Russell Hirst

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About Russ

Russell has over 30 years’ of experience in environmental and waste matters. This wealth of experience gives him a unique insight into how businesses can improve their environmental protection, as well as their bottom line. His initial success in the environmental consultancy sector led him to establish Wiser Environment. Here he built environmental consultancy with a foundation of a high-quality ethic and growth based mainly on referrals from existing clients. As an opportunist who likes a challenge, Russell set up Wiser Recycling Ltd with a view to forthcoming Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment legislation providing a market for a niche business; Wiser Vietnam when his colleague Joana relocated; and Wiser ONM Energy Ltd where he identified an opportunity to utilise new technologies to rapidly help UK and South-East Asia to get a grip on both waste and energy problems.

Notable Projects

Wiser Recycling Ltd
Management System Implementation
Commercial and Practical Acumen


When concerning Wiser Recycling, Russell’s mission is to minimise environmental emissions associated with WEEE recycling. Russell has continued to develop innovative solutions to bulk up or reduce the volume of WEEE materials as close to the source of waste as possible to reduce the impact of transport on the environment – specifying the highest potential reuse of constituent materials as possible, the overall carbon footprint of recycling activities is minimised and provide a positive environmental benefit.

Implemented procedures, systems and compliance requirements across two operational businesses, both achieving certification to ISO14001, ISO9001 and ISO45001.  Implemented a comprehensive management system for Waste Recycling Group across over 40 sites and achieving certification to ISO14001.  Produced management systems, auditing and support for a wide variety of clients in financial services, chemical manufacturing and treatment, waste management, landfill, and waste to energy.

With a keen interest in ensuring advice for clients is reasonable, practical and effective, Russell is in the unusual position of setting up both consultancy and recycling companies and ensures that recruits to the consultancy gain practical knowledge by training at the operational sites – on the basis that advice needs to be based on a clear understanding of the process. Excellent knowledge of the process, equipment, environmental control and protection, safety, staff development and training, and the benefits of a good clear management system has been gained over many years of day-to-day involvement in both businesses and the learning from a wide variety of client processes.


Legislative Knowledge

Environmental Impact Assessment

Legal Auditing Experience Management System Implementation
WEEE Treatment & Reuse Commercial and Practical Acumen


Native Proficiency

Awards & Qualifications

B.Sc. in Applied Biology First Class with Honours Level 4 NVQ in Occupational Safety Master of Environmental Management Technical competence in hazardous waste management for landfill, treatment and transfer (WAMITAB)

General Experience

With years of experience in developing and running businesses, Russell has an intimate understanding of commercial opportunities, requirements, and limitations. This unique viewpoint allows him to provide comprehensive consulting services that take into account a client’s business goals while also finding ways to improve operations and reduce environmental impact. His clients are varied and constantly growing, testifying to the success of his innovative approach.

Considered an expert in the various disciplines of waste management and recycling, the projects I have led include planning and permit application processes for energy, anaerobic digestion, waste treatment and landfill developments; environmental impact assessments for the same processes;  contaminated land assessment and remediation;  management system implementation, auditing and improvement; due diligence and legal compliance assessment.  I have also led and been expert witness in planning appeals on waste facilities and provided participated in various advisory and consultation panels.

Russell has been vital to the growth of the Wiser group of businesses, which now comprises nearly 100 employees and generates a turnover in excess of £6M. The journey so far has not always been smooth – requiring Russell to draw on his reserves of resilience, strength and strategic awareness to steer the businesses through global financial crises, COVID lockdowns, and a fire which destroyed Wiser Recycling’s main operational site and process equipment in 2016.

His recent successes in business include developing great teams;  he has also improved communications, project management and accounts software functions; established a presence in Vietnam; systematized various processes; increased recycling efficiency operations processes. Additionally, he has just started undertaking development projects in select areas to help secure the future of his businesses.

The success of Wiser is due to its policy of systemisation, knowledge transfer and mentoring, which has allowed the UK businesses to flourish while Russell regularly works remotely in Vietnam. The objective is to establish the business with the same consistency and high quality in South-East Asia.

Call us on 01480 462 232 to speak to a member of our team