14 October 2020 by James Langley

News in brief (14/10/20)

With news on: NWH Group invests in ‘super plant’; Keenan Recycling invests in depots in south west England; CEWEP calls for inclusion of EfW in sustainable finance; and, illegal waste site in Northumberland closed by Environment Agency.


NWH Group invests in ‘super plant’

Scottish waste management company NWH Group has opened a £2.5 million ‘super plant’ at its Edinburgh site.

Fully operational from yesterday (13 October), the materials recycling facility (MRF) will be able to pick up material that older machinery would have missed, the company says.

Mark Williams, the CEO of NWH Group, outside the ‘super plant’

NWH Group says it expects to grow its business by 50% per annum during the next three years thanks to the new plant.

Mark Williams, CEO of NWH Group, said: “This investment ensures that NWH Group will have the most cutting-edge facility in Scotland and underpins our vision to eliminate waste to landfill.

“Our previous technology limited our scope for growth, but thanks to the funding from HSBC UK, technology is now helping with our speed and efficiency, and has opened up our prospects for growth.

“The super plant only needs six men to operate it; we previously had to have nine men assisting the machinery, so it’s enabled us to free up some of our staff to help us elsewhere in the business, which is fantastic.”

NWH Group will run all its waste through the new Edinburgh MRF while utilising its existing site network in Scotland and the north of England as waste collection points.


Keenan Recycling opens depots in south west England

Food waste recycling business Keenan Recycling has invested £835,000 in new depots in Gloucester and Salisbury.

The company says the opening of the depots could create almost 20 new jobs in the next 12 months.

Collections director Claire Keenan, and managing director Grant Keenan

Collections director, Claire Keenan said: “Millions of tonnes of food waste in England goes straight to landfill. Every business has an obligation and, hopefully, an appetite to be more environmentally conscious.

“Indeed, Defra is aiming to eliminate food waste to landfill by 2030, and we are proud to play our part in achieving this target by offering a service which is cost-efficient.

“Producers of food waste now have no excuse for not making sure that their waste is collected and recycled into renewable energy.

“In Scotland this is driven by legislation, but this will soon become the case in England and we’re getting in front of the curve by investing in our depots and fleets to meet the increasing demand for collections nationwide.”

The opening of the depots in Gloucester and Salisbury is part of Keenan Recycling’s wider growth plans for England, which include a recent £4.5 million investment in adding 39 new trucks to its fleet (see letsrecycle.com story).


CEWEP calls for inclusion of EfW in ‘sustainable finance’

The Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants (CEWEP) has called for the European Commission to include energy from waste  in its attempts to facilitate ‘sustainable finance’.

This week, the newly established Platform on Sustainable Finance is to start to develop technical screening criteria for sustainable economic activities, acting as advisors to the European Commission.

The European Commission is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU

CEWEP says it believes more expertise covering the entire waste management value chain is needed on the Platform.

In a statement published on 12 October, CEWEP said: “CEWEP trusts that members of the Platform will be open to robust and science-based arguments as they develop the technical screening criteria for activities contributing substantially to the circular economy by 31 December 2021.

“We stand ready to provide the technical expertise needed to develop the relevant criteria for conditions in which waste to energy can act as an enabler in the transition towards a clean circular and climate neutral economy.”

CEWEP is the umbrella association of EfW plant operators across Europe.


Illegal waste site in Northumberland closed by Environment Agency

The Environment Agency has blocked access to land at Aln View, Old Swarland, to prevent the illegal dumping and burning of waste.

A Restriction Order prohibiting anyone from entering or depositing waste an the site was obtained at Bedlington Magistrates’ Court on 8 October.

A court order is now in place prohibiting anyone from entering or depositing waste at the site at Aln View, Old Swarland

John Crowl, Environment Agency enforcement team leader in the North East, said: “This is the first time these powers have been used in the North East and demonstrates we will use all of the tools at our disposal to disrupt waste crime.

“The order has been put in place following complaints about waste being illegally dumped and burned, and after extensive work together with our partners at Northumbria Police Rural Crime Team and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service.”

The Agency says it started receiving complaints about waste being imported and burnt at the site in February. On 16 March, officers visited the site and say they saw several piles of waste and evidence of burning.

Letters requiring the site to stop taking in waste and for it to be cleared were sent but the fires continued. Following several visits to the site, a follow up enforcement notice requiring the site to be cleared was issued in July, the deadline for which has now passed.

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