4 January 2019 by Will Date

News in Brief (04/01/2019)

With news on: Defra’s food waste champion; penalty for organic waste pollution, and; stadium waste contract for Bristol firm.

Defra names food waste champion

The government has appointed a ‘Food Surplus and Waste Champion’ to lead efforts to reduce food waste.

Ben Elliot, the co-founder of lifestyle group Quintessentially and chair of the Quintessentially Foundation, has been appointed to the role which was among the commitments in the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy, published last month (see letsrecycle.com story).

Ben Elliot has been appointed as the government’s ‘food waste champion’ (Picture: Twitter)

According to Defra, Mr Elliot will work with businesses and other stakeholders from across retail, food manufacture, hospitality and food services, aiming to implement measures to tackle food waste from farm to fork, including encouraging redistribution where it is possible.

His work will “support and champion” the implementation of the food waste prevention policies outlined in the Resources and Waste Strategy, Defra said.

Commenting on the post, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “Food waste is an economic, environmental and moral scandal. We must end it.

“That’s why I am delighted Ben Elliot is taking up this position and know he will bring the enthusiasm and skills this important role needs. His first task will be to help ensure our £15m food waste fund redistributes surplus food that would otherwise be wasted to those most in need.”

Mr Elliot added: ”As a nation, we need to stop this excessive waste and ensure that surplus food finds its way to people in our society who need it most, and not let it get thrown away and go to landfill.”


Organic waste firm fined

A company specialising in the spreading of organic waste digestate has been fined £20,000 after pleading guilty to polluting a stream during land spreading at a farm in the North East of England in March 2017.

Whites Recycling Ltd – which is based at Mill Lane in South Witham, Lincolnshire – has ‘apologised unreservedly’ for the incident which occurred in March 2017.

‘Black discharge’ into the River Tees, as documented by the Environment Agency

The company appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 19 December where it pleaded guilty to breaching its environmental permit and polluting a tributary of the River Tees, following action by the Environment Agency.

In court, the Agency said that on 22 March 2017 a pollution incident was reported by a member of the public who advised that a stream close to Greystones Farm, where the company has a permit for mobile plant land spreading, was running black.

Officers from the Environment Agency attended the farm the following morning, where it is claimed that they were told that eight loads of digestate had been spread on the field the previous day.

The officers investigated an unnamed tributary of the River Tees and claimed that drainage outfalls from the field were discharging a black coloured liquid into the watercourse.

In a statement issued this week, a spokesman for Whites Recycling said that company had taken ‘immediate action’ to remedy the incident, and that the company’s processes had since been updated.

He said: “This regrettable incident took place in March 2017. Whites Recycling took immediate action to prevent additional potential harm by removing further liquid from the field. Since then, our Environment Management System has been reviewed and updated and we have also conducted training for all staff in the new procedures.

“We apologise unreservedly to the Environment Agency, the Court, and local residents for the incident.”


ETM renews Ashton Gate waste contract

Bristol-based recycling company ETM Recycling has been appointed by Ashton Gate (Bristol Sport) to handle all of the waste from the stadium as part of a three-year contract.

The stadium is home to Bristol City Football Club, the Bristol Bears rugby team and the city’s basketball team, Bristol Flyers. ETM had previously carried out waste services at the stadium over a four-year contract.

An ETM vehicle at Ashton Gate, Bristol

Much of the waste generated through the contract will be treated at the company’s Ashton Vale facility, which is due for completion in April 2019.

Ashton Gate Managing Director Mark Kelly said: “ETM are Ashton Gates key operational partner and over the last four years we have continued to work closely together on the reduction of waste to landfill with an aspiration to get to zero.

“ETM pro actively advise and guide the operations team on solutions and as a company they are always at the forefront of innovation of which the stadium and the local environment benefits from.

“They are a local, family-run business, so are the perfect partners for us, and the new plant is going to be great for Bristol. We are looking forward to a bright future together.”

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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