Meet the main man.

How did you become involved in paper recycling?

It was pure luck! (Whether good or bad luck, is still pending!) I left school back in the early ’90s and tried college, uni, various jobs, but never found my “calling” until I applied for a job with Smurfit Recycling Glasgow, in the mid 90’s – I got the job and the rest is history!

Since then, I have done it all, from driving/collections, operating balers and shredders, loading trucks and conveyors, paper grading, weighbridge, sales, brokering, procurement, account management et al. While I am only 44, I feel like an industry veteran these days!

What does your job entail day-to-day?

At present, I am the Managing Director at Highlander Paper Recycling in Glasgow and I’m responsible for the entire commercial function of the company, for all of the material that we receive at the depot. At nearly 1000 tons a week coming in for processing, there is plenty to keep us busy! Highlander were paper brokers from 2002 till 2013 at which point, we opened the depot at the old Hannay Recycling Head office and are now the largest independent paper recycler in Scotland.

What do you think the biggest issues are for paper recyclers at the moment?

Like all industries, trying to navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic and managing our way to the ‘new normal’. 

Highlander is well placed to emerge strongly post-COVID as we have different facets to the business providing both recycling and security shredding services to the market, as a key service we have been operating throughout the lockdown. 

Capacity is an issue or lack thereof. Pre-COVID, the market was in dire straits and unfortunately, the global capacity deficit has not been magically resolved during the lockdown. I suspect that after the expected flurry of activity post lockdown, if China does stop importing material altogether, prices may collapse again to February 2020 levels or worse (apologies – I don’t mean to depress anyone!)

And we still have BREXIT chaos to overcome (which looks closer to being a no-deal as each day passes)

If you were not working in the recycling sector, what would you be doing?

I’d like to say I’d have been a professional footballer for the famous Glasgow Celtic however, I never quite had the physique or ability (two fundamental footballer pre-requisites) to make it! I’d probably be a politician as I’m known to be diplomatic and folk say I am reasonably eloquent (although I suspect that’s a euphemism, for I talk a lot of s***e!)

Where do you call home?

I live in Motherwell, about 25 minutes outside Glasgow and only 20 minutes from Celtic Park.. (I am sure you notice a pattern emerging here…)

What book or film have you enjoyed recently?

I don’t know why, but I love submarine movies! I know the lines for “Hunt for Red October” almost off by heart and have watched Crimson Tide easily 20 times. With that in mind, the recent Gerrard Butler film Hunter Killer springs to mind…. Gerrard Butler is a Celtic fan too you know!

 

Which person would you most like to have dinner with?

While he has sadly passed on, I would have loved to have had dinner with Billy McNeil – captain of the famous Lisbon Lions Celtic team that won the European Cup in 1967 and the most decorated Celtic player of all time – an absolute colossus of a man, leader and footballer!

What is your favourite place in the world and why?

Unsurprisingly, Celtic Park: aka “Paradise”! I have been lucky enough to see Celtic beat Barcelona (twice), Man United, AC Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Lazio et al. (not forgetting our arch-rivals Rangers and “The Rangers”) and have had some fantastic times following the hoops. The fact Highlander has four hospitality seats and access to the bar, pre- and post-match is simply a magnificent and eagerly consumed bonus!

What is your favourite place in the world and why?

Unsurprisingly, Celtic Park: aka “Paradise”! I have been lucky enough to see Celtic beat Barcelona (twice), Man United, AC Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Lazio et al. (not forgetting our arch-rivals Rangers and “The Rangers”) and have had some fantastic times following the hoops. The fact Highlander has four hospitality seats and access to the bar, pre- and post-match is simply a magnificent and eagerly consumed bonus!

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ABOUT US

Our secure, professional and GDPR compliant collection and shredding service ensures confidential documents are handled diligently at all times, by our security screened personnel, vetted to BS7858 standards. All staff wear Highlander uniforms and have photographic identification and we are EN15713 accredited for your peace of mind.

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