Servicing the Island

Multi award-winning waste disposal company Biffa are celebrating 30 successful years of servicing the Isle of Wight, underlining the progress that has been made since they moved here in 1987.

Biffa brought with them a wealth of knowledge when taking over Exclusive, who, at the time, were running the domestic household waste collections and the street sweeping contract for the then Medina Borough Council. Biffa pride themselves on offering a quality, cost effective, reliable service, with free site surveys. They cover general waste, recycling, one-off collections , shop refit , clear-outs and bulk one-off collections. Containers range from wheeled bins 240-1100 litre, skips of all sizes open and enclosed and bulk containers up to 40yds.

They were initially based at a site by the River Medina, and showed their ambitious plans when they introduced a commercial waste collection in 1988. Since then they have continued to grow from strength to strength. At the company’s annual awards ceremonies, held in Birmingham, Biffa Isle of Wight have been voted Best Medium Depot of the Year for the past three years; won the 100% Customer Service award two years running; the Best Churn award three years running, and Best Transport Operations Depot in 2016. Their workshop, managed by Kevin Plumbley, has also won Best Workshop of the Year two years running.

Although they have been an integral part of the Island’s commercial scene for 30 years, the company stretches back more than 100 years, having been formed in 1912 by Richard Henry Biffa when he purchased a horse and cart for £80 to clear waste and collect goods. The business steadily grew and Richard was joined by Dorando Gross Biffa and Richard Frank Biffa in the mid-1920s when they were aged just 16 and 17.

In 1933 they took another big step forward when they began clearing ash from Battersea Power Station, London.
The station was producing 1,000 tonnes of ash and clinker every day. Rather than just dump the waste, Biffa found an opportunity to re-sell some of the ash and clinker as foundations for footings and driveways.  This ambitious project may well have been the first recycling of waste!
Following their arrival on the Isle of Wight, Biffa continued with the domestic household waste collections and street sweeping until the Unified Council was formed in 1997, when the Island’s waste contract went out to tender.

Biffa split the contracts between the council contract and its commercial waste business and created a sister company, Island Waste Service Ltd, securing the contract for waste collection Islandwide.

Biffa moved its operations to its current location at Manners View Newport in the mid 1990s. Depot Manager Melvyn Allen joined Biffa in April, 1990 as a driver; was promoted to supervisor in 1993 and became manager in 1997. Melvyn is supported at management level by Senior Traffic Despatcher, Steve West;   Traffic Despatcher, Luke McCormick, and Office Administrator, Betsy Allen, who have combined experience of 55 years.

The Depot has 14 drivers, operating a fleet of 14 vehicles – three skip trucks, six dustcarts, two RELs, one bulk carrier and two vans. They supply services for commercial and domestic customers in waste and recycling collections across the Island,  servicing over 1,400 customers, and operate at such events as the Isle of Wight Festival, Cowes Week, Rhythm Tree, Garlic Festival, Chale Show, Jack Up The 80s, and many more.

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