IWS partnered with South Ayrshire Council to deliver cost-effective and eco-conscious waste management solutions during 2023’s Ayr Show

The challenge

The prestigious Ayr Show 2023, hosted by South Ayrshire Council in Scotland, attracted a staggering 240,000 visitors over three days. Celebrated for its display of iconic aircraft and commitment to environmental stewardship, the event faced significant waste management challenges. Traditional waste management methods, like 40-yard open skips and wheelie bins, were operationally and environmentally inefficient. Issues included overflow, odour, pest infestations, logistical hurdles, and the unsightly appearance of skips, all of which conflicted with the event’s sustainability objectives.

The solution

In response, South Ayrshire Council and Neighbourhood Services embarked on an innovative journey to transform the Ayr Show into a sustainability icon with zero-carbon waste management. They introduced Solar Compactors and Pop-up Bins, replacing outdated methods. These state-of-the-art solutions tackled issues like overflow and odour, contributing to a cleaner event environment and carbon footprint.



The introduction of Solar Compactors and Pop-up Bins led to a 76.2% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to similar events, reflecting a major stride in environmental conservation.


The event achieved an 80% reduction in fuel and transportation costs, a 50% reduction in human resource costs, and a 60% reduction in equipment-related expenses compared to similar events, demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of the new waste management strategy.


These improvements significantly enhanced public engagement and awareness around sustainable practices, bolstering the social value of the event.

The importance of partnership

This collaboration was pivotal, marking the debut of the UK’s first Solar Compactors. RSK’s expertise in waste management methodology and operational support was crucial, especially given the pioneering nature of the equipment. Our involvement ensured optimal performance of the compactors, significantly enhancing the event’s environmental credentials and setting a precedent for future events across the UK.

Client feedback

As the client, I am incredibly proud of our advancements in sustainable event management. The integration of Solar Compactors marked a new era of cost-efficiency, leading to significant savings and aligning perfectly with our broader sustainability goals. The reduction in waste transportation trips, resulting in an 80% decrease in cost per tonne-mile, stands out as a key achievement of this initiative.”

Paul Dougall

South Ayrshire Council, Co-ordinator Neighbourhood Services