19 February 2020 by James Langley

News in brief (19/02/20)

With news on: Biffa extends contract with pub firm; Bucks firm fined after forklift incident; Egbert Taylor replaces wet paint on Worcester bins; Westminster launches school recycling scheme


Biffa extends contract with pub firm

Biffa has announced a three-year waste management contract extension with restaurant, pub and bar operator Mitchells & Butlers.

Originally signed in October 2019 but only announced this week, the contract covers Mitchells & Butlers’ entire estate of more than 1,600 pubs, bars and restaurants, dealing with their food, glass, cardboard and general recycling.

Biffa has been offering waste services to the pub operator for over a decade

Carl Fletcher, head of corporate hospitality and transport accounts at Biffa, said: “This contract reinforces the need for all businesses to continually assess and reassess their waste management strategies across all sectors.

“Customers are demanding that businesses put their sustainability strategy at the forefront of their business model and the work we will be doing with Mitchells & Butlers will improve the recycling efficiency at these pubs.”

Biffa has been in partnership with Mitchells & Butlers for more than ten years. The catering company says it currently has a recycling rate of 59% across its portfolio and is targeting a rate of 80% within the next five years.

Waste collected is sent to a variety of places, including anaerobic digestion and energy from waste plants.


Bucks firm fined after forklift incident

A Buckinghamshire-based packaging company was fined after an employee was struck by a reversing forklift truck on 9 August 2018.

The company was said to have been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,560 at Reading Magistrates’ Court

According to a statement from the HSE, Reading Magistrates’ Court heard how Arthur Weston had been working at Boxes and Packaging (Oxford) Limited in Long Crendon when he was struck as he bent down to pick up a broken piece of wood.

The ensuing investigation by the HSE found there was inadequate separation of forklift trucks and pedestrians within the workspace, the body said.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Stephen Faulkner said: “The company failed to undertake a number of simple safety measures, including segregation of reversing vehicles from employees.”

HSE said Boxes and Packaging (Oxford) Limited of Drakes Drive, Long Crendon, was found guilty of breaching Regulations 4 (1) and 17 (1) of Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

The company was said to have been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,560.


Egbert Taylor replaces wet paint on Worcester bins

Waste container manufacturer Egbert Taylor has replaced the wet paint process on its refurbished bins with powder coating in a bid to minimise its environmental impact.

(L-R) The new powder coated bin and the old wet painted bin

In switching from a carbon to a non-carbon-based process the Worcester-based business estimates it will cut carbon emissions by almost 10 tonnes every year.

The changes were effective as of 1 December 2019.

Brendan Murphy, chief executive of Egbert Taylor, said: “As a business that refurbishes around 15,000 bins each year, our decision to adopt a production wide approach to powder coating not only lessens the environmental impact of each and every bin we refurbish, but also makes them look as good as new.

“As local authorities are now under pressure to make their bins last as long as possible, add value to the streetscene and achieve this in a sustainable manner, we believe that our decision to powder coat all bins, new and refurbished, addresses all three factors.”

Egbert Taylor claims further advantages of powder coating bins are that it cuts wastage associated with over application by 40 to 50%, removes over-paint marks on casters and, as a result of the curing process, results in a finish comparable with new bins.


Single-use alternatives testing launches in Scotland

More than a dozen organisations across Scotland are to take part in a £1million pilot project run by Zero Waste Scotland testing alternatives to single-use disposable items.

Items from coffee cups to water bottles and food packaging are to be tackled by the Ditching Disposables project.

Items from coffee cups to water bottles and food packaging are to be tackled by the project

It will include a deposit return scheme for reusable coffee cups and separate charging for disposable cups in Glasgow, Edinburgh, East Lothian, Fife, Stirling, West Lothian and the Highlands.

Zero Waste Scotland chief executive Iain Gulland said: “We know single-use items are blighting communities across Scotland and it is something we are determined to tackle.

“Some of these are only used for a matter of minutes yet can hang around our environment for years.

“We are working with communities to see what can be done to solve issues they have identified.”.


Westminster launches school recycling scheme

Queens Park community council and Westminster council have launched a campaign called One Bag Zero Waste in two Westminster schools in a bid to support the recycling and reuse of plastics.

Launching the campaign at Queens Park school in Westminster

Run by recycling association A Future Without Rubbish, the campaign will see a design competition in Queens Park and Wilberforce primary schools.

After being chosen by a panel of judges chaired by Queens’ Park community council, the winning design from each school will be displayed on reusable bags made from recycled plastic, alongside the logos of local businesses who have sponsored the project.

Luke Douglas-Home, founder of A Future Without Rubbish, said: “Previously made from other plastic items, this bag should now last for decades. At its end of life, it can be easily be recycled. It’s the circular economy in action. One bag, zero waste for real. Pupils like and understand that.”

Businesses in the community are being encouraged to pledge incentives and discounts to encourage reuse and recycling.

Headteacher of Wilberforce Primary School, Claire Macfie, said: “A Future without Rubbish’s new campaign One Bag Zero Waste is an excellent example of how we can educate school children about the circular economy and provide economic incentives for our local community at the same time.”

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