Cowes Business Association COLOURS

Sustainability June - Catercycle/Vectis Refrigeration

A new innovative business has just been launched in Cowes by Will Overton. Will is someone well known to CBA members, as his Cowes based business Vectis Refrigeration has been making things cold since 1999. This new business, Catercycle, focusses on the renewal of commercial refrigeration equipment. It is a new business that works to support the circular economy by providing high-quality ‘like new’, refurbished and used commercial equipment at a fraction of the cost of new.

Over 2.8 million fridges and freezers are disposed of each year across the UK alone, many still in working order. When disposed of each has the potential to release harmful refrigerant gases into the atmosphere. Over two years that equates to releasing 418,660 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, or the emissions of 100,000 family cars.

Through CaterCycle, equipment is prevented from simply being scrapped and going to waste. This helps those in the catering and hospitality sector to buy much needed high-quality equipment at a fraction of the normal cost, which is particularly important in what has been a very difficult year for the sector. And it supports the 5 R’s of the Circular Economy: Reduce – Reuse – Refurbish – Repair – Recycle.

Recent impacts to the economy have increased the amount of commercial equipment going to waste, as restaurants, hotels, bars and others within the hospitality sector closed or downsized operations. All of which adds to the problem.

To help solve this problem, used and unwanted equipment is sourced from across the UK by Catercycle and brought into the company’s new Cowes workshops to be repaired, refurbished and fully tested before being offered for sale to the island’s restaurateurs, caterers and hoteliers. All refrigeration equipment is covered by a full 12-months parts and labour warranty and plays an important part in breaking the cycle of waste.

CaterCycle again draws on Will’s expertise as a refrigeration specialist, something established through Vectis Refrigeration. Whilst the recent pandemic temporarily closed many of the clients that Will and his team support, the past year has however been a busy one. Some businesses closed but others such as food retail and convenience stores remained open and busier than ever and with new stores such as The Food Warehouse opening in Newport, Will and his team were kept busy providing installations and 24×7 support.

Help for the community was also provided by Will and Vectis Refrigeration in the form of a large chest freezer donated to the Congregational Church in Pyle Street, Newport and Age UK. This freezer  stores frozen meal portions for the needy and homeless for whom the pandemic had made it even more difficult to make ends meet and receive the wholesome food needed to stay healthy.

Will has also used the time to plan ahead, which has included adding two new members to the team in the form of ‘Elsa’ and ‘Olaf’: two frozen & fridge trailers that can operate from -20C to +10C and fully racked out. These are available for hire to provide extra storage capacity and to support events across the island, where temporary chilled and frozen storage is needed. ‘Elsa’ also made an appearance in support of NHS workers and the ‘Support the Frontline’ campaign, storing the free pre-cooked meals given to NHS workers at the end of their shifts at St.Mary’s Hospital.

A challenging and busy year for Will and another example of Cowes business at its very best.

Gavin Ford
Author: Gavin Ford