2020 Recycling & Waste Management Awards

Recycling & Waste Management Awards 2020 BUILD 5 Today, Polihim-SS produces a range of industrial lubricant oils – from mineral to synthetic, engine oils, gear and transmission oils, hydraulic work fluids and more. Our production process generates very little waste, with more than 93% of our feedstock being utilised. Current developments and automations to our systems strive towards eliminating waste altogether. We also continue to produce heavy fuels and low-freezing liquids. Ultimately, we have survived in an increasingly competitive industry by providing bespoke solutions to our clients. Our manufacturing process is flexible in a way that enables us to tailor our products to a client’s specific needs. Unlike large scale refineries, we can quickly vary the output and our batch size to supply both large and small clients. All systems and installations within our plant have been designed and built by our internal team of engineers and construction workers, providing invaluable expertise when it comes to plant alterations, process development and maintenance. In September 2020 we finished an 18-month long European funded project to complete automation of our refinery - reducing waste generation and increasing our processing capacities by 30%. A practical problem that comes with recycling waste is that the feedstock is always changing its properties, which in turn change the recycling process and its effectiveness. We are now planning to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) control over the refinery systems, in order for our processes to adapt in real time in accordance with the feedstock which will further increase quality and efficiency. As a family business, our team is closely knit with most of our colleagues having been with us for more than 20 years. We have always valued trust and a can-do attitude in our employees above all and learned that expertise is something that can be taught over time. The recycling industry is constantly changing and demands people to continuously adapt to it. We have all been constantly learning, irrespective of position or age. Bulgaria is a small country, its population barely that of London alone. In the last years we’ve seen a rapid “brain drain” as the majority of the young talent, disillusioned by the way the government operates, was driven out towards Western Europe. This created a crippling vacuum for human resource across all industries in the country. We are trying to address this by diversifying our team through international internship programs, participating in public awareness on recycling and environmental protection and altogether having our doors open for anyone who would like to join us. With recent anti-governmental protests, industries around the country are now again daring to hope that we can create an environment for people to return to and grow professionally. Waste management and recycling are tightly regulated by governmental bodies and changes in legislation are happening all the time both on a local and Europe-wide level at a rate that is sometimes hard to keep up with. Unfortunately, most changes are of a bureaucratic nature, meaning that an ever- greater share of our effort is spent in documenting what we’re doing rather than actually doing it. This hardly contributes to effectively protecting the environment. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the oil recycling sector to a grinding halt as waste oil collections dropped to a bare minimum, with car workshops closed and supply, essentially, halted. In addition, we experienced incredible 4-month delays in applications to environment agencies – the governmental bodies, which regulate waste management. This meant that any operation that required licencing was left in limbo. As lockdown measures were eased up, we made every effort to resume work which fortunately returned back to normal at a surprisingly quick rate. We are hopeful that as the world moves forward, both policy makers and the public will take action and responsibility to protect each other whilst sustaining business. Company: Polihim-SS Ltd Name: Polly Stefanova, Director Email: [email protected] Web Address: https://www.polihimss.bg/ With recent anti-governmental protests, industries around the country are now again daring to hope that we can create an environment for people to return to and grow professionally.

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