News in brief 03/06/16

Recycling Rewards used to boost Northern Ireland recycling

L to R: Fiarce O’Donnell (Encirc), Kris McClelland (Cherry Pipes), Jeff Kearon (Huhtamaki), Eric Randall (Bryson Recycling) and Lynn Cowan (Children’s Heartbeat Trust)
A Northern Ireland-based recycling company has partnered with three local businesses to run a ‘Recycling Rewards’ scheme to boost recycling rates and support a local charity.

Bryson Recycling developed the award scheme to encourage people to recycle more plastic, paper and glass. For every tonne recycled through the company’s kerbside boxes, in place at 170,000 households, £1 will be donated to the Children’s Heartbeat Trust.

The company estimates that 10,000 tonnes of material will be recycled over the course of the year-long campaign, which will see recyclables reprocessed by campaign partners Cherry Pipes, Encirc and Huhtamaki.

Plastics will be turned into pipes for the agricultural, civil engineering and construction industries by Cherry Pipes, and glass will be used to produce bottles for food and drinks companies by Encirc. Paper will be recycled by Huhtamaki, which produces egg packaging and cup carriers. This reprocessing of collected materials will generate £9.1 million, which will be used to support the local economy.

Eric Randall, Director at Bryson Recycling, said: “Our weekly kerbside box collections result in high-quality materials that are recycled locally, which in turn helps sustain employment levels and improve economic growth. Recycling is easy – everyone can do it. We would encourage everyone with a kerbside box service to recycle as much as they can.”

More information is available on Bryson’s website.

Active landfill site evolving into nature reserve

News in brief 03/06/16
Work is underway to turn Pitsea Landfill site in Basildon, Essex, one of the largest gas collection schemes in the UK, into a nature reserve to protect local habitats and species in danger of disappearing.

The landfill site, currently operated by Veolia, is over 280 hectares in size and accepts around 800,000 tonnes of solid, non-hazardous waste from the local area a year.

Within the landfill is the Pitsea ‘eco-hub’, an array of 40,000 metres of pipework that connects 800 active gas collection wells. The landfill gas, produced from decomposing organic material, is sent to the National Grid and can produce around 13,000 kilowatts (kW) of energy every hour, enough to power more than 27,000 homes.

Veolia will be responsible for site restoration for 60 years after the end of the planning permit, after which the site will be leased to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to increase the biodiversity of the area.

Projects already underway include the creation of a badger hide area, a habitat for the endangered adder, a hibernacula out of rocks and rubble and beehives.  Bee-friendly plants are being planted, as are 600 trees, to offset CO2 and provide shelter for animals, and seeding has been spread to feed and encourage turtle doves to nest in the area. 

Natalie Holt, Senior Sites Manager at the RSPB South Essex reserves, said: “Many people would think that a landfill couldn’t provide homes for nature, but Pitsea proves this wrong. We work closely with our neighbours to ensure that restored areas and areas currently in restoration are providing excellent conditions for native wildlife.”

Novamont Mater-Bi bags ‘essential tool’ for food waste collection

Novamont, a developer of bio-based materials, has showcased its model for the collection of wet kitchen waste at IFAT, the biennial international trade fair for environmental services and waste management held in Munich this week (31 May-3 June).

AMSA, a Milanese waste management company, developed the collection model in 2012 and identified Novamont’s Mater-Bi compostable bags as an ‘essential tool’. Mater-Bi bags are biodegradable bioplastic bags made from starch, cellulose, vegetable oils and their combinations, which can be disposed of along with food waste.

AMSA recently trialled the collection method, in collaboration with Novamont and the City of Milan, at open air municipal markets. Compostable bags and holders were loaned to operators free of charge.

As a result of the trial 89 tonnes of separated food waste compared was collected as opposed to the 11 tonnes obtained from traditional bins. It is estimated that 94.9 kilogrammes (kg) of CO2 is saved for every tonne of organic waste sent for composting. Italy is one of the largest collectors of separate organic waste in Europe, collecting five million tonnes of food and garden waste in total. In addition, Milan became the first European city to collect over 98kg of organic waste per person with a purity of over 98 per cent.

Andrea Di Stefano, Secretary of Milano Recycle City, said: “Introduction of wet waste collection in street markets is an effective implementation of waste collection and the success already achieved among street vendors is a sign of the environmental awareness of the Milanese.”

Christian Garaffa, Waste Management Manager at Novamont, added: “Minimising the production of waste while at the same time adopting models that mimic biological systems and keep resources in circulation: this is the Novamont model.”

Axion Polymers announces two new solid-derived fuels

Two new high calorific value (CV) fuels derived from end-of-life automotive and electrical waste streams have been added to the range of alternative fuels produced by plastics recycler Axion Polymers.

The company, which produces many environmental, low-carbon impact, high-CV solid-derived fuels (SDF), has announced the introduction of Axfuel High CV Polychip Grades A and B, which are fully processed and technically separated with very low moisture, chlorine and ash content.

The Grade A fuel has a higher calorific value, similar to that of powdered petcoke fuel, while the Grade B option has a larger percentage of other combustible materials like wood and rubber. Both are suitable for use in the cement industry and energy-from-waste sectors

The particle size distribution of both fuels means they are ‘free flowing’ and as such are suitable for use in bulk storage, handling and transport systems supplying main burner fuel infeed in cement kilns and other similar combustion plants.

Keith Freegard, Director of Axion Polymers, said: “In line with our principles of treating alternative fuels from waste as products, we ensure that they are of consistently high quality to meet the technically-demanding specifications of our end markets. Giving waste materials a ‘second life’ as an alternative high-energy feed is an attractive option for companies who want to demonstrate their environmental credentials.”

Axion Polymers has also this week announced that it has appointed Laura Smith as Commercial Operations Manager at its plastics processing site in Salford following the departure of Steve Bell after 15 years with the company.