Stories of Growth

Grant Keenan, Keenan Recycling: “Always look for opportunities”

As part of our Stories of Growth series, learn how this founder went from selling oil paintings to transforming waste management.

16 March 2023

BGF invested £2.2 million into Keenan Recycling in 2015, to help the business buy machinery and expand. With BGF’s support, the company has grown to offer a commercial food waste collection service across all of mainland UK.

The company’s founder, Grant Keenan, tells us how he went from selling oil paintings to transforming waste management in Aberdeenshire in this in-depth video interview.

“BGF took the time to get to know us”

At a meeting with Aberdeen council in the early 2000s, Grant Keenan was surprised to learn the council’s garden waste was being put into landfill.

He saw an opportunity to provide a composting service. This soon developed into an organic waste business collecting food and other organic waste from restaurants, care homes, hospitals and cafes as well as from other waste managers, brokers and councils. Using anaerobic digestion, the company transformed the waste into biogas that could be used for electricity, heat or even biofuel for transport.

After expanding in the North East of Scotland, Keenan Recycling was ready to extend its reach into Scotland’s Central Belt. The business was approached by private equity firms to provide capital for the expansion.

“We liked the BGF team,” says Grant. “They took the time to get to know us. I phoned everybody in Scotland they’d invested in and everyone said they’d had a good experience.”

Securing investment from BGF in September 2015, the award-winning company’s fleet of specialised collection vehicles operates seven days a week. It serves customers including major hotel chains, supermarkets and high-street restaurant brands.

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