28 April 2011

News in Brief

CBI warns of failure to attract green investment

The Confederation of British Industry has warned that the UK is failing to attract the necessary investment to deliver low-carbon infrastructure.

Outlining the need for 150 billion in investment over the next 20 years, the trade organisation has published a report entitled Risky Business: Investing in the UKs low carbon infrastructure that reveals concerns over the pace and scale of UK ambition. The 28-page report indicates that there is a need to develop a long-term, low-carbon growth strategy in the UK, as well as reform the electricity market and implement a planning system that will facilitate growth, allow the Green Investment Bank to issue government-guaranteed bonds and ensure investors are included in Green Deal proposals.

Katja Hall, chief policy director for the CBI, said: We know the UK needs a balanced energy mix to cut emissions and grow the low-carbon economy, but the big question now is how we pay for it. Businesses want to get on with building new low-carbon infrastructure, but there is still too much policy uncertainty. We need the Government to set a clear direction of travel and to stick to it.”

WRG plants biofuel crops at 14 landfill sites

WRG has planted miscanthus grass and short rotation coppice at 14 landfill sites across the UK

WRG has planted miscanthus grass and short rotation coppice at 14 landfill sites across the UK

Waste Recycling Group has begun planting a combination of biofuel crops at 14 landfill sites across Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Humberside and Yorkshire.

The waste management firm, known as WRG, carried out a feasibility study using miscanthus grass and short rotation coppice (SRC) at the former Breighton landfill site in East Riding of York before opting to grow it across 100 hectares. The project has attracted grant funding from Natural England and next year will see an additional 100 hectares planted at a mixture of operational and closed landfill sites across the UK. WRG intends to sell the energy crops, once harvested, to Drax Power Station in Selby as a biomass fuel. In a further development, 40 hectares of forage maize is currently being planted at WRGs Sutton Courtenay landfill, near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, that will form the first fuel for a 1.5MW anaerobic digester, which is being planned for the site.

Mark Pailing, senior restoration and energy crop manager at WRG, said: This is a very exciting development for the company and builds on our track record of sustainable reclamation, recycling and regeneration.

UPM works with Vertaris on release liner recycling

Paper manufacturing giant UPM has teamed up with French paper specialist Vertaris to develop a sustainable release-liner recycling method across Europe.

Release liner which is a silliconised backing paper used in self-adhesive labelling is currently, primarily incinerated. However, the partnership between UPM, through its label business UPM Raflatac, and Vertaris is intended to ensure more of the material can be recycled into pulp and paper. This is achieved through the use of de-silliconised paper-based release liner being developed by Vertaris at its manufacturing plant at Voreppe in south-eastern France. The recycled liners will be processed into pulp at Vertaris Voreppe plant, and the pulp will be used in paper production at UPMs paper mills.

Working together with Vertaris, UPMs label business, UPM Raflatac, will expand their labelstock waste management concept RafCycle to cover paper release liners in Europe, said Erkki Nyberg, director of business development at UPM Engineered Materials.

Virgin Trains finds creative outlet for waste tickets

Virgin Trains at Manchester Piccadilly station has worked with a local artist to recycle old uniforms, tickets and timetables

Virgin Trains at Manchester Piccadilly station has worked with a local artist to recycle old uniforms, tickets and timetables

Train-operating company Virgin Trains has launched a new initiative to creatively recycle waste timetables and ticket stubs collected at Manchester Piccadilly station.

Led by station manager Karen Grimshaw, Virgin Trains has worked with local artist Adnan Bayyat to create couture gowns and sculptures made from recycled materials. My Bayyat, who is known locally for his work with recycled materials, has created lamps and ornaments that will be displayed in the First Class Lounge at Manchester Piccadilly station. And, in time for the Royal Wedding on Friday April 29, Mr Bayyat has also worked with Virgin Trains to recycle old uniforms into a wedding dress in order to mark the occasion.

A spokeswoman for Virgin Trains said: Station manager Karen, decided to find something more creative to do with the tickets and timetables and came across local artist Adnan Bayyat, who is best known for his couture gowns and sculptures made from recycled materials. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for collaboration.

Waste management company fined 32,794 over environment permits

Penrith-based waste disposal firm H&E Trotters has been fined 32,794 for operating without the correct environmental permissions in place.

In a trial brought by the Environment Agency, Carlisle Magistrates Court heard how during a routine site visit in April 2010, Environment Agency Officers discovered 18 skips containing waste materials, including soils, metals, mixed waste and rubble stored at Gilwilly Industrial Estate at Penrith in Cumbria. Further investigations revealed that no permits were in place for waste to be stored at this site, directly breaching environmental regulations. It also heard how H&E Trotters operates two correctly permitted sites located at Carlisle and Calthwaite, and was familiar with the regulations which it should have been adhering to.

Ruth Evans, investigating officer for the Environment Agency, said, In this case the site operators were putting themselves at an advantage over their competitors by failing to comply with legal requirements for the storage of waste. Environmental regulations are in place to make sure that waste is stored and treated to high environmental standards. This ensures the waste we all create is handled in a way that does not cause harm to the environment or individuals.

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