News in Brief 23/06/2021

WasteCare announces new approach to producer compliance

WasteCare Group has announced the consolidation of its producer compliance schemes as WasteCare Compliance.

The company has also launched a new approach to producer compliance, meaning obligated businesses will no longer have to commit to buying evidence without knowing the cost first.

WasteCare’s Chairman, Peter Hunt, said: “This is not simply a tidying up exercise. Producer compliance costs are seen by many businesses as a tax and to make it worse they are expected to commit to a scheme without being told the likely costs at the outset.

“Auto renewing contracts also means businesses can become trapped in a scheme where there is little or no accountability or visibility in relation to the underlying costs.”

“If one trawls the websites of the UK producer compliance schemes, you will struggle to find any costs or prices.

Some schemes require members to give notice by 30 June to avoid being tied in until the end of 2022.

This is despite the fact that the regulations give businesses until October to join a scheme for the following year.

Obligated businesses can give notice, while requesting prices for the coming year – they then have until October to decide which scheme best suits them.

Huntingdonshire District Council reveals smart bin roll out

Huntingdonshire District Council has converted 360 of its traditional 110-litre litter bins into smart bins using the latest fill sensor technology.

Supplied by Egbert Taylor, the fill level sensors will provide up-to-the-minute updates on how full each litter bin is and whether or not it needs emptying.

This will bring the amount of the council’s 1200 public bins fitted with fill level sensors to almost a third. There are currently 100 sensor-equipped litter bins in place following a trial last year which saw collections reduced from what would have been 13,200 to 9,651 between 22 May and 31 December 2020.

Now, on average, every bin is emptied every three days rather than on a daily basis, five days a week.

A remaining 260 units are being rolled out in busy areas including Huntingdon, Ramsey and St Ives. A selection will also be rolled out to litter bins in outlying areas.

Of the initiative, Executive Councillor for Operations and Environment, Councillor Marge Beutell, said: “With the addition of these new sensors it enables our teams to be more efficient on collection days, knowing exactly where they need to be, and which bins require emptying.

“The Council is always looking for ways to improve our services and small changes such as these sensors provide a huge and positive change to street cleansing across Huntingdonshire.”

Gregory Cutts, Sales and Operations Executive for Egbert Taylor, adds: “As budgets continue to shrink, councils are continually looking for ways in which to make their resource go further.

“Sensor technology is a cost-effective way to turn traditional bins into IoT-ready assets without investing in fleets of new containers.

“We expect to see many more councils take Huntingdonshire’s lead as the pressure to deliver more for less continues to grow.”

Bristol Waste recycling initiative saves 465,000 cups from landfill

Bristol residents have been using Bristol Waste’s cup recycling bins to save hundreds of thousands of disposable cups from going to waste.

Three billion coffee cups are used and thrown away each year in the UK, with less than 4% currently recycled, but since being rolled out in February 2020, more than 465,000 cups have been collected through Bristol Waste’s ‘For Cups Sake’ recycling scheme.

Bristol Waste have also teamed up with Bristol City Council’s One Tree Per Child Bristol to plant a tree for every 10k cups recycled. So far 50 new trees are to be planted.

Additionally, starting this month, cup recycling bins will now be placed in hospitals across the region. Working with the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, cup recycling bins will be positioned in various locations in the Trust, allowing patients, visitors and staff to recycle their used drinking vessels.

Once collected, the cups will be baled at the Bristol Waste site in Avonmouth, before being sent to the James Cropper paper mill in the Lake District. Here the plastic lining will be removed from the cup, allowing the paper to be recycled and turned into high quality items such as notebooks and paper shopping bags.

Bristol Waste Company was awarded the funding for the project through environmental charity Hubbub, which launched The Cup Fund in response to the 5p charge on disposable coffee cups, introduced by Starbucks in an attempt to reduce plastic pollution.