17 September 2020 by Joshua Doherty

Richmond and EMR strike weighbridge deal

European Metals Recycling (EMR) has reached an agreement with the London borough of Richmond upon Thames following a dispute over the amount paid for metal from its recycling centre.

Payments will now be made by EMR using Richmond council’s weighbridge ticket, but also using “an average percentage deduction for non-metallic items”, which would mean the recycling company would “not need to make weight deductions under normal conditions”.

The dispute involved the price paid for metals from Richmond council’s Townmead Road HWRC in Kew

The move comes after Richmond council’s audit, standards and statutory accounts committee provided a report to the council in July on the “accuracy of invoices to EMR” (see letsrecycle.com story).

This noted that EMR collects metal from the council’s Townmead Road recycling centre several times a month, and at the end of each month sends an invoice detailing the price to be paid per tonne together with an overall amount payable.

However, the report says this is based on the weight recorded at EMR’s own facilities, rather than the council’s weighbridge. The report claimed that its audit analysis shows the weight variances are “in favour of EMR”, and provided the below table as evidence. The report also found an error in the borough’s own records regarding the number of metals loads which was correctly reported by EMR.

Meeting

A meeting was held between EMR and Richmond council on the issue, which is largely thought to come down to contamination issues.

In a statement given to letsrecycle.com, a spokesperson for EMR said the two have now come to an agreement to resolve the issue.

“Confusion arose because our statements to the council, to allow them to invoice us for the material that they supplied to us, reflected the deductions that we make for non-metallic items, also referred to as ‘dirt’, included in the loads that we received,” the spokesperson said.

They added: “These averaged about 5% over the period. The result was that the weights dispatched from the council weighbridge were more than the weights shown on our statements sent to the council for payment. The council weighbridge weights did match the weighbridge tickets that EMR issued to their haulier.

“We have now agreed with Richmond Council a new process which ensures that transparency continues”

EMR spokesperson

“Unfortunately, we cannot pay for non-metallic contaminants. It costs us a lot to treat and dispose of these contaminants.

“We have now agreed with Richmond Council a new process which ensures that transparency continues. We have now built an average percentage deduction for non-metallic items into our pricing so that we do not need to make weight deductions under normal conditions. This means that the weights shown on our statements to the Council will match their weighbridge weights.

“We have also agreed that we will pay for the weight of materials based on Richmond Council’s weighbridge tickets. If there is a major discrepancy in the weights recorded by EMR’s and the Council’s weighbridges, or if a particular load contains excessive non-metallic contamination (for example a sofa), we will highlight this to the customer within 48 hours and we can resolve the matter together quickly.

“We are proud to continue to work with Richmond Council on recycling their metal waste.”

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