So Near Yet So Far: The Story of Charles Asbrey…

Among the first names on the Peace Gate list of Standish men lost in the First World War is that of Charles F. Asbrey.  Despite the fact his death occurred on 2nd December 1918, almost a month after the Armistice, he was still on active service in France, which is why his name appears alongside …

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A Corner Of A Foreign Field That Is Forever…Standish

With the centenary of the Armistice almost upon us, this year’s Remembrance Day will be especially poignant.  Anyone with strong family links to serving personnel, especially those who were killed in action, will be keen to participate in the many commemorative events that will be held. I grew up believing that no-one from my family …

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It’s Only Words (To Take Your Heart Away?)

Introduction “The Impotence of Being Earnest” I believe it was Søren Kierkegaard who once said “If you label me, you negate me”.  Already, I’m sensing you’re rolling your eyes at the audacity of my quoting a 19th-century Danish philosopher, without any warning.  “Oh no, here we go.  What an absolute [insert insult of choice]”.  Hold …

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Southgate, Redemption & Coming Home

Today, I went to Chorley. Nothing particularly noteworthy or even relevant in that, on this day of all days, you might think. In fairness, you’d be right – unless you’re aware of then significance it has to me. What’s the tale? Okay, ‘long story short(er)’ version: It’s Euro ‘96. I’ve managed to get corporate tickets …

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CSG: A New Window on the World of CSG

As you’d expect, the site is designed to smartly alter its layout, depending on the dimensions of the screen on the device you’re using so it looks equally impressive whether you’re accessing it on a 27-inch desktop machine or an old iPhone – and everything in between!

The information is designed to be easier to navigate, immediately helping you to distinguish between our commercial and domestic services. Further innovations such as a quote calculator for domestic collections (similar to the function on our Oil Monster site) are expected to be added in due course.

CSG: Driving Ambition

CSG are a firm supporter of apprenticeships and have found the scheme beneficial to the development of many individuals in roles across the company. Our Managing Director Neil Richards is firm advocate and has in the past stated that investing in programmes that develop skills is a great way to counter perceptions that the waste industry is too reliant on low-skilled labour.

CSG: Who Will Watch the Watchers? The Case for Internal Audit

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” wrote the Roman satirist Juvenal around the turn of the 2nd century, raising questions of the capability of those in authority to discharge their duties responsibly. It’s a question that for the almost two thousand years since, civilisations have grappled with, resulting in the notion of auditing – to ensure that others can see that responsibilities are being met, as they should be.

CSG: From One Revolution to the Next – A History of our Cadishead Site

With such a rich history, and a key part in the Industrial Revolution, the Co-operative movement and then the subsequent decline of mining and steelworks, Cadishead and Irlam’s development has, to a large extent, become a textbook example in the very history of industry over the last two hundred years. With CSG’s focus on recycling and commitment to development to achieve better waste outcomes in future, it combines two of the most sought-after elements to meet the challenges ahead: environmental sustainability and the so-called knowledge economy.

Notes On A Shrinking Planet

Travel.  It’s such a short, functional word which has come to represent something far more profound than its brevity implies, like ‘time’, ‘life’ and ‘politics’.  Too often, it’s a word associated only with the mechanics of moving around the world, rather than the effect of doing so.  Perhaps the term ‘transportation’ would better describe the simple relocation that is the very minimum requirement of ‘travel’ in its correct, widest sense.

CSG: Happy Xmas (2017 is over)

2017 has been another busy year, here at CSG, with more customers served, more volumes moved and more satisfaction with our services than ever before. It was a year that saw the launch of ‘The Hart of Waste’, the second edition of the book, which contains the official history and current portrait of CSG. It was also a year in which we strongly identified the four pillars that make our brand so strong: Customers, Heritage, Innovation and People.

CSG: More Power To Your Elbow!

Using GEA’s new scroll drive system, it produces upto 15,000Nm of torque – roughly 10 times that of the fastest supercars – and it’s capable of removing upto 1,700Kg of dry matter every hour. It’s not all about brawn, there are brains as well: the system continuously monitors torque and will automatically change the differential speed in order to ensure maximum dry solid content at all times.

