30 June 2009

EA confirms new Quality Protocols materials

Cathode ray tube glass and non-virgin wood are among four new materials that will be considered under the Quality Protocols project which aims to define end-of-waste criteria for waste streams, the Environment Agency confirmed today (June 30).

We are determined to do all that we can to encourage the recovery and re-use of discarded raw materials contained in waste

 
Martin Brocklehurst, head of environment and business partnerships, Environment Agency

As exclusively revealed by letsrecycle.com last week (see letsrecycle.com story), the new waste streams will be the focus for the joint EA/WRAP Waste Protocol Project's programme of work for 2009/10, in addition to the materials it has already looked at since 2005.

The four materials, and their potential uses, are:
• Cathode ray tube (CRT) glass from televisions, computer monitors and other display equipment which is used for aggregate in road construction or can substitute virgin sand or aggregate;
• Non-virgin wood from post-industrial and post-consumer sources which can be used in place of virgin wood;
• Compressed tyre bales which could be used as a lightweight fill; a water attenuation systems; for noise absorption or as a substitute virgin aggregates;
• Treated ash from the incineration of poultry litter, feathers and straw, which can be reused as a fertiliser, substituting inorganic fertilisers.

Commenting on today's announcement, joint project executive Martin Brocklehurst, the head of environment and business partnerships at the EA, said: “We are determined to do all that we can to encourage the recovery and re-use of discarded raw materials contained in waste. It makes no sense that we landfill valuable raw materials.

“The Waste Protocols Project will look at the current environmental risk posed by the four types of waste and establish “end of waste” criteria. This will clarify when regulations apply by establishing the point at which a waste-derived material is fully recovered, and no longer subject to waste management controls.

“This approach to regulation allows us to focus our resources on higher risk activities and cut red tape by removing regulations where they are unnecessary,” he added.

As expected, the project team is also set to review the existing Quality Protocol for aggregates to bring it into line with more recently-published protocols.

Final documents

To date, protocols have been published as final documents for waste flat glass, compost and non-packaging plastics, while five further draft protocols have been consulted on and are now awaiting final approval from the European Commission.

The Agency said that the four materials were chosen from a list of 15 applications submitted by business, in a process that it began in January 2009 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Following today's announcement, Marcus Gover, WRAP's director of market development, said: “By complying with Quality Protocols businesses that produce or reprocess waste get rid of the stigma surrounding the “waste” label, making their waste derived products more marketable and attractive to buyers.

“As well as cutting costs, the project is helping to increase sales for businesses by building consumer confidence and value for waste-derived products in the market place,” he added.

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