Royal innovation award at recycler

Mark, left, and Grant Hatfield
Mark, left, and Grant Hatfield
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It is a virtuous circle that benefits us all - and the Rotherham recycling company that developed it has just been honoured by the Queen.

Roy Hatfield Ltd was the first UK company to get stuck into the problem of the thousands of tonnes of waste plasterboard produced every week.

And its brilliant solution has earned it an innovation award in the most prestigious business contest of them all.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are given only to those who are outstanding in their field. And, of 162 awards announced this year, only 39 are for innovation.

Roy Hatfield Ltd, of Fullerton Road, won the award for creating a way to recycle waste gypsum, a major component of plasterboard.

Anticipating legislation banning it from landfills - where it breaks down and gives off deadly hydrogen sulphide gas - the firm spent £600,000 on a ‘reduction’ line of crushers, screens, magnets, cyclones and separators.

The end result is pure gypsum that costs 90 per cent less than new. In 2005 the company opened a new building for the process. Today it is about to hire three people and launch a third shift, taking the operation 24-hour and boosting capacity to 1,300 tonnes-a-week.

As well as the recovery of material, the company saved customers from London to Scotland expensive landfill costs.

Director Grant Hatfield said their £1m investment in gypsum was the best move they had made and the Queen’s Award was the icing on the cake.

“We are extremely proud to have been awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise in Innovation. The award acknowledges our dedicated team at Roy Hatfield Ltd – it is because of their efforts we were able to develop such an intricate recycling process on a large, commercially viable scale.”