5 February 2019 by Joshua Doherty

Whitham Mills bags tipping machine patent

A British company has been granted a patent for a ‘hydraulic tipping and conveying system’ which it says can save supermarkets money when emptying backhauled food waste from roll cages.

Manchester-based engineering firm, Whitham Mills was granted the patent for the machine, which it says has already generated sales of more than £2 million from some of the UK’s biggest supermarkets.

The machine automates the process of emptying food waste into bulk carriers

The machine has been installed in 10 DC’s across the country for the past 3 years with Tesco’s saving them over £1.2million post installation due to the redundancy of power hungry compactors on a local lever at each stores and a labour intensive process.

The tipper was designed and prototyped in house and then rolled out across 10 distribution sites where it achieves an ‘empty’ time of 48 seconds per cage compared with 360 seconds using manual operation.

The company says this can save supermarkets money by helping them empty roll cages directly into bulk carriers so the food waste “can then be transported to an anaerobic digestion plant for energy recovery”.

The machine has now been installed in 10 Tesco distribution centres around the UK, saving them £1.2million post installation, according to Whitham Mills.


Commenting after receiving news of the award of the patent, Ben Smart, the managing director of Whitham Mills, said: “The whole patent process has taken us just shy of five years to complete, during which time our innovative solution has won multiple accolades within the waste management community and now we are seeing other industries interested in how our solution could be applied to their market to help them streamline their operation processes.”

Mr Smart added: “Our designers and engineers have been questioning the way big business deals with waste and have been devising many solutions to suit the individual needs of our customers. The Whitham Mills team are innovators who solve problems which no other equipment manufacture seems to be doing, all while delivering a second to none service.”



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