News in brief 08/11/17

Amur reveals new test for anaerobic digestion biomethane potential

Anaerobic digestion (AD) services provider Amur has launched a new biomethane potential (BMP) test claiming to deliver more accurate results weeks ahead of existing methods.

BMP tests reveal the potential biomethane gas yield of feedstock, the catch-all term for the materials used to fuel AD plants, which might include food waste, crops and sewage sludge. Amur’s Bullet BMP technology uses near infra-red spectral analysis to deliver fast and effective assessments of the components in a feedstock sample, comparing these with known BMPs to produce an analysis in four days when conventional tests could take three weeks and often offer inaccurate results.

Nigel Lee, Amur’s General Manager, said: “AD plants are offered new feedstocks on a regular basis and being able to understand the value of those feedstocks to the AD operator is critically important.” He stressed, however, that Bullet BMP is most effective when used alongside other services, to help operators accurately spot and understand a change in gas yields.

Amur has recently expanded its laboratory services to York Science Park, and uses its own three megawatt gas to grid AD plant as a ‘testing ground’ for new concepts.

More information about Amur can be found on the company’s website.

Norfolk gains funding from Sainsbury’s to reduce food waste

The Norfolk Waste Partnership (NWP) has received a grant of almost £50,000 as part of the Sainsbury’s ‘Waste less, Save more’ campaign, intended to help the area tackle the problem of food waste and save money doing it.

Sainsbury’s estimates that wasted food costs households around £700 per year, despite 61 per cent of this waste being avoidable. To combat this, it is providing £1 million of investment spread across 147 ‘Discovery Communities’ in UK towns and cities, seven of which are in Norfolk.

Launched in 2015 and supported by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the programme had a trial run in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, where innovative ideas to cut down on waste were tested, including a ‘Food Rescue’ app to create recipes from leftovers, and designated ‘Food Saver Champions’ tasked with educating local residents about the programme. Though Swadlincote did not meet its target of reducing food waste by 50 per cent, lessons from the pilot have been used to create a 10-point-plan for use nationwide.

In Norfolk and across the UK’s Discovery Communities, ‘Community Fridges’ are being set up in which locals can leave unwanted food for other residents to use. NWP Chairman, Cllr John Fisher, said: “We are delivering a combination of awareness raising events as well as practical cookery skills sessions, to inspire people to reduce their food waste and potentially save money on food shopping at the same time.” 

More information about the Norfolk Discovery Communities campaign can be found on Recycle for Norfolk's website.

EAC launches inquiry into sustainability of MoJ

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has announced it will be conducting an inquiry into the sustainability of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), covering operations, policy-making, governance and procurement. This follows similar inquiries into sustainability in other departments including the Home Office and HM Treasury.

The announcement coincides with the release of the National Audit Office’s report into the subject. Responsible for the largest estate of all government departments, covering 1,650 sites, the MoJ produces around 20 per cent of all the government’s waste, water use and greenhouse gas emissions. However, the report claims the MoJ shows ‘significant gaps and weaknesses’ in accountability on environmental issues.

Mary Creagh, EAC Chair, said: “The MoJ is responsible for prisons, courts, and sites of special scientific interest throughout England and Wales. It is crucial for the whole country, therefore, that the environmental impacts of policy making are understood. Departments such as the MoJ lead from the front when it comes to sustainability.”

The EAC will hold a one-off evidence session on 14 November.

More information about the inquiry can be found on the Environmental Audit Committee's website.

Acumen cuts the ribbon at new operational centre

Yorkshire-based Acumen Waste Services Group (AWSG), a waste management and industrial site services provider, has opened a new operational centre in Immingham, North East Lincolnshire.

Established in 1994, the company specialises in hazardous waste management, treatment and removal, but has expanded to offer services across a number of industries including food waste recycling, soil remediation and secure destruction.

The new centre joins Acumen’s original operational hub in Stockton, as well as a waste transfer station and oil processing facility in Wolverhampton, and a solid waste recovery centre near York.

In March this year, the company also announced it had acquired waste management business Highspeed Group, along with its waste transfer and treatment centre in Keighley.

More information about Acumen Waste can be found on the company’s website.  


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