CSG: The Importance of Being Recognised

One curious discovery we made was that very often, the people closest to the technology were so used to its capability, they didn’t always recognise the significance of what it enabled them to do. On several occasions, impressive processes that are done every day were seen as ‘everyday’ in nature – and that’s nowhere near the same thing! Using the freshness of a different perspective, we were able to remind ourselves – and, importantly, the very people who use the technology – just how amazing it all is!

CSG: Untrained Operators? Consider it Undone!

“We have knowledge gained from the experience of doing hundreds of jobs and we try to apply as much of that know-how as we can into our training” said Gavin Lucas, Willacy’s General Manager. “The proper use of the machinery we’ve supplied not only ensures the jobs are done more effectively but it also reduces the chances of faults or performance issues occurring on the machinery itself.”

CSG: Brand Pillar 2 – Heritage

CSG has always tried to combine the best of both worlds: the achievement and capability of a dynamic corporation with the lighter touch and firmer identity of a family concern. It’s a rare combination and one that’s a testimony to the vision, not just of the man who started it all, but to his descendants who have worked to retain the essence of that family business, established 83 years ago.

ETN: Simple Answer? No-one is “Always Right”

The net result is that upholding consistent, mutually-fair customer service is more difficult today than it’s ever been. Some simplicity helps ensure consistency but clearly, a one-size-fits-all approach guarantees that sooner or later, the wrong outcome will be reached.

There will (and should) always be judgement calls. As in judicial process, consideration must be given to things like previous good character and mitigating factors. I recommend you ask yourself these three questions…

CSG: Treatment and Recovery

With the industry’s successes in extracting waste oil for re-refinery, together with the growing capability for separating precious metals from waste streams to create a ‘circular economy’, it’s tempting to think of waste treatment and recovery as a modern-day form of alchemy, the mythical ancient art of turning base metals into gold.  For centuries, many cultures have tried in vain to find a process to do just that. Are we, figuratively speaking, now at that point with a large proportion of our waste?

CSG: Brand Pillar 1 – Customer Service

Customer retention rates, longevity, average life-time value are all longer-term measures of customer behaviour that almost define the very point of offering an unbeatable ability to meet and exceed expectations, consistently.   Customer service is not really about what it achieves today but what it continues to enable in future.  In an era where we’re used to demanding and delivering instant gratification, it’s worth remembering that its true value is one that arrives very steadily, over time.

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics?

I can only presume that in 2017, ten years after the stadium’s opening, the debenture terms have elapsed and different rules now apply.  The good news is that 68-odd thousand is not really any lower than any other year so the “lowest attendance” story is (and I hasten to give this term the credence it ill-deserves) ‘fake news’.  The bad news, rugby fans, is that for a decade, we’ve been kind of kidding ourselves about the true numbers.

CSG: A ‘Brand’ New Outlook

Our intention was to establish the things we’re strongest at and put them at the forefront of our identity – which is just an exercise in common sense, when you think about it. Land Rover never seem to miss a chance to tell you how good their vehicles are off-road and why shouldn’t they – it’s their very reason for being! We’re very aware that all our customers have a choice of waste partner and only by presenting ourselves in the best way possible can we hope to become – or remain – your first choice.

CSG: Coming Soon… A Site to Behold

Since 2010, there’s been an explosion in web browsing from hand-held devices and websites today simply have to look as good and behave as well, whether you’re using a smartphone, a tablet or a desktop computer to browse it. It’s therefore no surprise that the new site will be ‘responsive’ – i.e. the site responds to the screen requirements of each device used to view it – unlike the 2010 edition.

CSG: The Beat of a Different Drum

In 2008, Willacy were asked to lend their cleaning services to the Petrotrin refinery on the island of Trinidad.  Since then, work there has become a regular fixture on their calendar.  Trinidad and Tobago has a long association with petrochemicals – the distinctive sound of the steelpan in calypso music was defined in part by the availability of oil drums there in the early twentieth century.

ETN: A Catalogue of Considerations

“These leviathans of a bygone age may seem a comforting reminder of constancy in an uncertain world but bear this in mind: Next have flirted with charging for their directory and are also very sophisticated at deciding which customers should (and shouldn’t) deserve to be on their ‘VIP’ list to whom free directories are sent. If you happen to find your coffee table supporting the Next directory, their hard-bound Summer Fashions volume and the extensive Next Furniture opus as well, clearly, someone in your household is spending a fortune with them.”

