Five Percent More Load Per Vehicle and No Returns for Recycling Facility

SCA Recycling is loading up to 5 percent more recycled waste per outgoing vehicle at its new £15 million/ $24 million Southampton (UK) materials recycling facility (MRF) by using Avery Weigh-Tronix forklift truck scales. The solution has also eliminated the problem of over or under loaded vehicles returning for reloading.

The company is the UK market leader in paper reprocessing with eight sites in the UK. It is extending this capability into recycling a wide range of dry materials.

Per year, the new Southampton MRF can sort up to 200,000 tonnes of paper, plastics, metals, and glass from both households and businesses. It uses the latest technology, such as high speed near infrared technology, to produce high quality recycled material. Bales of recycled waste are loaded onto trucks, which then proceed to the site’s weighbridge. If the vehicle is overloaded, it must return to have bales removed.

In addition, if it is badly underloaded then it will also return to have bales added since SCA Recycling pays for freight by load rather than weight.

Previously: 20% of vehicles returned

Says Robin Collier, Operations Director for SCA Recycling: “Our experience from other sites shows that about 20 percent of vehicles need to be returned. Returning vehicles cause congestion both in the facility and then at the weighbridges and are an additional health and safety hazard. This is an issue that we needed to address. At Southampton, the forklift trucks scales weigh and record the bales as they are loaded onto the truck. This has eliminated the problem.

“We can also confidently load the vehicle or shipping container close to its maximum legal weight. Average bale weight is about 900kg and all vehicles at Southampton are loaded to within 1 tonne of gross vehicle weight. At other sites, we have found that up to 30 percent of vehicles leaving are 2 to 3 tonnes under gross vehicle weight.”

Accurate loading first time

“We are always keen to improve our efficiency. The Avery Weigh-Tronix forklift truck scales enable us to load vehicles and containers accurately the first time. This improves our on-site efficiency since we do not need to deal with returned vehicles from the weighbridge, it improves our profitability from each load, and reduces our carbon footprint since we need fewer trucks and shipping containers. The last point is very important to us, because as a recycling facility we are always striving to improve our green credentials.

“Weighing is a critical part of our operation and we need to avoid or minimise downtime. We already use Avery Weigh-Tronix to maintain and service our weighing equipment at our other seven sites and have decided to use them for both the weighbridges and the forklift truck scales at our new Southampton site.”

Service and maintenance

The service cover provided by Avery Weigh-Tronix includes two scheduled maintenance visits per year, regular calibration of the equipment, an emergency callout response of four working hours for the weighbridges and eight working hours for the forklift truck scales, and technical advice. The premium cover package taken out for the weighbridges also includes labour costs and parts for repairs caused by normal wear and tear.

Says Maureen Bott, product manager at Avery Weigh-Tronix: “Regular service and calibration is vital for weighing equipment to maintain its reliability. At SCA Recycling, the weighbridges and the forklift trucks are vital for the Southampton MRF operations. We have created a service package to suit the customer’s shift patterns and site requirements.”

A reliable investment

The Avery Weigh-Tronix onboard forklift truck scale transforms forklifts into scales that deliver trade approved weigh verification of a load. It enables SCA recycling to lift, weigh, move, and record a load in one operation.

It is easy to use with the in cab indicator guiding the driver through the loading process. The system records the weight of each bale and can total the weight and number of bales loaded onto each vehicle or container.

Designed for harsh environments, the company claims that it is the most durable system available. The scale’s patented design features two metal plates that are coupled together by the company’s Weigh Bar sensors. These deliver accurate readings even when the forklift positions change, when the wheels are on an uneven surface, or if the mast is tilted.

Says Collier: “Our investment in this technology has already proved its worth. In the future we may upgrade the system so that it can report data automatically as part of an inventory control system. This will help us analyse different recycled product streams from different sources.”


  • Up to five percent more loading per vehicle
  • No overloaded vehicle returned
  • Reduced vehicle congestion on site – improved health and safety
  • Maximise site efficiency


  • Robust forklift truck scale with programmable indicator
  • Weighs and records goods on the move for fast, accurate inventory control
  • Can be fitted to any industry-standard forklift truck without welding
  • Fully programmable, stainless steel indicator records ID numbers, load, and accumulated weights and customised data for management information and control
  • Can be linked to printers, bar code scanners, computers, and other peripherals for integration into your network