Made in Manchester

Worker bees Kenny Waste Management are securing a future for the next generation

Company Profile: Kenny Waste Management

IT was 1985; the year of Live Aid, inner city riots, unemployment above three million, soaring interest rates, and yuppies – ‘young, urban professionals’ – clutching brick-sized mobile phones.

There were Vauxhall Cavaliers and Ford Granadas on the roads, and as North Sea gas became more readily available, householders began embracing a new way to heat their homes.

In Worsley, Manchester, an old domestic oil tank – ditched in favour of gas central heating - along with another symbol of the 1980s, a CB radio, were about to set two brothers and, eventually, their childhood pal, towards building a business none of them even knew existed.

Before long, Ted Kenny and his young brother John – to be later joined by childhood pal Neil Mackey - would have created Kenny Waste Management, Manchester’s largest independent waste business, with a £30m+ turnover, around 150 staff and a string of modern, innovative schemes that are today helping to transform lives.

Now, 35 years on, the back garden business is one of the area’s key players, supporting UK-wide clients and blue- chip multinationals, handling more than 500,000 tonnes of waste annually, embracing technology to meet rising demands from increasingly waste-

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conscious clients and helping others take their first steps into the waste business.

It all began, says Paul Eagleton, the firm’s technical director, thanks to friendships forged as teenagers. “Ted, John and Neil used to race motocross together as kids.

“The business started with an old oil central heating tank in the garden that wasn’t needed because they had got gas. They cut the top off, and it became their first skip.”

With the oil tank skip on the back of a transit and no way to collect it when full, the enterprising brothers delivered their first skip. They enlisted the help of a friend with a skip truck to collect it and then set about buying their own trucks. John left his job as a YTS mechanic and they hit the road.

“Mrs Kenny would answer the phones and use a CB radio to get the message out that someone wanted a skip,” adds Paul.

Business ticked along until a shocking IRA bomb tore through the city’s main shopping area in 1992.

While Neil’s demolition firm picked up the contract to tackle a shattered Marks and Spencer store, the brothers’ skip business removed the waste.

“It was a pivotal moment for the business,”  Managing director Neil Mackery By SANDRA DICK

says Paul. “A skip on the driveway is a completely different marketplace, and this was where the repeat work was.”

Before long, Neil was on board. As managing director, his knowledge and contacts from the sector secured prized contracts and forged links with well- known national names including Sir Robert McAlpine and Redrow.

The shift into becoming a total waste management provider followed with significant investment in the firm’s six acres recovery and recycling facility in Salford.

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