News in brief 09/09/16

Communications campaign sees 20 per cent more food waste recycled in Surrey

The amount of food waste recycled by Surrey residents has risen 20 per cent following a project by the Surrey Waste Partnership (SWP), which it says has saved a projected £365,000 in the current financial year.

Starting in September last year, SWP ran a two-month integrated communications campaign highlighting that collected food waste can be turned into electricity and fertiliser for farms. 

From November, ‘no food waste’ stickers were attached to residual bins across the county. More than 342,000 bins were targeted, and at the same time more than 221,000 households across seven of Surrey’s districts and boroughs received leaflets about their food waste service, or leaflets and biodegradable liners. 

Independent evaluation revealed that 78 per cent of residents said the communications campaign encouraged them to use their food waste collection. The most effective way to communicate with residents was found to be delivering leaflets and liners with the sticker, which saw a 27 per cent increase in the amount of food waste that was collected. In comparison, the councils that only had stickers saw an increase of almost 18 per cent. 

Overall, across Surrey's 11 district and borough councils, there was a 20 per cent increase in the amount of food waste recycled, which the SWP expects to translate into a rise of 5,400 tonnes or more in the amount of food waste collected each year – saving a projected £365,000 in the year to April 2017.

Matt Smyth, Chair of the Surrey Waste Partnership Officers’ Group, said: “Following this focus on food waste, we are expecting to collect at least 5,400 tonnes more food waste for recycling each year. While it was a logistically complex project to deliver on this scale, I would recommend this approach to other councils who are looking to increase the amount of food collected for recycling and reduce their waste disposal bill.”

More information about the Surrey Waste Partnership can be found on its website.

Helistrat agrees takeover of ecosurety waste management arm

Environmental consultancy Helistrat has announced an agreement to take over the waste management arm of resource efficiency specialist, ecosurety.

The agreement sees Helistrat expand its waste management business by over £1.5 million per year, and take over agreements a number of blue chip clients including Britvic, Birdseye and Hain Daniels. According to a press release put out by ecosurety, the deal will also the company to focus on its core service offering as a compliance scheme.

A small team of employees responsible for supporting the ecosurety waste business will transfer over to Helistrat as part of the deal, which Helistrat says will bring valuable additional experience and expertise whilst also ensuing continuity of service for new customers.

Commenting on the acquisition, Helistrat CEO Harvey Laud said: “This acquisition is clear evidence of our commitment to growth both organically and through targeted acquisitions. We would like to welcome our new customers to Helistrat and look forward to building on ecosurety’s high-quality service levels, whilst working to optimise the environmental and commercial benefits of improved materials management.”

Steve Clark, ecosurety’s chairman, added: “This strategic agreement allows ecosurety to focus on its core business of environmental compliance, where we’re challenging the market to bring ever-greater efficiency and innovation for the benefit of our members.

“Over the past six years, we’ve worked with several of the same clients as Helistrat and been impressed by their focus on supply chain accountability – one of the most critical areas when dealing with waste. With ecosurety facing so much opportunity to grow its core compliance business, the time was right to transfer our waste arm to Helistrat, who are experts in waste and share our aspirations for excellent customer service, continual improvement and resource efficiency.”

More information about Helistrat and ecosurety is available at the companies’ respective websites.

Countrystyle Recycling to install AMCS logistics and processing software

Kent-based resource management and recycling specialist Countrystyle Recycling has invested £275,000 in a new system from AMCS, supplier of integrated software and vehicle technology for the waste, recycling and resource management sector.

Countrystyle manages over 500,000 tonnes of waste a year from over 3,000 customers across South East England and provides services for a range of materials including general waste, organics, wood and plasterboard recycling.  

The new system, which also incorporates AMCS’s latest mobile and on-board weighing technology, will enable Countrystyle to run a single, integrated set of applications across its entire logistics and processing operations.

Commenting on the investment, Countrystyle’s Financial Director, Nick Hamblin, said: “The new system will provide us with a detailed view of our entire operation and the materials that we manage. Access to accurate real-time information, coupled with a powerful reporting capability, will enable us to realise higher service standards and significant cost savings through improved operational efficiency. It will also help us develop more sustainable solutions for an even wider range of the resources we handle, further reducing our customers’ environmental impact.” 

More information about Countrystyle Recycling can be found on its website.

New £6.4m North Lincs waste transfer station ready to start processing waste and recycling

Waste will start to arrive at a newly-built £6.4 -million waste transfer station in Scunthorpe in the next month after it was handed over to North Lincolnshire Council.

Staff training has been undertaken and tests of the equipment and machinery will now be carried out before the waste transfer station becomes fully operational at the beginning of October.

Once everything has been tested and is working as expected, collections from households and businesses from across North Lincolnshire will be taken to the Midland Road site. The site will be able to process up to 75,000 tonnes of waste collected by the council each year.

Currently all the council’s residual waste goes to landfill, but it is hoped the new waste transfer station will help to divert around 90 per cent of this waste from landfill. Instead, leftover non-recyclable waste will be manufactured into refuse-derived fuel for use in energy production. Garden waste will be sent for composting.

Cllr Neil Poole, Cabinet member for Environment, said: “The new waste transfer station is a major step forward for North Lincolnshire. It is vital that we recycle as much waste as possible to reduce our carbon footprint, now and in the future. The waste transfer station will be a big part of this."

More information about recycling in North Lincolnshire can be found on the council’s website.