21 December 2018 by Will Date

December 2018 news round-up

With news on: Wood packaging recycling targets; personnel changes at Suez, and; plant investments for Mick George and ETM.

Wood packaging targets unchanged for 2019

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed that targets for the recycling of wood packaging up to 2020 will not be altered.

The revelation comes in a letter to the Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP), after concerns were raised over the cost of meeting the targets – due to an increased demand for wood to biomass.

Wood packaging

Concerns had been raised about the amount of waste wood being recycled

Currently, wood packaging producers are required to fund the recycling of their products through the Producer Responsibility system.

In 2018 this saw producers obligated to meet a target to recycle the equivalent of 38% of the new packaging that they had placed onto the market. This is then set to rise to 43% next year and 48% in 2020.

Targets are met through the purchase of PRNs [packaging recovery notes] – which subsidise the recycling of the material. Cost of PRNs can fluctuate based on the availability of material, and the likelihood of targets being met or missed.

Due to a strong demand for waste wood to be used in biomass in 2018, which is also eligible for subsidy to meet renewable energy targets, PRN prices have risen throughout the year.

This has resulted in an increased cost to producers, who have had to pay as much as £73 to purchase PRNs in October, compared to less than £10 per tonne at the start of the year.

Government officials had been looking at the potential that future targets could impact on costs to producers, and to potentially ‘alleviate the pressure’ over PRN prices.

However, whilst acknowledging the concerns of producers, Mr Gove has conceded that due to other pressing commitments from government – it will be unable to dedicate further resource to the issue.

In his letter to the ACP he wrote: “…there is some evidence that the market is responding, with a number of companies either seeking accreditation or planning investment, and so more capacity will be coming online in 2019.”

Changes at the top for SUEZ

International waste and water business SUEZ, which has a major stake in the UK waste sector, is to see changes at the top with a new chief executive to lead the global business from May 2019.

Bertrand Camus, will take over as chief executive from May 2019

Bertrand Camus will take over from the current holder of the post Jean-Louis Chaussade, when his term of office ends on May 14.

The Board of Directors has chosen an executive from within the Group to lead SUEZ in the next stages of its development, the company said in a statement, adding that Mr Camus has ‘extensive operational experience’, having led the company’s North American activities and more recently the water activities in France. Mr Chaussade has held a senior post in the company since 2007.

The 51-year-old Camus has been Group Senior Executive VP of SUEZ for Africa, Australia, Asia, the Middle East and India since March 2018.

A graduate of the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, he joined the Group in 1994, where he successively held positions in business development, operations and audit in France and abroad before taking charge of water resources for North America in 2008 and for France in 2015.

Mick George invests £2.6 million in Kiverco sorting units

Cambridgeshire-based waste management firm Mick George has installed a new waste segregation station at its recycling facility at Dogsthorpe, Peterborough.

The company, which predominantly handles waste from commercial and industrial sources, partnered with Kiverco for the installation of the facility, having already installed equipment from the supplier at its St. Ives, Cambridgeshire location.

Mick George’s Dogsthorpe facility has a new sorting line

Works are also under way on introducing two further recycling plants at the company’s sites in Mountsorrel, Leicestershire and Great Billing, Northamptonshire.

In total investment in the three sites has surpassed around £2.6 million. The two units are expected to be in operation from the second quarter of 2019

Michael George, managing director at Mick George Ltd commented: “Our business is ever expanding which subsequently means we’re handling more waste materials than ever before. In a market that is very competitive, our continued investment and innovative approach to technology allows us to provide our clients with the most efficient service.

“Beyond that, regulations from overseas with regards to waste contamination levels is increasingly under scrutiny. We want to do our upmost in ensuring we’re supplying quality materials without sanction.”

Bristol-based ETM doubles waste capacity

Bristol-based waste management and skip-hire company ETM Recycling is to invest £4million in a new facility for sorting construction and demolition and commercial waste at Ashton Vale in the south of the city.

Once completed in April 2019, the site will allow the company to handle a total of 150,000 tonnes of waste per year, doubling its current capacity.

ETM is investing to double its capacity

Amy McCormack, Director of ETM Recycling, explained: “We are currently working under a standard-rules permit with a 75,000-tonne capacity, but we have been granted a bespoke permit from the Environment Agency to handle 150,000 tonnes of waste per year for the new plant.

“Last calendar year we accepted and processed 70,000 tonnes of waste from our own waste collection vehicles and third-party tipping, and we expect to double this pretty quickly once the new system is fully operational.

“It will allow us to process 80 tonnes per hour, an output that takes the current system 24 hours to achieve, so there will be nothing as efficient as this around.”

According to ETM, improved technology on the system will increase efficiency of waste handling on site and improve waste segregation, which it is hoped will decrease the amount of waste sent to landfill.

ETM Recycling is a family-run business that offers waste management, recycling and skip hire. The company announced a turnover of £7.6million for 2018.


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