Urbaser boosts organics capacity with Biowise deal

Urbaser has announced the acquisition of Biowise, the organics recycling arm of Wastewise.

The Biowise in-vessel composting facility in Leighton, near Crewe

Urbaser, which was sold to US private equity firm Platinum Equity last year (see letsrecycle.com story), said the move forms part of its strategy to “expand its portfolio of waste treatment solutions” in the UK.

The deal will see Biowise and its three organics recycling facilities transferred to Urbaser. It means that Urbaser significantly strengthens its organics capability in servicing municipal waste contracts – to date it is thought to have had little more than a composting site near Pershore, Worcestershire.

Hull-based Biowise has two in-vessel composting facilities in Leighton, near Crewe and Willerby, Hull. The plant near Crewe serves a significant 15 year £30 million contract with Cheshire East council.

It also has a open windrow composting plant in Esholt, Bradford. Combined, the facilities process around 260,000 tonnes of organic waste from councils and companies across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire.

Urbaser explained that last year, the company generated over £13 million.

The senior management team at Wastewise will remain within the business, including Bob Wilkes as managing director, who joined the company in 2017.

We are delighted to announce the integration of Biowise into the Urbaser Group

– Javier Peiro, managing director, Urbaser Ltd


Javier Peiro, managing director of Urbaser Ltd, said: “We are delighted to announce the integration of Biowise into the Urbaser Group as another important step along the path of growth and example of our continued ambition to expand the range of services we offer to our local authority and commercial customers across the country.

“We are committed to ensuring that Biowise continues to deliver the exemplary level of service established by the Biowise team over the many years of operation”.

The move to acquire Biowise follows a deal struck with Amey in 2021 to acquire six council waste management contracts (see letsrecycle.com story).

Urbaser Ltd is the UK subsidiary of the Spanish-owned Urbaser group, says the move supports its growth strategy to “expand its portfolio of waste treatment and commercial services solutions within the region”.


Founded by the Landau family, Hull-based Biowise is a recycling and waste management firm with over 50-years’ experience within the industry.

Commenting on the sale of Biowise, James Landau added:  “It was extremely important to me to find the right organisation to take the business forward and I have every confidence that Urbaser will nurture and build upon Biowise’s existing relationships with its various local authority and commercial customers to take the company to the next level.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved, and I am thankful to the whole team for their loyalty and support. I wish them and Urbaser all the best for the future as they embark on the next chapter.”

J&B Recycling

Just over a year ago Urbaser acquired J&B Recycling in north east England which brought with it a substantial volume of trade contracts as well as municipal work. The Biowise deal will further strengthen its presence in the region.

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