United Kingdom – After more than 40 years, high-profile recycling industry figure Robert Voss CBE, 62, has decided to retire from the secondary metals industry. As a result, the directors of UK-based Voss International Ltd – the non-ferrous scrap trading business he founded 28 years ago – have put the company into administration to protect the interests of what Voss describes as ‘the very few creditors, mainly the bank and me’.
‘The timing is right for me,’ he tells Recycling International. ‘I had always planned to retire from day-to-day trading at the age of 62 and current conditions in the industry haven’t encouraged me to change that plan.’
In recent times, his company has been hit in particular by Kazakhstan’s ban on the export of scrap. ‘We had put a lot of time and effort into Kazakhstan but the “temporary” ban has been extended and extended, effectively undermining our export venture,’ he explains.
Voss retired as president of non-ferrous metals body Eurometrec last September and recently stood down as chairman of the BIR world recycling organisation’s International Trade Council, a position he had held since the council’s inception seven years ago.
He also stepped down from the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division board after serving on it for more than 25 years. ‘I have many other interests to pursue, including community, charity and business,’ he points out. ‘I have offers of consultancy and to act as an arbitrator, and have been asked by the UK prime minister to get involved with a specific project.’