News in Brief – 11/12/19

Geminor signs chemical recycling contract with Quantafuel

Geminor has signed a contract with Norwegian company Quantafuel, committing to delivering 20,000 tonnes of waste plastics to Quantafuel’s plant for chemical recycled feedstock for new plastic production.

Quantafuel's chemical recycling plant in Denmark
Quantafuel's chemical recycling plant in Denmark

This announcement comes as Quantafuel prepares to open its new plant in Skive in Denmark, which will transform waste plastic into chemical feedstocks with the help of a €20 million (£17 million) investment from German chemical company BASF.

Kjetil Bøhn, CEO of Quantafuel, commented: “Our goal is to establish a circular economy involving chemical recycling, and in order to achieve this we need a steady supply of plastic waste which suits our process and is unfit for mechanical recycling. As our main supplier in the years to come, Geminor will increase and secure our access to valuable plastic waste material from all over Scandinavia and Europe.

“With both BASF and Geminor on our team, the loop is complete. Together we will be able to collect plastic waste and deliver clean and sustainable products which replace products made from fossil resources. Chemical recycling is a much-needed supplement to mechanical recycling, and we hope that chemically recycled plastics will become a recognised standard in European plastic production.”

Kjetil Vikingstad, CEO at Geminor, added: “We have for some time been part of establishing a circular economy within waste wood, leading to the production of new and sustainable furniture. This already has made an impact on our carbon footprint all over Europe. Considering the enormous and still increasing amounts of waste plastic we find in Europe today, creating a circular economy involving chemical recycling has the potential of making plastic an equally sustainable product.

“Managing the supply of waste plastic for the production of new recycled plastic will be of high priority for us in the time to come. We now encourage the industry players to assist us in the effort to establish a circular economy within chemically recycled plastics in Denmark and Europe.”

Geminor has also recently acquired Norwegian competitor Rekom AS.

You can find more information on the Geminor website.

Enva announces plans to double Edinburgh recycling capacity

Wood recyclers Enva will invest £1 million in processing equipment and infrastructure at its Newbridge recycling facility near Edinburgh, doubling the site’s capacity.

Enva announces plans to double Edinburgh recycling capacity

The work will be completed in early 2020, after which the facility will be capable of processing and recovering materials from a wide range of waste streams including construction, commercial and municipal materials with the potential to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Commenting on the expansion, Enva’s Managing Director, Barry Coughlan, said: “This investment in recycling infrastructure demonstrates our commitment to the continued expansion of our business in and around Edinburgh. Providing customers with access to our latest recycling facility, we will ensure that they continue to receive a commercially and environmentally sustainable service for years to come.”

You can find out more about Enva on the company’s website.

Egbert Taylor refurbishes bins with sustainable powder coating

Egbert Taylor has replaced its wet paint process with a non-carbon powder coating to minimise the environmental impact of its refurbished bins.

The waste management company will remove all volatile organic compounds from its refurbishment programme, preventing 600 grammes of carbon per bin from being released into the atmosphere. The new powder coating also cuts wastage associated with over-application by 40-50 per cent and removes over-paint marks on castors.

From Left to Right: Powder coated bin, wet painted bin
From Left to Right: Powder coated bin, wet painted bin

Powder coating is more durable than wet paint, allowing for containers to be double stacked in transit without the risk of paintwork being scraped off. This doubles the number of bins that can be transported in one journey, reducing the carbon emissions of distribution.

Brendan Murphy, Chief Executive at Egbert Taylor, said: “As a business that refurbishes around 15,000 bins each year, our decision to adopt a production wide approach to powder coating not only lessens the environmental impact of each and every bin we refurbish, but also makes them look good as new. As local authorities are now under pressure to make their bins last as long as possible, add value to the streetscene and achieve this in a sustainable manner, we believe that our decision to powder coat all bins, new and refurbished, addresses all three factors.”

Marc Stephenson, Service Manager at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council – one of the first local authorities to select Egbert Taylor to refurbish its containers with the new powder coating – said: “It’s really important that we reduce the council’s environmental impact wherever possible. By having access to powder coated bins, we are now able to make even more sustainable choices when it comes to our waste collection provision. It’s also important that our community can be proud of how their bins look and until now, the only way we could guarantee this was by purchasing new containers.

“However, the powder coated finish on Taylor’s refurbished bins is exceptional and means we can make our budgets work harder by extending the time between new purchases.”

For more information visit Egbert Taylor’s website.

Andusia enters management buy-in

Following eight years of trading, Andusia has entered into a management buy-in (MBI) agreement with its existing management team.

The MBI will allow Andusia to implement a new wider staff ownership structure, offering shares to give staff a minority stake in the company. Co-directors Steve Burton and Stewart Brackenbury will take on new roles in the organisation, with Burton as Managing Director and Brackenbury as Chairman.

Brackenbury said: “The development of the next phase of trading dictates a need for us to bring in new younger managers so that the business is sound and expanding going forward.”

Burton commented: “The MBI is just the next step in the evolution of Andusia. We are delighted that we can now allow our hard working team to share in the growing success of our business. Our plans for the next few years will focus heavily on the UK market whilst continuing our significant and growing export businesses and we are looking forward to entering into 2020 with some exciting developments afoot.”

You can find more information on the Andusia website.

Arctic waste company opens for contaminated soil

Norwegian waste operator Perpetuum is now certified to receive soil that has been contaminated with per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) from Europe.

Since 2017, the company has invested €3.5 million (£2.9 million) in upgrades to handle PFAS-contaminated soil, with the biggest challenges found at airports.

Are Lorentsen, CEO of Perpetuum, explained: “Fire extinguishing foams contained toxic PFAS substances up until 2007, and today we find that many airports have contaminated PFAS masses which need to be handled. These substances contaminate soil and water, making specialised landfill the best and safest end station. In practice, this type of closed landfill contributes to a chemical stabilisation of contaminated soil, where residual industry products are used as a binding element – or sorbent. This technology works well for absorbing metals and PFAS.”

Perpetuum has also entered into a cooperation with Geminor in order to explore possibilities of collecting and securing European PFAS and arranging necessary permits and transport of masses to the Arctic.

Kjetil Hausken, Country Manager at Geminor in Norway, said: “Internationally, there is hardly anyone who can offer specialised, sealed landfill cells of this kind. That makes Perpetuum quite unique in a European context. Our job now is to examine the extent of this pollution in Europe and see how we, together with Perpetuum, can handle these masses properly.

“The transport of such substances can be complicated, and the export and import of PFAS-contaminated masses is subject to regulation. Understanding the market and how best to contribute to the safe handling of PFAS will be our main task in this partnership.”

You can find out more information on the Perpetuum website.