“The snow lies on the ground, the country is in deep recession, unemployment is rising, the Government are increasing taxes to deal with record breaking budget deficits and Silver Lining Industries is making its first collection of waste.”
We are talking about the 6th January 1980. Yes 30 years ago things looked bleak but whether we were brave or daft we felt the need to give it a go. The transport fleet consisted of an Escort estate with trailer. The target market was the recycling of photographic and x-ray silver bearing waste. The first collection was 160 litres of photographic bleach fixer from Wymondham Photographic in Norfolk. The price paid to the customer £120. Yes we paid for the pleasure. However the price of silver had reached £16.20 per ounce, rising to £26.80/oz by April before collapsing to £1.87/oz 15 years later. Even now the price of silver is barely £10/oz and in real terms is worth less than £4/oz.
In the first 10 years we focussed on the printing, x-ray and photo sectors growing market share to 65%, 55% and 70% respectively. Our only income coming from the silver we extracted. Output peaked at 40 tonnes per annum. Fortunately by the mid nineties we began to diversify into recycling electronics, dry cleaning residues and solvents, later expanding heavily in the retail sector. 30 years on the Group now boasts 13 licensed regional facilities, 170 trucks, 360 personnel handling over 12,000 collections per month dealing with over 450 different waste streams on behalf of over 28,000 customers.
Let us see what we can do over the next 30 years and just hope the economy and the weather is a little more favourable next time around.
Thank you to all our customers both old and new for all your support and encouragement over the last 30 years. We look forward to serving you in the future.
Best wishes for 2010 and beyond.