Robert Sant – About Me

Robert Sant - AO Recycling
Robert Sant – Managing Director of AO Recycling

Robert Sant is currently the Managing Director of AO Recycling.

AO Recycling was renamed as part of a merger with The Recycling Group Ltd and AO.COM PLC.

AO Recycling has now grown to be one of the largest processors and recyclers of waste electrical appliances (WEEE) in the UK. They now recycle almost 100,000 tonnes of WEEE per annum including more than 700,000 waste fridges.

Robert Sant’s early education was at Wolverley high school sixth form college where he studied 5 ‘A’ Levels including Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and General Studies.

His passion for Mathematics and Physics took him to The University of Liverpool, where he completed a Batchelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Physics. He was particularly drawn to applied mathematics and engineering aspects of physics, which later in his career would assist him with developing the state of the art recycling machinery and processes that AO Recycling now use.

After University Robert joined the established computer software development company Fraser Williams. He joined as a programmer working on accounting software and over a few years he progressed very quickly to become a Senior Project Manager. He managed large project teams to design and implement bespoke software into companies whose primary activity were accounting, warehousing, logistics, freight forwarding and container shipping.

The company implemented software all around the world for large Logistics customers such as TNT, DHL, Wincanton, Tibbet and Britten, Technology companies of the time such as Nokia and Hitachi, and Shipping companies such as Yang Ming.

Through the years 1998 – 2000 Robert managed several Year 2000 (Y2K) software projects, to recode and reprogram legacy systems that would fail at the turn of the new millennium. Several large organisations had systems with major design flaws that would have caused significant failures if they had not been redesigned. In 2002 once the year 2000 (Y2K) software issues had been resolved, Robert decided to make a fundamental change in his career.

The Ozone depleting substances (ODS) regulations had recently been adopted, and fridge mountains were now starting to appear in the UK.

Robert along with his father, John Sant established one of the first Environment Agency licensed companies to recycle waste fridges.

Over the years Robert and John Sant, with the assistance of Robert’s brothers Anthony, Ian and Andrew grew The Recycling Group to the point where it was turning over several million pounds.

In 2015 a merger was completed with AO.COM and in 2017 as part of the merger process The Recycling Group Ltd was renamed AO Recycling Ltd.

In 2017 AO Recycling built at its Telford site, the most advanced Andritz MEWA fridge recycling plant in the UK which processes more than 700,000 fridges per annum.

In addition to fridges the site processes other waste electrical equipment and became one of the largest re-processors of white goods packaging in the UK.

At the heart of the fridge recycling plant is a bespoke Andritz MEWA shredding machine which can process over 100 fridges an hour. The new cutting edge materials recovery technologies Robert Sant helped to design and develop has delivered a plant which is the jewel in the crown of UK recycling. It boasts industry-leading recovery rates for all of the materials. AO Recycling’s collection of hazardous materials from fridges, such as CFC’s and Cyclopentane, is a long way ahead of its competitors.

AO Recycling sell materials from the recycled fridges and other large domestic appliances (LDA’s), including high quality shredded steel, plastics, compressors, motors, Polyurethane (PU) foam, copper and aluminium.

One of Robert Sant’s key aims at AO Recycling is to eventually achieve a closed loop system where all the recycled materials are sold and used back into similar products from which they were recycled from.

AO Recycling are currently working on several projects concurrently that are likely to achieve this goal within the next 1-2 years. This would be a true circular economy.

The packaging processing system used at Telford was part designed by Robert Sant to achieve the highest quality separation of packaging. It produces clean cardboard, expanded polystyrene (EPS) and polyethylene (LDPE).

At its Telford facility AO Recycling also operates one of the largest reuse and refurbishment facilities in the UK. At this facility most categories of electrical appliances can be repaired for resale. This process was developed over several years and it has always focused on high quality refurbishments.

The recycling plant in Telford is continuously setting new standards in the recycling industry. It has recently been awarded the highly coveted WEEELABEX accreditation. This not only proves the plant at Telford is world class, but also proves the operation meets the highly stringent requirements of WEEELABEX.

Robert Sant has now been the Managing Director of a recycling company for over sixteen years. Through these years he has become a specialist in all aspects of end-to-end recycling and materials recovery, as well as large scale project management, software development and systems analysis.

Robert Sant now lives in Childer Thornton, near Chester with his wife Alison and daughters Maddie, Jessica, Gabriella and their golden retriever dog, Holly.

Robert is a keen amateur sailor. He developed this passion from windsurfing in his teens to dinghy sailing later after University. Before his last two daughters were born he completed many sailing expeditions with his brother Andrew in his yacht that was based in Liverpool marina.

Skiing is another of Robert’s passions, which started at high school. One of Roberts most memorable skiing experiences ever was skiing the famous off-piste area, The Vallee Blanche in Chamonix.


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