CSG: The Hart Of Waste

In the world of waste, the pace of change has been just as bewildering. A veritable slew of legislation in the last fifteen years has led to innumerable disposal practices that were commonplace in 2002 becoming outlawed – each requiring a more professional, more regulated technique of treatment. It may be ‘only fifteen years’ but in truth, it’s easily enough to warrant an entire re-telling of the official story of CSG.

CSG: Putting a Good Spin on Wastewater

When it’s not thrilling funfair riders on a Saturday night, centrifugal force has a day job – and it’s one that we really couldn’t do without: separating solid matter from water. Many industries use large quantities of water to carry out a number of processes, whether it’s washing potatoes or to apply a glossy coating to some types of paper. Having completed its process, the watery substance can’t simply be flushed away. It needs to have the solids removed – which has the secondary benefit that the water is left in a re-usable state.

Going the Extra Half Mile for Amelia

With a few days to go until the Windermere swim, I’m delighted to reveal he’s now passed that notional target of £500. There are so many people who have already said some wonderful things about him and pledged their hard-earned money to support a cause that they may only be aware of because of Charlie’s efforts. It really is humbling stuff to see and we’d like to thank everyone who has already donated.

Unbridled & Saddled: Settling for 3rd Place

Living with a horsey partner – and by extension, the horse as well – is a challenge not every mortal is capable of meeting. At its most demanding, it requires reserves of diplomacy that can have ambassadors offering you chocolates, military-grade levels of resolve in the face of adversity and a Solomon-esque ability to apply judgement fairly and honestly. If you can cultivate this particular set of skills, you’ll need them because they will be tested, possibly on a daily basis.

CSG: Click Here For More Understanding

Marketing is a field which has attracted some strong stereotypes over the years, with many still believing it to be the domain of brash, risk-taking ‘Mad Men’ types, too often full of their own self-importance. In fact, in most companies, day-to-day marketing has undergone something of a quiet revolution over the last decade. Since the arrival of the Internet, search engines and, more particularly, social media, it’s now a department awash with very detailed performance data.

CSG: Going With The Flow

Of course the reason Brett can be so elusive is that he’s simply just so busy. As Engineering Supervisor for CSG, he brings an extensive knowledge of pumps and pumping – an ideal specialism as moving liquids is a mainstay of our services. He alternates his time, seemingly daily, between our Head Office in Fareham and any of a number of sites that he oversees.

CSG: Customer Service? Ask The Experts!

Posted on on April 21st 2017 The data is in and we’re pleased to see our customer service targets (for our domestic customers) being met and in some cases, exceeded! Being a customer-focused organisation, we’re keen to see what we do well and where we can improve so we make a point of asking the …

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CSG: CSG Fleet Grows Again

Posted on on April 19th 2017 CSG acquired two more tankers in March, bringing the total number of tankers in our fleet to 46 across all our brands. Four more will be added this year to bring the total to 50 and will bring to a conclusion the £6million roll-out plan of new vehicles we’ve …

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ETN: Criticism – Are You Shaken or Stirred?

I recently came across an article on LinkedIn, rather provocatively entitled ‘Marketing in the Equestrian Industry – Why it Really Needs a Shake-up’ by a lady called Isobel Witts. Reading it, I raised at first one and then both eyebrows as its author describes how poorly you’re all doing at connecting with ‘the customer’ – …

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CSG: Looking Good For Comic Relief!

Posted on on March 31st 2017 The team at our site in Cadishead, Manchester were invited to brighten up the office on Red Nose Day 2017 and once again, they didn’t disappoint – the office was certainly brighter!! The twist this time was to ‘dress from the decade you were born in’ – so there …

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CSG: Exhibiting Our Knowledge

Posted on on March 29th 2017 CSG were out and about recently, when we exhibited at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics, one of the biggest events of its kind in the UK. We were one of around 800 exhibitors promoting goods and services to thousands of visitors from dozens of industries from 21st to 23rd March. …

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Diaries of a Texan Traveller – pt.7

Friday, we walked to the Holiday Inn and had the Mexican buffet (‘Fajita Friday’) — damn hot and only $3 for the pleasure of having one’s internal organs systematically corroded. We came back and caught a bus into downtown Austin. It was Friday night and we checked out Emo’s, a live act night spot, one of many on 6th Street, for which Austin is apparently quite famous

