Invest NI helps JF McKenna move towards zero landfill

Armagh-based JF McKenna is moving towards achieving zero waste to landfill with the help of Invest Northern Ireland.

JF McKenna supplies packaging to the mushroom, poultry and horticultural industries and over the last four years has focused its efforts on reducing the amount of waste it sends to landfill.

To help achieve that aim its Environmental Manager, Brendan Vallely, recently attended an Invest NI industrial symbiosis workshop at Diageo in Belfast. The workshops are designed to help companies collaborate to identify sources of material that would otherwise go to landfill but which could be used by other businesses either as a raw material or to make new products.

The workshops are run by International Synergies Ltd, funded by Invest NI and part financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Working with two other organisations; a local window system manufacturer and a youth and community charity group, JF McKenna and its partners have been able to find productive outlets for 80 tonnes of waste as a result of the workshop, which has consequently helped the trio to make cost savings of £8,000 and generate £24,000 of new sales.

Mr Vallely said: “We are constantly working on getting our waste reduced and an ongoing issue has been thebulk bags that we receive plastic material in. Thanks to the industrial symbiosis service, sourcing a company that we ourselves would never have been able to match with, we have now removed another item of waste from landfill.”

Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation and Technology Solutions said: “The industrial symbiosis workshops provide an excellent platform for local companies to investigate how their business’ waste can be used by other companies.

“This is an excellent result for JF McKenna and its partners who have identified ways to reduce their operating costs and generate new income, thereby improving their overall competitiveness. This is a good example of what can be achieved through industrial symbiosis and I would encourage more local businesses to explore what benefits they could gain from this service.”

There are two more industrial symbiosis workshops planned for October and November.  To find out more about these workshops contact Invest NI’s Sustainable Development team on 028 9069 8868 or