News in Brief

6 January 2012

Agency revokes permit for Kent waste site

The Environment Agency has revoked the permit of a poorly performing household waste transfer site in Orpington, Kent.

Sitec Limited, based at Cornwall Drive, St Paul’s Cray, persistently failed to comply with its permit over a two year period.  The company continued to store quantities of household skip waste at levels significantly higher than their permit allowed.  Sitec Limited continually failed to act on warnings and enforcement notices issued by the Environment Agency.

As a result, on 27 April 2011, the Environment Agency prosecuted Sitec Limited for numerous waste offences at Bromley Magistrates’ Court and it was ordered to pay a total fine of £75,000.  Despite the court action, Sitec Limited continued to breach its permit conditions, leaving the Environment Agency with no option other than to revoke its permit.

After following all legal processes and resisting an appeal by the company, the Environment Agency revoked the permit in December 2011 and the company is no longer authorised to operate a waste business at this site. Since then, another company is now operating at the site under a new environmental permit requiring stricter controls and improved ways of working.  The Environment Agency is working with the new company to ensure that any problems inherited from the previous operators are rectified.

Chris Back, environment officer for Tideway & South London, said: “Sitec Ltd’s activities had the potential to cause serious damage to a highly protected conservation area nearby and also have an amenity impact on the local community. We hope this action sends a clear message to all operators that we will, where appropriate take permits away.”

Lambeth launches campaign to increase recycling

Lambeth borough council has launched a poster campaign to encourage residents to increase their recycling efforts in 2012.

One of the campaign posters which will appear on the borough’s waste collection vehicles
One of the campaign posters which will appear on the borough’s waste collection vehicles

The posters will appear on the side of waste and recycling collection vehicles operated by the council’s waste contractor Veolia and are designed to say ‘thank you’ to residents for their increased recycling and waste minimisation efforts, which last year saved the council £1.4 million. The council is also offering a free real Christmas tree recycling service for the week beginning January 9 which will see trees collected as part of the existing kerbside collection service.

Councillor Lorna Campbell, cabinet member for environment and sustainability at Lambeth council, said: “Not recycling all we can wastes money that could be better spent this year on vital services. It’s also just as important and indeed economically beneficial to think about how you reduce the amount of waste you produce in the first place, for example, by only buying food you know you will use, or choosing products with less packaging.”

Isle of Wight set to roll-out new collection service

The Isle of Wight council will start delivering new wheeled bins and food caddies to residents next week (January 9) ahead of the introduction of a new waste and recycling collection service at the end of the month.

The service is hoped to save the council almost £1 million over the course of its waste contract with Biffa-owned Island Waste Services, which ends in October 2015. The council voted in June 2011 to overhaul its waste and recycling service in a bid to reduce its dependence on its ‘unreliable’ gasification plant (see story).

The island currently offers an opt-in weekly food waste collection service but under the new scheme this will be rolled out to everyone, with householders given two caddies, one for the kitchen and a larger one for outside. The council will also provide 240 litre wheeled bins for commingled dry recyclables which will include more materials such as Tetrapak and mixed plastics to replace the current twin box system. The collection of dry recyclables will remain fortnightly. Residual waste will be collected on a fortnightly basis instead of weekly.

Commenting on the roll-out of the new service councillor Edward Giles, cabinet member for highways, transport and waste, said: “We have undertaken extensive planning in the lead up to the roll out of the new scheme and we will work hard to implement it as smoothly as possible. With changes of this scale, there will inevitably be teething problems but we ask residents to bear with us as we work to improve the service. We hope residents will help us by reducing the amount of waste they generate, reusing materials and recycling as much waste as possible.”

DS Smith Recycling’s Tim Price cycles for charity

DS Smith Recycling’s national commercial manager Tim Price has completed a bike ride from Cardiff to Paris raising over £25,000 for charity.

The ten-strong team raised £25,000 for charity
The ten-strong team raised £25,000 for charity

The ten-strong team, including Mr Price, was led by Wales’ national rugby player Tom Shanklin. The money raised is to be split between the Wooden Spoon charity, which helps disadvantaged children, and the Welsh Charitable Players Trust, which provides support to families of professional players whose careers are impacted by injury.

Commenting on the challenge Mr Price said: “Riding to Paris is a great physical challenge and linked really well with the testimonial and the sporting charities that it supports. It was a bit wet and windy but great fun and we’re delighted to have raised such an amount for some really worthwhile Welsh charities.”

McGrath Group wins two waste contracts

Construction waste management company The McGrath Group has won two separate contracts to collect and recycle construction waste produced by the development of Decent Homes schemes in Haringey and Tower Hamlets.

The London-based firm will provide skips to the refurbishment contractors, Wates and Mulalley, as well as the collection of waste from the sites which will then be transported to a materials recycling facility (MRF) in Hackney where the materials will be separated.

Commenting on its decision to partner with The McGrath Group, Andrew Grant, Wates’ project manager, said: “This is a particularly intensive programme of refurbishment and hence we needed local company with the resources to manage the significant volumes of wastes we expect to generate.”