Cut glass growth for Barnsley firm

(from left) Brothers Gary and Bryn Hopkins, Managing Directors of G.B. Cullet glass recyclers in Wombwell. Picture: Enterprising Barnsley
(from left) Brothers Gary and Bryn Hopkins, Managing Directors of G.B. Cullet glass recyclers in Wombwell. Picture: Enterprising Barnsley
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A glass recycling firm from Barnsley has smashed its growth targets, boosting turnover and staff numbers by 50 per cent as it continues to expand its business.

GB Cullet was set up by brothers Gary and Bryn Hopkins in 2004 to collect unwanted double glazing units from across the UK.

The Wombwell company turns the glass panes into small pieces of glass, known as cullet, which can be used to make new windows, bottles, jars, loft insulation and ballotini - the reflective beads used in road markings.

The company invested £500,000 in moving to new premises last year, increasing capacity and efficiency and developing a plant to extract pure glass from commercial windows and doors which include a plastic laminate.

The Poly Vinyl Butyral laminate sticks to the glass, preventing it from shattering under impact, providing additional noise insulation, and reducing damage by sunlight, but is difficult to remove.

GB Cullet’s Gary Hopkins said: “We have invested a massive amount of time, effort and money in developing the business over the last 18 months and are very optimistic about the future.

“As one of just a handful of companies carrying out this type of specialist recycling work in the UK, we are now well-placed to grow our market, create more new jobs and increase profitability.”

About 35 per cent of GB Cullet’s recent investment has come from two grants which Enterprising Barnsley helped the company secure.

Gary said: “Enterprising Barnsley business coaches gave us the tools we needed to apply for CO2Sense and the Regional Growth Fund grants. They also helped us handle our applications for planning approval and environmental permits. Their input has been invaluable.”

Enterprising Barnsley gave the GB Cullet team free business coaching to improve financial management, health and safety procedures and production processes too.

GB Cullet recycles about 400,000 tonnes of material a year, collecting unwanted double glazing units from 130 sites across the north of England, the Midlands, Scotland and even South Wales.