Ben Styles shows us his mettle…

Ben Styles

Our people are important to us at UNTHA UK. After all, without their knowledge and expertise, we would be unable to deliver the five-star customer service that we’re so famous for. 

So, each month, we pepper a different colleague with 10 quickfire questions, to showcase why they play such an important and valued part of our growing team. 

Next up, it’s service manager, Ben Styles. Over to you, Ben! 

How did you first get into the world of shredding? 

My close friend, Paul Collins, started his engineering role with waste baler provider Riverside Waste Machinery in 2009. At the time, it was the sole provider of UNTHA shredders in the UK. I was a self-employed engineer, and Paul approached me for some contract work, which I carried out in 2011. Shortly afterwards, Riverside sold its shredder division to UNTHA — this subsidiary became known as UNTHA UK. I was offered a job as service engineer by Chris Oldfield, the (then) director. I gladly accepted, and the rest is history…

What’s the one skill or quality that helps you succeed in the UNTHA environment?  

The ability to listen. Sometimes the customer simply wants to talk, and in some instances, an operator may explain a problem better than the main point of contact. Colleagues in the workplace might also make a great suggestion about utilising the machinery without realising it.

Name one highlight from your UNTHA tenure so far. 

The big screen! We installed a four shaft shredder on the set of a TV show — a little different from the waste sites we typically visit!

How do you unwind at the end of a busy day at work? 

It depends what I’m in the mood for — rehearsing with my band, working on my Nissan Micra restoration, repairing retro games consoles, or watching terrible sci-fi movies.

What’s the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received? 

Don’t feel like you have to take everything on. Delegate, where possible. It eases your own workload, as well as challenging other people to elevate their own skill set.

Which machine is your favourite from the UNTHA shredder range, and why? 

The XR mobile — an evolution of the static XR shredder. This machine has been a runaway success in the last few years. Being all electric and very well constructed, it is a popular machine in the UK market, and holds its value extremely well. 

UNTHA has a number of divisions scattered all over the globe — Austria, Poland, Iberica, and Türkiye, to name a few. If you weren’t a trusty fixture at the UK branch, which business would be next on your work hit list? 

UNTHA America. I trained with US-based engineer, Frank Payson, and quickly realised they have a relatively small – yet very successful – workforce in contrast with the size of the market. As such, it would be fantastic to knowledge-share with the American team.

What do you think makes UNTHA’s service such a hit with our customers?
We always strive to provide unrivalled support, even at short notice. As a team, we are constantly planning ahead, while remaining fluid enough to respond to urgent customer requests when required. Strong communication and a holistic strategy enable us to deliver on our objectives every time. 

What’s your main hope for UNTHA UK over the next year or so?

We have an excellent team, thanks to some informed changes and new additions in 2023 — coupled with an updated business platform. I wholeheartedly believe UNTHA UK is poised for further growth and success in 2024.

And finally, what’s your main environmental hope for the UK as a whole?
I was thinking about this only yesterday! I drove past Drax Power Station, where biomass is now the sole material for generating electricity. When I grew up in Drax in the 1980s, the process was entirely driven by fossil fuels — and was quite inefficient too. 

In the mid-90s, the Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) plant was initiated. Thanks to the conversion to biomass, it’s no longer required. What a great example of modernising an old fashioned process — and cleaning up its act. I’m looking forward to seeing more outdated approaches being revitalised to suit new requirements. 

If Ben’s insights into the world of shredding have piqued your interest, be sure to explore our previous Q&A with global marketing director, Katie Mallinson. Plus, follow Ben’s progress by connecting with him on LinkedIn

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