News in brief (10/02/23)

With news on: Severn Trent Green Power to acquire Andigestion; Valpak issues warning about French EPR legislation; Wiltshire launches ‘let’s sort it!’ contamination campaign; and MP visits Esken Renewables’ waste wood processing facility.

Severn Trent Green Power to acquire Andigestion

Green waste recycler Severn Trent Green Power has announced it has acquired southwest-based anaerobic digestion (AD) specialist Andigestion Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

Andigestion operates an 80,000 tonne per year capacity AD plant at Holsworthy, North Devon, and a 34,000 tonne per year capacity plant at Bishop’s Cleeve in Gloucestershire.

Andigestion operates AD plants at Holsworthy, North Devon, and Bishop’s Cleeve, Gloucestershire

Severn Trent says the acquisition for an undisclosed sum will provide it with an additional 45 gigawatt hours of energy generation output every year and new reach into southwest England.

The deal remains subject to clearance by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Christer Stoyell, Severn Trent Green Power’s managing director, said: “Having delivered double-digit growth in renewable energy generation since 2020, today’s announcement marks the start of a very exciting next chapter for all of us at Green Power.

“Following CMA clearance, we look forward to welcoming our new Andigestion colleagues and working with them to develop new growth opportunities and provide our award-winning services to even more households and businesses – powering the UK towards a cleaner and more sustainable future.”

Severn Trent operates nine AD facilities and five composting sites across the Midlands, South Wales and London, recycling more than 400,000 tonnes of food waste and 120,000 tonnes of green waste every year.

Valpak issues warning about French EPR legislation

Compliance scheme Valpak claims UK businesses are being “caught unawares” by French extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation.

France operates the only EPR schemes for textiles and furniture in the world, Valpak says, and introduced EPR for DIY equipment, gardening equipment and toys last year.

Valpak says France introduced EPR for toys last year

Kate Loosmore, Valpak’s international compliance manager, visited Paris in the wake of the legislation’s introduction and says UK businesses unaware of the new regulations face “serious repercussions”.

“Unlike UK compliance, the French schemes have no size threshold, so businesses are obligated as soon as they place one item on to the market,” Ms Loosmore said.

“And with online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay now held responsible for the compliance of sellers on their sites, companies face more scrutiny than ever. Some businesses have been threatened with suspension from trading on online sites until they can show proof of compliance.”

Businesses must take costs and data reporting requirements into account when planning, Ms Loosmore said. She added: “At Valpak, we are seeing invoices for our international customers rise substantially. Reporting can also be complex and time-consuming.”

Wiltshire launches ‘let’s sort it!’ contamination campaign

Wiltshire council launched an awareness campaign on 8 February to provide people with more information about what they can recycle using kerbside collection services.

‘Recycling – let’s sort it!’ aims to improve recycling rates and reduce contamination following an increase in people putting non-recyclable items in their blue-lidded recycling bins, the council says.

Wiltshire councils says there has been increase in people putting non-recyclable items in their blue-lidded recycling bins (picture: Shutterstock)

The campaign also looks to raise awareness of how to dispose of potentially hazardous items after a recent explosion at a facility in Wiltshire which the council says was caused by a partially full aerosol can placed in a recycling bin.

Waste crews will “step up” visual checks of recycling bins, the council says, before attaching an amber hanger to any contaminated bins from 20 February. The hanger will advise people their bin contained the wrong items but will still be emptied that collection.

From 6 March, crews will reject “more heavily contaminated” bins and attach a red hanger explaining why the bin has not been emptied.

Cllr Nick Holder, Wiltshire’s cabinet member for waste, said: “We know that people are keen to do their bit, but some of what is put in blue-lidded bins cannot be recycled and these items are then contaminating items that could have been recycled.”

MP visits Esken Renewables’ waste wood processing facility

The MP for Rotherham visited Esken Renewables’ processing site on 2 February to learn more about the role played by waste wood in the production of fuel.

Sarah Champion was invited by the Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA) as part of the trade body’s ongoing work to build a network of MPs who understand and support the wood recycling industry.

(l-r) Richard Jenkins, Esken Renewables’ CEO, with Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, and Richard Coulson, WRA chair

Esken Renewables showed Ms Champion around the Greasbrough Road site, which annually converts 70,000 tonnes of waste wood into fuel for the nearby Templeborough biomass plant.

After being shown around the site, Ms Champion was given an overview of the waste wood market and the WRA’s work by the association’s chair, Richard Coulson.

Ms Champion said: “This is a great example of how Rotherham is leading the way in recycling and low carbon energy generation.

“The current energy situation has made it clear that we cannot rely on other countries for our energy needs and this makes it crucial that we make the most of our own domestic resources, including waste wood.”

Formerly known as Stobart Energy, Esken Renewables says it converts around 1.2 million tonnes of waste wood annually into fuel at five processing sites across the UK.

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