John Jukes

John Jukes

Waste and Recycling Technician

John’s job title is Waste and Recycling Technician at Biogen, Gwyriad site in North Wales

What I do

I work at a food waste recycling plant. Around 200 tonnes of North Wales’ domestic food waste arrive at the plant each week (enough to power a small town). It’s put through the front-end processing, which breaks it all down and it then gets heated and put into machines called digesters. This creates methane gas which runs through the pipes to our engine, which generates the electricity to go back into the national grid. It is my job to assist in the lab or help the engineers.

John working at the waste plant

Hear more about John's role by watching the video below...

How I became a technician

A typical day in my
working life

My team and I come in at 7am to make sure everything is running OK. At 8am we start getting deliveries and we all work together to unload the waste. The morning consists of feeding (shredding the waste) and testing its pH levels in the lab.

Usually all deliveries have arrived by 3 pm, and in the afternoon I’ll usually be working on small jobs here and there or helping the team with a major job. At the end of the day, we make sure everything is closed off and whoever is on call for that week will monitor the site remotely by phone. The electricity is continually generated 24- hours a day, but we use an app on our phone to change the feed rate to the digestors if needed.

A surprising fact about my job

There are so many different roles and components in this industry that you might not expect. There is food waste handling, working in the laboratory, fixing pumps, administration and the monitoring of the system overnight.

A little more about
my everyday role

What I love most about my job

I love the green credentials of this work. I think this work will become more important as we move away from fossil fuels. It feels good to know that I am playing a small part in the big overall movement of reducing carbon emissions. I also love fixing things and making sure the pumps and motors are in good condition and running as they should. When it is all running perfectly, you know you are generating the best electricity you can.

The best bits about working in a team

We all look out for each other and share our knowledge with one another.

The most exciting thing I’ve achieved so far in my job

An exciting moment is when I have no idea how to do something and then manage to crack it. Then, when I come back to the same job, maybe six months later, I can do it easily. The feeling I get from being able to do it on my own is amazing.

The next steps in my career journey

One day I’d like to be a Senior Engineer on site. If a promotion opportunity comes up, I hope they’d give me a chance. I’d like to work hard and get to the top.

Like the sound of
this role?
Visit the
role detail page