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Biffa plc
TypePublic limited company
FTSE 250 Component
IndustryWaste management
Founded1912; 110 years ago (1912) in Wembley, London, England
FounderRichard Henry Biffa
HeadquartersHigh Wycombe,
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
RevenueDecrease £1,042.0 million (2021)[1]
Decrease £44.2 million (2021)[1]
Decrease £(40.5) million (2021)[1]
Number of employees
8,238 (2021)[1]

Biffa plc is a waste management company headquartered in High Wycombe, England. It provides collection, landfill, recycling and special waste services to local authorities and industrial and commercial clients in the United Kingdom. As of 2017, it was the UK's second-largest waste-management company.[2] It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


The company, which was originally engaged in the removal and sale of ashes and clinker from London power stations, was founded in Wembley by Richard Henry Biffa as Richard Biffa Limited, in 1912.[3]

In 1958 Richard Henry Biffa's grandson, Richard Charles Biffa, joined the business and, after becoming general manager in 1963, grew the business organically and by acquisition.[3] The business was acquired by British Electric Traction in 1971 and by Severn Trent for £212 million in 1991.[3] It acquired the American-owned UK Waste for £380 million in 2000.[4]

Severn Trent demerged the company to a consortium formed by Global Infrastructure Partners, Montagu Private Equity and Uberior Co-Investment in 2008.[3] It acquired recycling firm Greenstar UK for £135 million in 2010.[5]

The company was re-listed on the London Stock Exchange on 17 October 2016.[6]

In June 2022, Biffa received a buyout proposal from private-equity firm, Energy Capital Partners, at £4.45 a share, a 37% premium to the share price, valuing the company at £1.36 billion.[7][8]


A Biffa Dennis Eagle garbage truck in Plymouth in March 2010

Biffa cover 95% of the UK. The company runs two Material Recycling Facilities (MRF).[9]

Prosecutions for illegal activities[edit]

Biffa has been prosecuted for the following breaches of environmental waste export laws:

  • The company was convicted of four breaches of waste shipment regulations during the period 2018-2019.[10]
  • The company was convicted of attempting to export used nappies and materials illegally in 2020.[11]
  • In 2021, the company was found guilty in a case brought about by the Environment Agency, having attempted to illegally export banned household waste items, including plastic bags, tins, clothing and condoms - incorrectly identified as waste paper. The company was fined £1.5 million, and severely rebuked by Judge Shane Collery QC, who described Biffa as "having shown no contrition" for this crime, referring to their actions as "reckless, bordering on deliberate".[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2021". Biffa. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  2. ^ Flanagan, Martin (23 September 2017). "Business Interview: Biffa chief Ian Wakelin". The Scotsman. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "Biffa looking forward after 100 years". Let's Recycle. 24 December 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Severn Trent to buy UK Waste". Citywire. 5 June 2000. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Biffa owners acquire Greenstar for £135m". Environment Analyst. 10 June 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  6. ^ Bury, Rhiannon (14 June 2017). "Biffa profits hit by costs of London float". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  7. ^ Alabi, Leke Oso (7 June 2022). "UK waste manager Biffa receives takeover bid". Financial Times. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  8. ^ Karimi, Amna (7 June 2022). "Waste-management specialist Biffa soars on $1.7 billion buyout proposal". Reuters. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  9. ^ "How a fifth of all recycling sent to one north London plant is just burnt, fuelling the capital's dirty air crisis". Hackney Gazette. 24 October 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Waste firm fined £1.5m for illegal exports of rubbish". ITV News. 30 July 2021.
  11. ^ "UK waste firm Biffa loses appeal after exporting dirty waste to China". The Guardian. 3 July 2020.
  12. ^ "UK waste firm fined £1.5m for exporting household waste". The Guardian. 30 July 2021.

External links[edit]