlikely it would be considered.”

Since 2004, the portfolio has grown considerably, especially in the forestry sector. Along with an increased demand for stumpgrinders and chippers, the company has seen sawmill sales grow dramatically, with Global supplying customers throughout the UK.

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Andy Dudley, sales consultant for the Norwood Sawmills and Frontier Sawmills product lines, said: “We have varied customers, including hobbyists, arb companies that are diversifying into sawmilling, established business customers who work with wood, right through to customers who solely mill full-time at expert level. Some of our customers mill and supply glamping pods, others use milling to generate a second income from what would otherwise be wood waste. The demand for mills is increasing all the time.”

As milling goes from strength to strength across the world, it is an incredible prospect to consider that the generations of tomorrow will be milling the trees planted and maintained by the foresters of today. Imagine what story those trees could tell, if only they were able to convey it to future generations. From world wars to floods and pandemics, the presence and importance of trees in our environment is a constant that has never changed. Whether it’s land clearance or stump removal, Global’s machinery portfolio works in unison to help create sustainability.

Forest management has also become a large area of interest for the company, with the Bandit Beast range seeing an increase of interest in use for forestry residuals. Where things were once being thrown away, they are now being processed and used for biomass.

Along with Norwood Sawmills, Bandit Industries, Jo Beau and Sany are portfolio brands that are always in high demand, putting Global on the map as one of the biggest (if not the biggest) suppliers of stumpgrinders in the UK, along with mid- to large-range chippers and excavators. The Bandit Industries SG-40 stumpgrinder has taken the market by storm, along with 12XP, 12XPC, 15XPC and 20XP model chippers. The Jo Beau range has also proved to be a top seller in the park maintenance and landscaping industries. 

Forestry Journal: Dean Embling, sales consultant for Bandit and Jo Beau.Dean Embling, sales consultant for Bandit and Jo Beau. (Image: FJ)

2019 saw Global becoming the UK dealer for Pronar shredders, stockpilers and 6” chippers, and area representative for its trommel mobile screeners. This has been a massively welcome addition to the portfolio and was closely followed by Sany in 2020, which has not only opened Global up to the construction industry, but also means it can better supply the forestry sector, as machines can be offered with full forestry specification. The launch of Anaconda Equipment in 2022 has introduced crushing and scalping to the recycling line, giving Global one of the most comprehensive product portfolios that can fully support customers in every aspect of their business needs.

As the company grows, so does the need for physical space, to house both machinery and the ever-expanding team of staff.  The current Grantham premises, which Global has resided in since 2014, have been rapidly outgrown and late 2022 will see the company moving to new premises in Long Bennington. The new site comprises over 5.5 acres, mostly concreted, and will allow for the next chapter in the company’s growth.

A satellite depot at Mildenhall, Suffolk, opened in 2021 and is also growing rapidly as the home of the Sany construction line and additional parts storage.

Peter said: “One of the things fuelling growth is our understanding that fossil fuels are not something for the future and we need to move towards renewable energy and recycling. The war in Ukraine goes to highlight how important this issue is. Roads aren’t going to last forever, storms won’t stop, land clearance is going to increase, and the need to fuel an ever-growing economy won’t slow down either.”

The return of the APF Exhibition is something the company is looking forward to immensely. Louise Bradshaw-Black, marketing manager, said: “Having live shows back is brilliant for the industry as a whole and we can’t wait to showcase some of the product lines we have launched since the last APF. Also, getting to see our customers out on the road again will be wonderful, as will meeting those who bought from us in the lockdowns and won’t have attended a show since.”

Two machines having their official show launches at APF 2022 will be the Pronar MR-15 6” towable chipper and the Jo Beau B37-110 stump grinder, with full radio remote control.

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The company predicts the need for renewable energy will cause sales to increase exponentially over the coming months and years. Sister company Material Change, also part of the Heathpatch subsidiaries, shares the same core views, running six composting sites across the Midlands and east of England, along with 10 anaerobic digestion plants.

Both Pronar and Bandit equipment is being used at these sites.

Peter said: “As we’ve seen with Material Change, the demand for machinery that handles significant quantities of green waste is growing all the time and these are the type of companies that need solutions that can handle that level of material. We offer machinery and a world-class aftersales service that can deliver.”

Simon Smith, operations manager at Material Change, added: “We had an old trommel that had seen better days and we decided we needed to look around to see what was available. We looked at a number of different brands of trommels during this review, but after Global Recycling Solutions kindly demonstrated the Pronar trommel to us, the decision become a lot easier and clearer to make.  

Forestry Journal: Steven Tate, Edward Birks, Louise Bradshaw-Black, Peter Banks, Rachael Shaw Browne and Raffy, Peter’s dog (who insisted on joining the photo).Steven Tate, Edward Birks, Louise Bradshaw-Black, Peter Banks, Rachael Shaw Browne and Raffy, Peter’s dog (who insisted on joining the photo). (Image: FJ)

"What really impressed us was the build quality of the Pronar trommel and its ease of use. The two-year warranty that comes as standard with the Pronar provided us with an increased level of confidence in the product, with the added benefit of no breakdown bills to pay for two years, rather than one year which most other manufacturers offer.”

Global Recycling Solutions is incredibly proud of the industry reputation it has achieved since 2004 and hopes to continue its outstanding level of growth, with an aspiration to become the best-known company in forestry and other sectors supplied, along with creating significant future employment opportunities.

Visit Global Recycling at the APF, stand 1460–1550.