Business in Brief - 19/01/2020

Storm Environmental launches accessible waste container for wheelchair users

Storm Environmental has recently produced a waste container that is catered towards elderly or disabled people, aiming to make recycling more inclusive.

After a successful trial period, the 1280 litre container, known as a DDA bin, has now been implemented in Brighton & Hove. The company aims to now roll out the bin into other areas, with a trial currently taking place in Islington, London.

Elderly and disabled residents are often limited in their ability to recycle due to accessibility issues with containers, as they could not reach the lid and discard their recycling.

The DDA bin has an aperture on the front large enough for wheelchair users to insert their waste into.

Resident Ann Packham said: “The bin is making a big difference for elderly and disabled people. It’s nice to be independent and be able to do the recycling ourselves.”

Sales Director Archie Logan added: “This innovation from Storm continues to reinforce our position as the market leader. We are always looking to find creative solutions to issues within the waste industry.”

The container is a modified version of Storm Environmental’s reverse lid bin so it can still be used by people who wish to recycle by using the lid rather than the aperture.

Stroud District Council trials electric refuse vehicle in its waste collection

Stroud District Council’s (SDC) waste partner Ubico has tested the e-One electric refuse vehicle from Gloucestershire-based supplier Refuse Vehicle Solutions Ltd (RVS).

The demonstration vehicle was repowered from a diesel-powered vehicle to an electric drivetrain and is one of the UK’s first full electric refuse vehicle conversions. The bin-lifting mechanism is also powered by electricity.

The vehicle, covering 55km through Stonehouse and Upton St Leonards, carried out 1054 bin lifts and collected a total of 12.8 tonnes of waste. It only used 71 per cent of its battery life in nine hours in use.

“The council is carbon neutral and is aiming for the whole district to become carbon neutral by 2030, and this is just one of many ways we can cut emissions and set an example too,” said SDC Leader Doina Cornell.

“I am particularly pleased to see a local firm leading the way in this growing sector too.”

SDC Environment Committee Chair Simon Pickering added: “While we must do everything we can to reduce the amount of rubbish we dispose of, and cut our carbon miles, electric vehicles like this will be needed in future. I look forward to exploring this option further.”

RVS Managing Director Spencer Law said: “We are thrilled that our local council has joined other authorities across the UK in trialling our e-One electric repowering solution.  The vehicle performed excellently during the demonstration and compared very favourably with diesel vehicles. We hope to be part of the council’s plans to switch to electric and achieve its carbon-neutral target.”

UK’s first household battery recycling plant approved by EA

Waste management firm WasteCare has opened the UK’s first full-scale household battery recycling facility following approval from the Environment Agency (EA).

The £2 million facility in Elland, West Yorkshire has processing capacity for 25,000 tonnes of household batteries annually. This means it can recycle all the UK’s spent alkaline and zinc carbon batteries, which will prevent them from being shipped to mainland Europe for treatment.

Alkaline and zinc carbon batteries account for around 80 per cent of batteries sold in the UK, most commonly as AAs, AAAs, Cs and Ds.

The plant is expected to receive mixed consumer batteries from collection points throughout the UK. It will operate as a fully automated facility, sorting batteries by size and chemistry, with the alkaline and zinc carbon batteries entering a sealed processing unit before moving onto a separation and extraction process.

These processes will allow the component material in the batteries to be separated, so they can be reused by manufacturers as secondary raw materials.

Graeme Parkin, Chief Operating Officer of the WasteCare Group, who has overseen the development of this new facility, said: “We are proud to have delivered this world class facility which has the capability to treat all of the UK’s alkaline batteries.

“It represents the first phase of our ambitious investment programme - to develop UK-based recycling solutions for other battery chemistries to meet the projected demand in the UK.

“We are already at an advanced stage in developing a downstream process that will allow raw materials to be reused directly in battery manufacturing and this plant should be operational towards the end of 2021.”