20 March 2019

News in brief (20/03/2019)

With news on: Councils join Metal Matters campaign; Veolia and Nestlé partnership; Powerday wood recycling, and; Environment Agency prosecution.

Councils launch Metal Matters campaigns

Three local authorities have launched Metal Matters recycling campaigns this week to coincide with Global Recycling Day on Monday (18 March).

(l-r) Nicola Jones, systems and communication manager, Tata Steel; James Thompson, senior waste awareness and enforcement officer, Powys county council, and; Kate Cole, programme manager, Alupro

Merthyr Tydfil, Powys and Teignbridge councils are all now running campaigns, respectively which are being jointly funded by MetalMatters, an industry partnership comprising of producers, users and recyclers of metal packaging and the local authorities, as well as Devon county council.

Every household will receive leaflets about MetalMatters and the campaign will be supported through local roadshows, outdoor advertising, social media and even a competition to win family tickets to Devon’s top attractions for residents in Teignbridge.

Rick Hindley, executive director of project managers Alupro, said: “Aerosols and foil are also the two most likely items to cause confusion for householders regarding recycling which is why it is so important to clarify their recyclability and highlight the importance of recycling metal packaging.”

Launched in 2012 the programme has been deployed in 99 local authorities and directly communicated with over 6 million households to date.


Veolia and Nestlé look at chemical recycling for plastic

Waste and resources firm Veolia and food manufacturer Nestlé have entered into a partnership to explore the use of chemical recycling technologies for processing flexible plastic packaging.

Plastic pellets produced by Veolia

According to the two companies, the projects will focus on eleven priority countries across Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.

The partnership will explore technologies to establish ‘viable models of recycling in different countries’ the organisations said – and will look at the use of pyrolysis as a treatment method.

Chemical recycling is seen as having potential to produce a higher quality output, and can be applied to lower-quality, more contaminated mixed loads.

Magdi Batato, executive vice president, head of operations, Nestlé, said: “Plastic waste is a challenge that requires an ecosystem of solutions all working simultaneously. This partnership is another specific step to accelerate our efforts in addressing the critical issue of plastic waste.

“Leveraging on Veolia’s technology and expertise, we will start with pilot projects in multiple countries, with the intention of scaling these up globally.”


Powerday producing A-grade waste wood at two sites

London-based waste management company Powerday has announced that it has begun the production of grade-A woodchip at its sites in Enfield and Willesden Junction.

Wood processing at a Powerday site

Production of the material comes after the company has changed its sorting and separation method for mixed grade material.

The company says it handles around 40,000 tonnes of waste wood at its two London sites – which largely sort mixed construction waste – and which is largely used as biomass fuel.

However, the firm said that now a new grade A product is being recycled in the production of composite panel boards, “keeping with the company’s commitment to make best use of the materials it recycles and move those up the waste hierarchy”.

Commenting on the plans, Simon Little, sales & marketing director at Powerday, said: “Powerday is continually exploring circular opportunities and more sustainable solutions for materials, and is committed, where possible, to retaining the value of the UK’s materials in the UK.”

Mr Little added: “With our lower grade waste wood going to a UK based state-of-the-art CHP plant, this latest development ensures that the waste materials our clients produce are managed in the best way, not just for them but for the environment and the UK economy.”

For biomass, Powerday has a contract with the Ridham Dock plant in Kent, which is operated by MVV Environment. In 2018, the company says it sent over 24,000 tonnes of wood to the 23MW facility, which processes a total of around 270,000 tonnes of waste wood a year.


Operator of three ‘illegal waste sites’ sentenced

A Worcester-based businessman has been sentenced to a year in prison, suspended for two years, for running three waste sites without the necessary environmental permits.

Images from one of the sites released by the Environment Agency

Sidney Nicholls, 57, pleaded guilty to three charges relating to the illegal operation of waste sites and was also ordered to pay £30,000 in costs.

The case was brought to Worcester Crown court by the Environment Agency, which said that Mr Nicholls operated under the trading names of UKBF Group Ltd and Plastics Recycling Centre Ltd, at three sites across the West Midlands.

The Agency added that Mr Nicholls had accepted waste at each site, “without the necessary environmental permits and in breach of the registered waste exemptions required to ensure that there was no risk to human health or the environment.”

According to the Agency, when officers visited the sites, they found large amounts of assorted types of waste, including hazardous waste, being illegally stored and treated.

Speaking after the case, an Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Waste crime is a serious offence with tough penalties as it can damage the environment, blight local communities and undermine those who operate legally.

“This case sends out a clear message that we will not hesitate to take action to ensure the protection of the environment and avoid harm to health. Businesses can support us with this by carrying out their Duty of Care and Due Diligence checks to ensure that they are using legitimate companies to deal with their wastes and not criminals like Mr Nicholls.”

The Agency statement added that the sites were “eventually abandoned”, and the landowners are continuing to work with the Environment Agency, and the companies from where the waste originated, to clear the site.

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