Business in Brief - 20/11/2020

London black taxicab firm to work with waste management company Axil

Axil Integrated Services has signed a three-year contract to manage the waste from the headquarters of London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC), the firm behind the capital’s black taxicabs.

Axil started working with LEVC this month to help it increase its recycling rate and work towards achieving its zero to landfill ambition.

It will also provide training to motivate LEVC staff to get involved in the new waste initiatives, through improving recycling signage across the site to help staff understand the waste segregation process.

Grace Oldham, Head of Business Development at Axil said: ““We are very proud to have been chosen to deliver waste management services for LEVC at its Coventry base, and excited to be working with them on the next stage of their waste journey.

“LEVC is a leading global manufacturer and retailer of purpose-built commercial electric vehicles and its new headquarters is 37,000 sqm and produces 20,000 units a year.

“We have exciting plans in place to boost their recycling rates and are looking to remove up to 30 per cent of their general waste tonnage. We are introducing more efficient equipment to segregate waste streams as part of our efforts to help LEVC move towards its ambition of becoming a zero to landfill company.”

Industry to create first end-of-life supply chain for electric car batteries

A project to create a new end-of-life supply chain for electric car batteries is being led by the RECOVAS partnership, with grant support from the UK Government’s Advanced Propulsion Centre. 

RECOVAS is a cross-sector consortium of industry and government and academic institutions, including EMR Metals Recycling, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, the University of Warwick, the Health and Safety Executive, the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre and uRecycle.

The project, which is set to start in January 2021 for three years, will see battery recycling service uRecycle develop the UK’s first commercial scale recycling facility for automotive battery packs.

With manufacturers obliged to retain legal responsibility for the safe disposal of lithium ion electric car batteries, and with the number of electric and plug-in hybrid cars on the road expected to rise in the coming years, the project will aim to standardise a reliable method for recycling and repurposing these batteries.

Repurposing batteries could involve remanufacturing existing batteries to be used in new cars or reusing batteries in stationary storage for use in the electricity grid.

Roger Morton, Managing Director for Technology and Innovation at EMR, said: “Our aim is to create a circular supply chain for batteries and, in the process, reduce the cost for end-of-life disposal for the vehicle manufacturer or last owner of the car to zero.

“By working in partnership with the RECOVAS consortium, electric vehicle manufacturers will develop simple design changes that greatly improve the potential to remanufacture, reuse or recycle their batteries at end of life. This will help to transform the economics of the electric vehicle market.”

Minister for Business and Industry, Nadhim Zahawi MP, said the investment showed that the UK ‘is leading the global battle against climate change’.

He added: “Backed by government funding, these trailblazing projects will help the UK to build back better by creating all-important green jobs, ensuring the sector can make further strides towards an electrified automotive future.”

FSM and Granville EcoPark use food waste to fuel transport

Irish waste collection company Food Surplus Management (FSM) have teamed up with Northern Irish waste collection service Granville EcoPark to create transport fuel from food waste.

The process involves breaking down food waste using Anaerobic Digestion (AD) to produce biogas, which is then refined into biomethane. This is used to power FSM’s delivery vehicles, creating what the company refers to as a ‘smart loop’.

Granville Eco Park’s Plant Manager, Shane Doherty said: “We are delighted to have FSM on board as a ‘smart loop’ customer. We believe this relationship will only add to each other’s strength and resilience and we look forward to supporting them in any way we can for a sustainable future.”

The vehicles fuelled by biomethane are said to reduce their CO2  emissions by up to 95 per cent compared to diesel and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 70 per cent. FSM’s Scania G410 CNG powered truck can drive for approximately 550km, made from 1.8 tonnes of food waste.

Granville Ecopark processes 90,000 tonnes of food waste a year in its AD facility, powering over 5,000 homes and producing biomethane transport fuel and fertiliser.

Collecting waste from over 1,500 sites across Ireland, FSM hopes to convert its entire fleet to biomethane-fuelled vehicles.