News in Brief – 18/08/2020

Biffa saves 6,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions transporting material by rail 

Waste management company Biffa has announced that it has saved 6,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions by transporting its waste material to facilities by rail.

This follows the announcement in 2018 of Biffa’s rail partnership with GB Railfreight (GBRf) to increase its capacity for railway transportation, reducing its reliance on road vehicles. Since 2019, Biffa has transported over 600,000 tonnes of waste by rail. 

Rail links were created with Manchester and Leeds in 2017 and 2018 respectively to allow waste to be transported to Biffa’s landfill facility in Roxby, near Scunthorpe.

Data collected since January 2019 has revealed a saving of over 11 million kilometres in tipper truck journeys by using rail and 6,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions. 

Mick Davis, Chief Operating Officer for Resources and Energy at Biffa, commented: “Reducing our emissions has been a fundamental part of our business strategy over the past years and we are continually evaluating how to sustainably optimise our operations.

“This achievement is a small but important step towards meeting the ambitious targets set out in our new sustainability strategy, which targets transporting 50 per cent of our waste to landfill sites by rail by 2025. We’re looking forward to the results with upcoming rail links and the overall aim to tackle climate change in the UK.” 

John Smith, Managing Director at GBRf, said: “We are delighted to be Biffa’s partner in supporting them to reduce their carbon emissions. We look forward to continuing to develop further rail solutions with them to achieve their target of delivering 50 per cent of waste on rail.”

The announcement follows the publication of Biffa’s long-term sustainability strategy, ‘Resourceful, Responsible’ earlier this year. As part of this, the company set a target of transporting 50 per cent of its waste to landfill by rail by 2025.

In the last few years, Biffa has been developing its rail transport capabilities, transporting up to 27 per cent of its specialist waste types, destined for landfill, by rail. 

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

First Mile launches lithium-ion battery recycling service

Recycling company First Mile has launched a new scheme to recycle rechargeable lithium-ion batteries (LIB).

These batteries are commonly found in everyday handheld electronics, such as mobile phones and laptops, as well as electric scooters, bikes, cars and vans.

With rental electric vehicles, such as bikes and scooters, having been legalised to ease pressure on public transport systems, these vehicles have seen a significant increase in uptake in recent years.

Owing to this, LIBs are becoming increasingly commonplace. In fact, research estimates that two million metric tonnes of LIB waste will be generated across the world by 2030.

As LIBs contain precious metals that can be recovered, First Mile’s newly launched recycling service aims to safely transport them to specialist recycling facilities in mainland Europe, which use an innovative recycling process to recover aluminum, copper, nickel, cobalt and steel from the batteries.

Owing to the existence of potentially hazardous chemicals in LIBs that pose a risk to the environment if handled incorrectly, First Mile has also committed to storing the batteries responsibly and safely.

Speaking about the new LIB recycling service, Bruce Bratley, CEO and founder of First Mile, said: “Adding LIB recycling to our suite of recycling services is a really positive step forward for an item that has gained in popularity over the years, starting from consumer electronics and, more recently, the growth in the use of electric vehicles. 

“At First Mile, we know from our own green fleet just how much of a positive difference that switching to electric vehicles can have on the environment, but, it’s vitally important that green intentions are maintained throughout the lifecycle of a product.

“Recycling all components of a product at the end of its usable life is the best way to divert waste from landfill and safeguard our planet’s natural resources.”

First Mile will provide LIB collections of up to 30 kilogrammes, with fees calculated on a cost-per-kilogramme basis. The recycling company will also provide recycling reports and compliance documentation to customers, with all LIBs trackable from the point of collection to their final recycling destination.

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

J&B Recycling hires new Business Development Manager

Recycling and waste management company J&B Recycling recently hired Charlie Payne as its new Business Development Manager.

With around four years of experience in business development with the waste management industry and a degree in Marketing Management, Payne will use his expertise to aid the continued growth and development of the company. So far, his work has concentrated on bringing in new business and raising awareness of J&B's brand.

Payne said: "J&B Recycling already has a great reputation; and I am really looking forward to pushing the brand awareness further as the company offers a wide range of services such as general waste collections that run alongside the recycling collections.

"The more J&B vehicles and J&B bins we get out there, the more people hear about us. If a potential client sees a J&B bin next door to their premises, they are more likely to  give us a call."

Payne’s role involves following up on business leads and using a consultant-based approach to help clients increase their recycling rates and ensure they get the best value for money. He also works closely with the accounts and transport team to ensure accounts are set up and services are delivered on time.

He added: "J&B has a real strong customer-orientated ethos to give a more personal experience. I wanted to take the opportunity to work with this company as their values and focus on growing the business supports me in an open field to bring in more business.

For more information on J&B Recycling, visit the company’s website.

INEOS Styrolution and Recycling Technologies join forces on polystyrene recycling

Styrenics supplier INEOS Styrolution and plastics recycling technology provider Recycling Technologies have signed a joint development agreement (JDA) to further advance the development of polystyrene recycling in Europe.

This agreement recognises the commercial value of post-consumer plastic waste to prevent this resource from being incinerated or ending up in landfills.

Recycling Technologies completed a detailed research and trial process with INEOS Styrolution. This included scientific research and the processing of polystyrene on Recycling Technologies’ Mark II test reactor.

Both companies are set to further advance this depolymerisation solution based on Recycling Technologies’ fluidised bed technology, which is currently used for mixed plastics, and adapt it for the commercial recycling of polystyrene.

Sven Riechers, Vice President, Business Management, Standard Products, EMEA at INEOS Styrolution commented: “Recycling Technologies’ fluidised bed technology is a very promising technology to drive our joint agenda forward. I am looking forward to a fruitful collaboration in the interest of the environment, our customers and the consumers.”

Adrian Griffiths, CEO and Founder of Recycling Technologies, added: “We are delighted to enter into this partnership with INEOS Styrolution to develop a commercial solution to recycle polystyrene.

“This partnership creates the basis for a more circular economy in polystyrene allowing its users to achieve their challenging recycling targets set by all their stakeholders.

“To date we have focused on the recycling of mixed plastic waste, this initiative will allow us to develop and expand our feedstock recycling technology solutions to address a new and important market, recycling polystyrene.”

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

Fulcrum expands food waste recycling plant

Utility services provider Fulcrum is expanding its food waste recycling facility with the installation of a 2.3-kilometre gas main, which will power its existing electricity supply.

Secured through its client, energy consultant Excel Utilities, the contract will provide a new gas supply to the site, which is owned and operated by Brocklesby.

Located in East Yorkshire, the facility currently features a 1,000 square metre bulk storage facility, a cooking oil recycling plant and a food recycling and anaerobic digestion plant.

Supplier of biodiesel feedstock Brocklesby currently recycles in excess of 1000 tonnes of product every week, with plans in place to increase its capacity. The facility is currently undergoing a significant expansion and increasing its recycling capabilities.

With the gas main planned to be in operation in December, Fulcrum’s engineers will soon be mobilised to begin the first stages of the work, which will take the gas main from the network connection to the site.

Terry Dugdale, Group COO at Fulcrum, said: “Supporting the renewable energy industry is a key pillar of our strategy to support the UK in its net-zero revolution.

“Brocklesby’s innovative approach to food waste recycling supports the drive towards a low carbon, circular economy and the expansion of its plant will increase the production of biofuels and energy generation.”

“We have worked closely with Brocklesby and Excel Utilities to devise a programme to ensure this project can be delivered to a short timescale. 

“It is testament to the expertise and experience we have within our agile team, which is able to respond to project challenges and deliver effective solutions for our customers.”

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