16 December 2016 by Caelia Quinault

News in Brief (16/12/2016)

With news on plans by Brighton & Hove to increase recycling rates; compliance accreditation for Ubico; a construction firm buying shares in Wastewise, and; the development of a new circular economy standard.

Construction group buys share in Wastewise

East Yorkshire-based recycling and waste management firm Wastewise has announced that construction group Ashcourt is to become a new minority shareholder in its business.

(l-r):  Leigh Churchill of Ashcourt; James Landau, Wastewise.

(l-r): Leigh Churchill of Ashcourt; James Landau, Wastewise.

Based in Hull, Wastewise specialises in the collection, recycling and composting of over 100,000 tonnes of waste a year for public and private sector clients. The company, which also trades under the name Biowise, said it was experiencing “rapid growth having grown from around a £2m turnover in 2013 to a projected turnover of £7m for the end of 2016.”

James Landau, managing director of Wastewise, said: “This new partnership with the Ashcourt Group will have an unprecedented effect on the future of Wastewise and the business we are in,” said James Landau, managing director of Wastewise.

“There are many areas of common interest between the two companies and like us, Ashcourt is adding to its portfolio offering and growing its business.  Ashcourt’s future involvement in Wastewise will bring a number of exciting opportunities that the new Board will look to capitalise on.”

From a financial perspective, Ashcourt will assist Wastewise in investing in its future waste-processing infrastructure, which includes materials recycling, biomass and alternative fuel production facilities as well as enabling the company to expand geographically, covering more of the Yorkshire and Humber region and potentially beyond.

In 2015, Wastewise opened a new In-Vessel Composting (IVC) facility (see letsrecycle.com story).  In order to improve and extend this facility, Ashcourt is assisting on the civil works for a £1 million improvement programme.


Brighton & Hove to invest in new bins

Brighton & Hove councillors have approved £1.1m of spending to increase household recycling rates.

The money will be used to issue recycling wheeled bins to 60,000 households. They will go to any property considered suitable after a street-by-street assessment.

The bins proved popular in a trial last year involving 4,000 homes in Hangleton and South Portslade, where recycling rates increased by 4%.

In October the council’s environment committee approved the full roll-out in principle.  The council’s policy, resources and growth committee approved the funding at a meeting last week (December 8), authorising officials to seek a single supplier.

An exact timescale for the rollout has yet to be fixed but it is expected around spring 2017. The new bins would be used to recycle cans, aerosols, card, paper and plastic bottles.  Glass and batteries would still be separated and left in a black box.

Committee member and deputy council leader, councillor Gill Mitchell, said:  “We must increase our recycling rates and the trial strongly suggests this will help.  Our surveying showed people really appreciate the new bins.  They store more material and are easier for residents and staff to shift about. We want to make recycling more user-friendly and explain to people its environmental benefits and how it saves taxpayers’ money.”

Residents will be issued with 240 litre wheelie bins plus a box for glass. Any properties unsuitable for a wheelie bin would continue with current arrangements. The collection frequency would be fortnightly, the same as at present.


Top compliance accreditation for Ubico

Local authority-owned waste management company Ubico has announced that it has successfully achieved Gold Standard Exor accreditation, demonstrating its competence as a contractor for both public and private sector clients.


Ubico is owned by seven local authorities for which it delivers a number of services

Trevor Askew, interim managing director of the Cheltenham-based firm, said: “Ubico Ltd are delighted with the announcement that they have achieved gold accreditation with ‘Exor’. This follows the hard work and dedication of the business support team. The award recognises our professionalism and high standards towards supply chain management & procurement”.

Accreditation is a process in which certification of competency, viability and compliance with legal requirements and current codes of practice is presented.

The Exor accreditation scheme assesses, reviews and audits suppliers’ procedures and documentation; suppliers can then be included on a database which demonstrates they have met the highest standards in the market place in procurement risk management.

Ubico is owned by Cheltenham borough council, Cotswold district council, Forest of Dean district council, Gloucestershire county council, Stroud district council, Tewkesbury borough council and West Oxfordshire district council.

The shareholder councils have contracts with Ubico to deliver a range of services such as household waste and recycling collections, commercial waste and recycling collections and street cleansing.


BSI drafts circular economy standard

National standards body the BSI (British Standards Institution) has is inviting interested parties to comment on the draft of a new “ground-breaking” circular economy standard.

The standard, BS 8001 Framework for implementing the principles of the circular economy in organizations, aims to give comprehensive guidance to organisations of all sizes on the steps they can take to make their day-to-day operation activity more sustainable.

BS 8001 emphasises practical steps organisations can take to move to a more sustainable and “circular” approach to conducting business, and in doing so reduce supply chain and other costs whilst contributing towards the low-carbon economy.

The draft of BS 8001 is available for public consultation until the January 15, 2017. BSI welcomes comments on all aspects of this draft standard and has posed supplemental questions on areas where it knows there will be conflicting views. The draft standard is available for review and comment here.




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