Diaries of a Texan Traveller – pt. 3

A verbatim record of a diary I wrote while visiting friends (Paul & Rice) in Austin, Texas during the Easter holidays of my second year at University in 1994.  Re-blogged on the anniversary of each entry.  2017 Commentary, where necessary for context, added as footnotes in italics. Sunday 20th March 1994,  11:39 (CST) PAUL’S FLOOR, AUSTIN, …

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Diaries of a Texan Traveller – pt. 2

A verbatim record of a diary I wrote while visiting friends (Paul & Rice) in Austin, Texas during the Easter holidays of my second year at University in 1994.  Re-blogged on the anniversary of each entry.  2017 Commentary, where necessary for context, added as footnotes in italics. Saturday 19th March 1994,  08:39 (CST) PAUL’S FLOOR, AUSTIN, …

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Diaries Of A Texan Traveller – pt. 1

A verbatim record of a diary I wrote while visiting friends (Paul & Rice) in Austin, Texas during the Easter holidays of my second year at University in 1994.  Re-blogged on the anniversary of each entry.  2017 Commentary, where necessary for context, added as footnotes in italics. Synopsis: I call this account “a video diary in …

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CSG: To Boldly Clean Where No Man Has Cleaned Before

Willacy Oil was established in 1989 by George Willacy to clean the parts of the oil industry that other cleansing companies couldn’t reach. If you’re familiar with that part of the world, you’ll know it’s dominated by the huge Stanlow refinery, the second-largest in the UK. It’s not surprising that as specialist a service as this should have flourished in such an important petrochemical area.

CSG: 45 Years on – CSG to the Rescue!

Posted on on March 2nd 2017  1972 was a hugely significant year for the waste industry. It was a year when operators were forced to act far more responsibly in their disposal of hazardous waste. It took an incident that made national headlines to bring about these changes, an incident that CSG helped bring to …

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CSG: A Greater Focus on Health & Safety

Posted on on February 23rd 2017  CSG recently welcomed Kevin Mooney to our ranks, in the role of Health & Safety Manager. It’s an appointment that highlights the paramount importance of the health and safety of our staff, our trading partners and everyone else with whom we come into contact. Kevin joins us from Pentalver …

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CSG: Creature Comfort

Posted on on February 17th 2017  ‘It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good’, as the old saying goes but in the world of recycling, such a sentiment is little short of a mindset. Any form of consumption or manufacture that produces a by-product or other waste is simply an opportunity to provide a …

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CSG: Kind Hearts this Valentine’s Day

Posted on on February 14th 2017  Whatever happened to Valentine’s Day? Do you remember the special thrill of an unknown admirer professing their anonymous, unrequited affection? Remember how such a simple gesture meant so much more than any flowers or cuddly toy? This year, CSG decided to make Valentine’s Day mean something more than just …

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CSG: How a Septic Tank Really Works

Posted on on February 9th 2017 You may not have given much thought to the way your septic tank works – which is fine as long as it is working – but knowing just a little can help you ensure that it remains in good order for many years to come. Okay, here’s the really basic …

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CSG: The Erimus Star – Where Oil and Water Mix

Posted on on January 18th 2017 One of CSG’s more unusual oil disposal services can be found in Middlesbrough, on the river Tees, performing a valuable task at any time of day or night. The Erimus Star started life as a Dutch barge, converted from her previous life carrying fuel to barges on the Rhine …

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CSG turns 83!

Posted on on January 13th 2017 On 12th January, we celebrated our 83rd birthday – the anniversary of the date when our founder Edgar ‘Bunny’ Hart started trading as the Hampshire Cleansing Service. As a company, that makes us eight days older than Fujifilm, who were ‘only’ formed on January 20th that year, in Japan. …

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The Annual CSG Tea Party

Posted on on January 9th 2017 Earlier in 2016, the annual CSG tea party for retired employees took place, our chance to recognise many of the people who have served the company so well over many years. The tea party is one of a number of services the CSG can offer retired employees as a …

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CSG: Merry Christmas from all at CSG

Posted on on December 22nd 2016 As the year begins to come to a close, it’s time to offer all our customers and friends the compliments of the season. As you can appreciate, we’ll be operating slightly differently over the festive period but rest assured, we’re still on hand to help for part of the …

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CSG: All in Another Good Cause

Posted on on December 16th 2016 Fresh from their recent Children in Need contributions, CSG’s Sales team went one further, today by supporting Save The Children’s ‘Christmas Jumper Day’. Together, they raised £160.00 – just by wearing their favourite festive knitwear to work. What a great effort! It’s one of a number of ways that …

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CSG: Welcome Aboard, Louis!

