60 seconds with Katie Mallinson

Our people are what make UNTHA UK tick, so each month we quiz a different colleague on 10 quickfire questions that offer a little more insight into why they’re such a crucial part of the team.

Next up, it’s marketing director Katie Mallinson… you’ve got exactly one minute – go!

What’s the most popular ‘waste’ stream that UNTHA is being approached to help shred at the moment?

I’d say bulky or complex waste, on the whole. UNTHA shredders are known for being flexible, which means they make light work of most materials. But our ability to safely, efficiently, precisely and cost-effectively handle waste that the majority of people think would be difficult or uneconomical to shred, has really helped us stand out in a crowded market in the last year or two particularly.

Describe your favourite/least favourite shredder trial that you’ve watched at UNTHA UK’s HQ – which machine was in action and shredding what?

When I was new to UNTHA (more than ten years ago), I remember being shocked the first time I watched a product destruction trial. To me, there seemed little wrong with the input material, but speaking to the customer I soon realised why it was important that everything was securely shredded.

I still get all geeky and excited when I see SDAs and LDAs go into a shredder. There’s probably a tiny part of me which still thinks “surely not”, but low and behold, out comes an extremely refined particle size, and the machine doesn’t miss a beat.

Complete the sentence: When it comes to easy-to-shred materials, it’s crazy that the UK isn’t processing more…

…WEEE. This is a complex waste stream, admittedly, and repair and reuse of equipment should be the priority. But the amount of extremely valuable resources going to waste because they’re not liberated from inside redundant WEEE, is crazy.

What do you think is the most important environmental issue facing the UK right now

There are so many aren’t there, it’s hard to pinpoint just one. But I’d say the fact that we all, understandably, became so consumed with Covid-19 last year, and sustainability fell off the radar for many businesses and individuals as a result. The UK has newfound carbon challenges to tackle, such as the rise in mail order products and deliveries to supply homeworkers and locked down families with the things they need. But we also need to see a bit of a mindset reset very soon, and confirmation from the Government as to what our resource policy is going to look like moving forward, not least because of Brexit.

Complete the sentence: There would be greater commitment to recycling in the UK if…

It was simpler. So many of my friends and family still don’t understand what they can recycle, or not, from home. And I don’t blame them in most instances!

Investing in a shredder is a complex decision that clients make very carefully – why do you think they choose UNTHA UK?

There are cheaper shredders on the market, but the durability, precision, energy efficiency and ease of maintenance of UNTHA’s machines – and the knowledge we commit to share with customers for the lifetime of the relationship – means the payback period soon becomes the most attractive in the industry, by a mile.

You launched a new website in 2019. What do you most like about it?

It’s packed full of information, but it isn’t a minefield to find useful resources – whether your preference is text, a download, images or video.

 Which local/national business do you think deserves a shout out, when it comes to being environmentally considerate?

I have massive respect for greengrocers and other eco-friendly ‘fill your own’ businesses who encourage people to shop local and do their bit for the environment at the same time. Particularly during 2020, these small businesses became the lifeblood of communities, and still brought us fresh, nutritious, and essential products when we needed them the most.

And who is your environmental ‘hero’?

Right now, my three year old. She is already a fiery champion about the need to recycle and her ideas for product reuse blow my mind! The energy of children is infectious, and I think they could teach most parents a thing or two about being environmentally savvy, even at such a young age.

What’s your main hope for UNTHA UK over the coming year?

That we continue to help as many organisations as possible, achieve brilliant things with their ‘waste’, while retaining smiles on our faces whatever Covid-19, Brexit or any other external world of chaos throws at us.

Like that? Read this next...

How will the Planned Preventative Maintenance of waste machinery evolve in 2021?

Read the Full Story