News in brief (06/12/21)

With news on: Restore Datashred snaps up The Shred Centre; ‘most’ rechargeable devices contain non-replaceable batteries, research suggests; company director fined £1,272 for ‘abandoning’ Shropshire site; and, Warwick steps up action on fly-tipping.


Restore Datashred snaps up The Shred Centre

Secure data shredding business Restore Datashred has announced that it has acquired the assets of The Shred Centre, a family-run shredding company based in the North East, for £900,000.

The acquisition includes some equipment and The Shred Centre’s local and national customer base and service provision, alongside three members of staff.

Restore Datashred offers confidential data shredding services and has a nationwide network of 11 specialised shredding centres (picture: Daniel Jones)

Duncan Gooding, Restore Datashred’s managing director, said: “Restore Datashred is looking forward to welcoming both customers and colleagues of The Shred Centre to our business.

“Together, as part of a national organisation operating at scale, we commit to delivering you the market-leading services we are known for.

“This acquisition forms the first of many steps we are taking to build and maintain our position as one of the only truly national confidential shredding providers, delivering services to customer across the UK.”

Restore Datashred told letsrecycle.com that its expansion strategy focused on “asset-based acquisitions that role into the existing capacity we have across the country”.


‘Most’ rechargeable devices contain non-replaceable batteries

“Most” rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in consumer electronics and e-bikes or scooters are either non-replaceable or non-repairable, according to a report published today (6 December).

This results in shorter product lifetimes, increased electronic waste, the loss of rare materials, and unnecessary expenditure for consumers, the report’s authors say.

Forty-two per cent of smartphone repairs are related to battery replacement, the report says (picture: Shutterstock)

The report was published by the European Environmental Bureau, the Right to Repair campaign, and researchers at the University of Lund in Sweden.

Battery failure is one of the most common problems for many consumer electronics, the report says. It suggests 42% of smartphone repairs and 27% of laptop repairs are related to battery replacement.

Chloé Mikolajczak, campaigner at the Right to Repair, said: “This is extremely worrying as the average battery life for these products is around three years and the majority of repairers we talked to said that the risk of damaging a device while removing the battery has increased.

“This suggests that a significant number of devices are being prematurely discarded due to battery failure.”

Ensuring that all new phones and tablets sold in the EU in 2030 have easily removable and replaceable batteries could cut the annual emissions of these devices by 30%, reduce the loss of critical raw materials, and save European consumers €19.8 billion, the report says.


Company director fined £1,272 for ‘abandoning’ Shropshire site

The Environment Agency says it has prosecuted a director of a waste company in Shropshire who “abandoned” a site full of waste without notifying the regulating authority.

According to the Agency, Worcester Magistrates’ Court fined Jonathan Wells of Condover, Shrewsbury, a total of £1,272 and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £127 and a contribution to prosecution costs of £500.

The Environment Agency says large amounts of waste were stored on the ground at the Ludlow site (picture: Environment Agency)

The Agency says its officers visited the site operated by LMS Skips Limited in Bromfield, Ludlow, between October 2016 and November 2017. They found “large amounts” of waste, including domestic and commercial waste, stored on the ground, outside buildings, and not in containers, “in breach of permit conditions”.

Mr Wells “abandoned” the site on 11 September 2017, the Agency says. It subsequently became a “fly tipping hotspot”. Neighbouring units are said to have suffered with pest issues “due to the volumes of waste”.

At Worcester Magistrates’ Court, Mr Wells pleaded guilty to breaching conditions of an environmental waste permit, according to the Agency, including by abandoning the site.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “The Environment Agency takes waste crime very seriously and is committed to prosecuting when an offence has been committed.”


Warwick steps up action on fly-tipping

Warwick district council is deploying a series of mobile CCTV cameras across the Sydenham area of Leamington to combat fly-tipping.

To be installed around the estate within the next month, the cameras will act as a deterrent to would-be fly-tippers, the council said today (6 December).

Cllr Mini Mangat (right) with officers from Warwick district council next to fly-tipping in Sydenham, Leamington (picture: Warwick district council)

It also hopes the cameras will provide evidence for the council to carry out enforcement action against anyone caught fly-tipping.

Councillor Mini Mangat, ward councillor for Leamington Willes, said: “Residents in my ward tell me that fly-tipping is an almost daily occurrence in Sydenham and they are regularly waking up to the blight of items dumped on the roadside, some of which are dangerous.

“It’s not fair that they have to deal with this and foot the bill.”

The cameras will be monitored by the council’s CCTV control room staff 24 hours a day. The council says it will study the impact of the trial with a view to redeploying the cameras to other hotspot areas in the district.

It says it will also erect signs to warn people of the consequences of fly-tipping, with offenders facing a £400 Fixed Penalty Notice or an unlimited fine and six months in prison if the offence is taken to court.

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