Case Study

Tate Liverpool

The company

Founded in 1897, the Tate galleries have acquired and developed a national collection of British art from the year 1500 to the present day and its collection of modern and contemporary art comprises almost 70,000 pieces. The Tate aims to increase the public’s enjoyment and understanding of British art and is committed to maintaining free entry to its collections.

In the 1980s Alan Bowness, then director of Tate, decided to create a ‘Tate of the North’, as the project became known. This would be a gallery with a distinct identity, dedicated to showing modern art and encouraging a new, younger audience through an active education programme. It opened in May 1988, and is based in the heart of Liverpool in the city’s iconic Albert Dock.

Attracting more than 600,000 visitors a year, the Tate Liverpool hosts a diverse and lively special exhibitions and events programme. It offers visitors not only a dynamic range of art but also sells food, drink and souvenirs. With something for everyone, Tate Liverpool is a key regional destination.

The need

Tate is committed to continue working towards increasing sustainability, protecting the environment and becoming one of the world’s most sustainable art institutions. It declared a climate and ecological emergency in July 2019, recognising the unique role art and art museums can play in creating fundamental societal change. In 2020, Tate was awarded the Julie’s Bicycle Pioneer Award which recognises exceptional innovation on sustainability. It is committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2023 from the baseline year of 2007/8, and it is working towards reducing emissions to net zero by 2030.

600,000 annual visitors generate a high volume of different waste types and B&M needed to work with the Tate team to identify individual waste streams and provide the means to separate these from its mixed municipal waste. It also needed to ensure that as much waste as possible is diverted from landfill, with any remaining waste going to create green energy.

B&M need to continually review the Tate’s waste management solution to further enhance recycling rates, improve waste segregation and move ever closer towards its net zero carbon goal.

The solution

B&M Waste Services started working with Tate Liverpool in 2013 and has subsequently implemented a total waste management solution to assist Tate Liverpool to achieve the highest recycling rates possible and achieve its zero waste to landfill target.

B&M Waste Services’ bespoke solution means that Tate now separates mixed glass, food waste and paper & cardboard from its mixed municipal waste (MMW) and all these materials are sent for recycling. 64% of the MMW generated is also further segregated and sent for recycling and the remaining 36% is sent sent to a refuse derived fuel plant to generate electricity.

By introducing separate waste bins across the Tate Liverpool site for general waste, paper & cardboard, food and glass, and displaying information on posters, bin labels and signage, visitors are helping to recycle more waste than ever before.

Over time, B&M Waste Services and Tate Liverpool will continue to work together and further increase recycling while educating both staff and visitors about the importance of these initiatives.

The Results

  • 100% of waste is diverted from landfill
  • 64% of total waste is recycled
  • 36% of total waste is sent to a Refuse Derived Fuel power plant to generate electricity

How equivalent energy generated from Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) could be used:

3,068 Miles driven in a family electric car 664 Washing machine cycles completed 11 TVs powered for a year.

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