News in brief (11/03/2022)

With news on: LondonEnergy recycles North London’s mattresses; Companies encourage electricals recycling; Unions campaign for correct pay rate; Councils should investigate all fly-tipping, Churchill says

NLWA diverts 257 mattresses a day from landfill 

The North London Waste Authority’ mattress recycling scheme now sees more than 257 mattresses diverted from landfill or incineration daily.

After being set up in June 2021, within its first ten weeks, the scheme recycled 18,000 mattresses, which increased to 44,000 by Christmas of the same year.

LondonEnergy’s scheme diverts mattresses from landfill daily

Previously in north London, mattresses were shredded and then sent to the Edmonton energy from waste plant.

They will now be sent to the NLWA’s waste partner SSSI for processing.

An estimated 7 million mattresses are thrown away annually in the UK, with only 20% recycled.

Mattresses are difficult to recycle due to the many different components. From some, up to 17 different materials can be obtained.

Emma Hiney, LondonEnergy’s waste operations manager, said: “Following on from this trial, we are pleased to announce that we will shortly be starting a long-term contract with our recycling partner SSSI so will continue to drive more recovered resources into the circular economy.”

Companies encourage school WEEE recycling

Wastebuster, Microsoft, Currys and Recycle your Electricals are inviting UK schools to bring their unwanted electricals to Currys to be recycled.

The UK’s largest collection of e-waste, ‘Hidden Treasure Hunt’, will take place from 17 March to 14 April.

E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK, Currys says

E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world and in the UK, with 155,000 tonnes of electricals every year going to waste.

Schools that participate have a chance to win £5,000 of Microsoft tech and all families that take their unwanted electricals and tech to Currys to be recycled during the Hidden Treasure Hunt, will get a £5 discount voucher.

Unions campaign for ‘correct pay’ at Skelton Grange

The Unite and GMB trade unions have launched a campaign to ensure that workers employed on the Skelton Grange’s EfW plant in Leeds are paid the “correct rate”.

The £250 million project, built by Enfinium by Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI), will employ over 500 construction workers, eventually providing power for 100,000 homes.

The construction work should be built under National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI), which the unions say HZI is not applying for on this project.

The unions are calling Leeds council to demand HZI follows the NAECI agreement.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Leeds council has a duty and the power to prevent this. It must ensure that HZI pays the correct rates of pay on this project.”

The unions started with a march and demonstration at the site earlier this week, and launched an online petition.

Defra to publish council fly-tipping enforcement guide

The recycling minister Jo Churchill has said that Defra will shortly publish a guide to help local authorities and others present robust cases to court as a means of securing tougher sentences for fly-tipping.

According to Ms Churchill, investigations have been the most common action taken against fly-tipping incidents over time, with 69% of all actions in 2020/21 and a total of 316,000 investigations. Compared to 296,000 investigations in 2019/20, there has been a 7% increase.

A fixed penalty notice of up to £400 was introduced in 2016, and vehicles suspected of waste crime can be searched and seized.

The minister said: “While sentencing is a matter for courts, we have worked with the National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group to develop a guide to help local authorities and others present robust cases to court as a means of securing tougher sentences. We intend to publish this shortly.

“I was pleased to see that Aylesbury Crown Court recently sentenced a serial fly-tipper who dumped rubbish in multiple local authorities to 21 months in prison and ordered his van seized.”

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