Like all holiday destinations, Cornwall and its residents are excited to welcome back tourists following the pandemic.
But undoubtedly big groups of family and friends flocking to seaside homes leave behind waste that needs clearing regularly to keep accommodation looking fresh.
In 2016 it was announced that Port Issac council would no longer be collecting holiday home waste leaving holiday homeowners and residents in a state of panic.
Jennifer, who had been running her own cleaning company, Maid Sense in North Cornwall, for more than eight years, started looking for an alternative.
Her team had noticed that all the bins were really full when guests were arriving which wasn’t going down well and not providing her business with the professional image it deserved.
Jennifer very quickly realised that such a business did not exist and so she and her family felt they had no other choice but to step up to the challenge themselves.
She went straight out, bought a van, applied for a licence and was up and running in time for the council’s last collection.
Jennifer had built up her business, Holiday Home Waste Collection Ltd, with help from her family to start with and now they all have their own professions but still help out from time to time. She now employs staff who she says work “extremely hard”.
The team takes your waste, and then lines it with a black wheelie bin bag for general waste and a clear liner for the dry mixed recycling.
The convenient service tries hard to make sure that arriving guests will not be greeted with someone else’s rubbish bags, and if there was a chance that further waste was found by housekeepers then a text from them only has to be made and the team would be back to clear the same day or the following.
The service is not only provided to clear the bin but also to manage the waste whilst guests are staying, so if they hold a party or large meal then they can just make a call and the team at Holiday Home Waste Collection will make arrangements for the waste to be removed, all included in the annual waste collection option from the web page.
Jennifer has a very close team which runs Holiday Home Waste Collection alongside sister company Maid Sense in North Cornwall and the newly founded Cornwall wheelie bin cleaning Ltd.
She had created the first and only dedicated holiday home collection business in Cornwall and following a further announcement that Cornwall Council would not be collecting holiday home waste, she and the team found themselves busier than ever.
Since Jennifer started holiday home waste collections, she has been pleased to see a few other companies offering a similar service in recent months.
Jennifer said: “The importance of clearing waste on a weekly basis is so important as I don’t think that people truly understand how much waste is produced from a single house, and it really is at times very upsetting to see what people actually throw away.”
She joked: “If anyone would like to jump in the van one day and experience what we see on a daily basis, please call us, it would truly astound them how much waste Cornwall produces.”
“A very popular holiday home agency gave me an opportunity to manage their waste from the homes that they manage and as I started with just 40 homes it then remarkably grew from there.
“Word of mouth really helps and we now have more than 1,500 holiday homes on our books.”
Holiday Home Waste Collection also manages waste clearances from pubs, restaurants, local shops and weddings for local companies.
The company started with a small caged van and now has eight vans in total as well as nine employed staff members.
Jennifer and her team get up early, at around 5am, and work through to the early afternoon each day.
When the venture began, to ensure they had as many clients as they could, they would often work until midnight.
She added: “Since returning after lockdown we’ve noticed that people have been eating inside more and more so the waste produced has trebled in size. My team are working extremely hard in all weathers to get their jobs done.
“We’re doing everything possible to keep staff and customers safe by wearing gloves, masks and using wipes and sanitiser. We’re just so excited to see tourists return to the area.”
Recycling has always been at the forefront of the business model and as much waste as possible is collected and recycled or used to create green electricity.
The Cornwall Energy Recovery Centre near St Dennis, which Holiday Home Waste Collection often uses, uses waste that is left after recycling as fuel to generate sustainable energy in the form of electricity.
It also exports around 16 megawatts of electricity – enough for 21,000 homes a year. The on-site recycling facility uses the ash produced by the process to make secondary aggregate products for road-building and construction.
All of the company’s glass recycling is collected by Cornwall Cullet on a weekly basis, who currently send it to Yorkshire to create light bulbs.
Holiday Home Waste Collection also provides a 240L recycling bin to each of its customers as well as a glass tub to encourage recycling for Cornwall on the annual option.
The team has also been on hand to help the local Rock lifeboat with free collections and is offering its services to provide beach cleans during the summer tourist season.
To find out more about Holiday Home Waste Collection Ltd, visit the website here or call 01208 815060 or 07814 934978.