April 25, 2024

Stenor – two decades of excellence

Next year will see Stenor celebrating its 20th anniversary and since its creation in 2003 the company has become firmly established as the leading construction and demolition waste removal and recycling provider in South Wales. 

The fact that the company has amassed two decades of operation even in the face of such challenges as rising prices and the pandemic, is testament to the resilience and quality of service that Stenor can provide. Created by Steve Norman, who remains Managing Director, and his wife, Pamela, Company Secretary, the business continues to develop with strong family values at its heart. This is reflected in the fact that Stacey Norman, Steve’s oldest daughter, is Sales Manager, while his youngest daughter, Carlie Williams (née Norman), also holds a management role in the company.  

“We are a family run business with over 80 years of knowledge between just the family members,” outlines Stacey. “We have fantastic staff that go above and beyond for the customers and working locally in Swansea means that we can meet the customers’ needs within a short space of time. We joke that we’re faster than the fire brigade to reach a call! 

“Steve is the main driver behind the company’s ongoing success, due to his knowledge and insight into the marketplace, as well as his willingness to invest. As a family business, the values that underpin the company have been absolutely vital. This is reflected in the fact that so many of our 15 employees have been with us for five years or more. The loyalty and dedication of our staff really underlines our ethos and our approach.  We are very strong on training to get the most out of our people and ensure they reach their potential, while also remaining safe onsite.” 

Despite its strong infrastructure and experience, one of the most recent hurdles Stenor is having to contend with, like so many other companies within construction, is the ramifications that the government’s banning of red diesel has brought, as Stacey explains: “The ban on red diesel has had a massive impact and it’s disappointing that the government did so without offering any viable alternative, especially as construction kept the country afloat pretty much single-handedly during the pandemic. Rather than rewarding the sector, it really feels like construction is being punished. Even waiting another year before introducing the ban would have been beneficial, as it would have allowed companies more time to get back to full working capacity after the challenges associated with lockdown. 

“Unfortunately, there’s not been much we can do other than get on with it, although we did start a petition that ended up getting 16,000 signatures, much more than the 10,000 signatures needed to get a response from the government. Despite this, the only response we received was that they had no intention of scrapping the ban.” 

Regardless of the challenges that Stenor is facing, the company continues to secure major contracts within South Wales, with one of the most notable being Swansea Arena, which has had a hugely positive impact on the city. 

“Following its completion, some major artists have performed at the Arena already,” outlines Stacey. “We worked on the project over a two-year period, carrying out muck away duties before recycling the materials. It was a really good recycling job to be involved in and is typical of the types of work we carry out, as we tend to focus on the larger scale industry projects. That said, we are also prepared to take on smaller jobs that require less remediation.” 

Supporting Stenor’s activities are a workforce of well-trained employees and a modern fleet of lorries, which enable it to carry out all its waste removal, recycling, site remediation and haulage services. While the cost of fuel is causing a serious headache for the business, another issue the company is having to overcome is the lack of available skills within the marketplace.  

“We’re keen to increase our staffing numbers as when we are busy we are at full stretch. Before the pandemic the situation was much more stable, whereas now we’re seeing many more peaks and troughs. It’s very hard to predict how the market will behave and to plan for the longer term. There needs to be more investment in Swansea so that we can keep expanding. Swansea City Council do have some remediation work planned for next year, so we’ve got our fingers crossed for that. Moving forward we really want to just keep the wheels moving and we’re fully committed to the Swansea area as we know it so well.” 

As it rapidly approaches its 20th anniversary, it’s easy to see why Stenor has been so successful and it has all the attributes to keep progressing for many more years to come.