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Circular Economy 360 Video Series – Eric Randall, Bryson Recycling

Welcome to the first in our Circular Economy 360 Video Series, brought to you in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland. In this series SIS Associate Naomi Johnson speaks with inspiring leaders from around the world to find out their amazing experiences within the Circular Economy sector.


We’re starting the launch of our Circular Economy 360 series with our interview with Eric Randall, Director of Bryson Recycling. Eric is a serial social entrepreneur who started his career in recycling in 1989 with co-operative Bradford Waste Chasers. Since 1992 Eric has led the development of social enterprise, Bryson Recycling which is now the leading provider of household recycling services in Northern Ireland.

The company employs over 300 staff across Northern Ireland (NI), Donegal and Wales. They collect and process recyclables from 50% of NI homes, deliver collection services for garden waste, comingled recycling and residual waste, operate a Materials Recovery Facility, manage 11 Household Recycling Centres and run two Reuse Shops.

Bryson has driven improvements to containers and vehicles used for kerbside recycling that have been identified by Governments across the UK as the best value and environmental approach.

Bryson has also played a central role in promoting a digital solution to the introduction of deposit return scheme (DRS) legislation. In 2020 they successfully trialled the UK’s first app-based DRS in Whitehead, Northern Ireland and also set up a Digital DRS Industry Working Group.

As a subsidiary of Bryson, the initiative provides both profit and therefore income generation for charitable work and ensures that in the delivery of recycling services, high quality recycling and local reprocessing are at the forefront of all they do. As one of the few remaining non-profit recycling organisations from the late 90s, Eric takes us on a journey of their development from aluminium can collecting to a multi-million pound turnover. We look at how partnership supported their early development and consider how the openness and knowledge sharing of the social enterprise sector could be utilised more to support its growth.

We consider the role of environmental legislation both positive and negative, social procurement and the opportunities and challenges for circular economy enterprises moving forwards. We also discuss how geographical expansion is necessary for business viability while ensuring local community benefits can also be delivered. For those who may not be directly involved in waste and recycling activity we touch on leadership and responsible business practice. There really is something in this interview for any social enterprise leader or waste policy legislator.

With the current Circular Economy Bill here in Scotland out for consultation we are keen to highlight how, with the right frameworks, legislation could enable real opportunities for those in the social enterprise circular economy sector to grow while balancing reduce recycling and circular economy objectives with equality, community benefit and support to those in need is not lost.


Eric Randall – Director of Recycling, Bryson Recycling
Eric Randall

  • Over 30 years’ experience in recycling
  • Awarded MBE in 2006 for “Services to Waste Management
  • Degree in Environmental Sciences, Bradford University
  • Masters in Business Administration, University of Ulster, Jordanstown

Eric is a serial social entrepreneur who started his career in recycling in 1989 with co-operative Bradford Waste Chasers. Since 1992 Eric has led the development of social enterprise, Bryson Recycling which is now the leading provider of household recycling services in Northern Ireland.

The company employs over 300 staff across NI, Donegal and Wales. They collect and process recyclables from 50% of NI homes, deliver collection services for garden waste, comingled recycling and residual waste, operate a Materials Recovery Facility, manage 11 Household Recycling Centres and run two Reuse Shops.

Bryson has driven improvements to containers and vehicles used for kerbside recycling that have been identified by Governments across the UK as the best value and environmental approach.

Bryson has also played a central role in promoting a digital solution to the introduction of deposit return scheme (DRS) legislation. In 2020 they successfully trialled the UK’s first app-based DRS in Whitehead, Northern Ireland and also set up a Digital DRS Industry Working Group.

Eric is a serial social entrepreneur who started his career in recycling in 1989 with co-operative Bradford Waste Chasers. Since 1992 Eric has led the development of social enterprise, Bryson Recycling which is now the leading provider of household recycling services in Northern Ireland.

The company employs over 300 staff across NI, Donegal and Wales. They collect and process recyclables from 50% of NI homes, deliver collection services for garden waste, comingled recycling and residual waste, operate a Materials Recovery Facility, manage 11 Household Recycling Centres and run two Reuse Shops.

Bryson has driven improvements to containers and vehicles used for kerbside recycling that have been identified by Governments across the UK as the best value and environmental approach.

Bryson has also played a central role in promoting a digital solution to the introduction of deposit return scheme (DRS) legislation. In 2020 they successfully trialled the UK’s first app-based DRS in Whitehead, Northern Ireland and also set up a Digital DRS Industry Working Group.