Posted on on December 13th 2016 In October, we were pleased to welcome Louis Spencer to our Sales team at CSG Lanstar at Cadishead, Manchester. A recent Biochemistry graduate of Manchester University, Louis brings a level of technical expertise to our sales function. Louis’ main responsibilities are outbound sales calls and handling queries from existing …

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CSG: Small Waste Oil Burners – Are You Legal?

Posted on on November 30th 2016 If have a Small Waste Oil Burner (SWOB), aware you aware of the changes to the law permitting their use? Since 1st April 2016, DEFRA (The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) changed their classification of SWOBs, ruling that they now fall under the Industrial Emissions Directive. …

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CSG: Autumn ‘Leaves’ its Problem!

Posted on on November 22nd 2016 Autumn has certainly arrived and as a result, it’s a good time to think about interceptor cleaning for all businesses required to have one on their forecourt. After a mild start to season, in which the leaves tended to stay on the trees, the recent downturn in the weather …

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CSG – The Movie

Posted on on November 18th 2016 It’s an exciting time for CSG’s Marketing team – not only are we about to publish a much-anticipated revision to our very own hardback corporate history Waste Matters but we’ve decided to add the ‘film’ to the ‘book’ and create our own corporate video too! In reality, the two …

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CSG: Confessions of a Septic Tank Novice

Posted on on November 11th 2016 We’re often called to help when someone has had a problem with their septic tank. Our advice to know a little about your system and follow a few simple steps and you should never have to call anyone out to deal with a problem. Here’s an example from one …

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CSG: iTea and Biscuits

Posted on on November 8th 2016 As you’ll know if you’re reading this blog, waste matters but at CSG, we also know that so do a few other things, such as being a good neighbour – which has led to yet another example of our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. We were delighted to be …

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Do You Need Some Resonation?

Follow me on LinkedIn My Skills, Experiences and Values I’m well-qualified I hold a degree in Marketing from Lancaster University, consistently ranked as one of the leading Higher Education establishments in the country, whose Management School is one of the most prestigious in the world. While experience within a specific industry is always helpful, the …

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CSG: Waste Matters More

Posted on on November 2nd 2016 In 2002, CSG did something rather amazing and we’re about to do it again! Fourteen years ago, we commissioned Nigel Watson, a respected corporate historian, to write a definitive ‘History of Cleansing Service Group’. In 2016, we’re about to launch the updated version! The original book was (and …

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CSG Attend High Tide Foundation Ball

Posted on on October 17th 2016 In September, CSG were proud to attend the prestigious High Tide Foundation Fundraising Ball in the opulent surroundings of Wynyard Hall near Middlesbrough. Created to improve learning and employment opportunities for the young people of Teesside, the High Tide Foundation hold this annual event as an opportunity …

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Shakespeare: The World as a Stage

Shakespeare: The World as a Stage  (Bill Bryson) I love reading Bill Bryson’s work.  There, I said it.  Some works of his I have loved more than others but I can’t say I’ve ever read anything he’s written that I haven’t enjoyed.  Enjoyment is therefore a minimum expectation when it comes to Bryson.  The real question I …

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Book Review

I’ve always loved to read.  At times, my interest in reading has lapsed and at others, I’ve wished I had more time to read more often.  Whenever I’ve found myself with enough time, like on holidays, I found I always rediscovered the simple pleasure of reading. People talk about ‘binge-watching’ of entire TV series as …

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Weekly Pics (2022)

A photograph from my archives, every week, marking something that happened this week, a multiple of five years ago.

The Greatest Legacy?

Since Muhammad Ali’s death was announced yesterday, there’s been a flurry soundbites, platitudes and #RIPMuhammadAli hashtags floating about on social media – and I confess, I’m responsible for a number of them.  What can this blogpost possibly add to such a weight of collective emotion? Well, this, I hope:  It’s an understandable reaction to the loss of an icon of our …

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