Nationwide Metal Recycling and Waste Management Specialist Wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade

Aerial view of Ward’s metal processing facility and deep sea dock at Immingham

The Midlands’ largest independent metal recycling and waste management specialist has been honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade.

Donald Ward Ltd, trading as Ward, is one of 225 organisations nationally to be recognised with a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise. Announced today (Thursday 21 April), Ward has been recognised for its excellence in International Trade.

Headquartered in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, Donald Ward Limited was incorporated in December 1976, although the business commenced trading circa 1940 at Woodville in Derbyshire. A fourth generation, independently owned family business, Ward now employees close to 400 people across its sites nationwide.

The company collects and processes around a million tonnes of materials annually; recycling products such as metals, plastics, glass, cardboard, wood, textiles, soils, and hardcore to ensure its customers fulfil environmental regulations and commitments.

It aims to divert 100% of the waste it processes from landfill and uses sophisticated metal sorting equipment to extract every last scrap of metal from end-of-life vehicles, as well as other waste electronic and electrical items.

Thomas Ward, Commercial Director at Ward, has been instrumental in expanding Ward’s export capabilities

Thomas Ward, Commercial Director at Ward said:

“Winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade is a huge honour for the Ward team. Our core business, which represents around 80% of turnover, is the buying, selling, processing and recycling of ferrous and non-ferrous metals from a variety of sources, including end-of-life vehicles and arisings demolition projects. 

Over the three years to March 2019, thanks to significant investment in deep sea dock facilities and ongoing hard work of our dedicated teams, our overseas sales grew by 84%, a growth rate of 36% per annum. We were able to expand our export capabilities to service larger customers in Turkey, Eygypt, India and Pakistan.” 

The company wins the Queen’s Award for International Trade for Outstanding Short Term Growth in overseas sales over the last three years.

He continues:

“We are planning sustainable growth with significant future investment into our people, processes, equipment and infrastructure. We are excited about the potential opportunities that winning the Queen’s Award could bring to help us achieve our long term ambitions.”

Now in its 56th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards Emblem for the next five years.

Applications for Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2023 open on the 1st May 2022. For more information, visit

Processing and loading metals for export at Ward’s facility at Immingham

For more information about Ward’s metal recycling and export capabilities, visit: