Materials

Viridor St Helens facility retains its WEEELABEX accreditation

Viridor has retained WEEELABEX accreditation for its cooling process at the St Helens, Merseyside, WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) facility for its third year running.

Viridor first received the certification in 2015, after an an extensive evaluation of its systems and processing of refrigeration treatment. The plant was the first approved authorised treatment facility (AATF) in the UK to receive a WEEELABEX accreditation on the fridge plant, with AO Recycling also receiving WEEELABEX accreditation for its Telford-based plant in March of this year.

Tom Liddell, Viridor’s Head of Recycling and Integrated Assets WEEE, said: “This accreditation shows the efforts and investment the WEEE business is making in driving higher standards within the industry and with recycling and recovery rates. These standards are continually reviewed and for the most recent audit Viridor worked with technology partners Andritz and Herco to achieve even higher recovery levels of the air-polluting blowing agents used in fridge manufacture.”Viridor St Helens retains its WEEELABEX accreditation

All European countries have to comply with the WEEE Directive from the European Commission, which sets targets for the collection, recycling and recovery for all types of electrical goods, even though WEEE collections last year fell short of 2017 targets.

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WEEELABEX was established in 2011 by the WEEE Forum (the European Association of Electrical and Electronic Waste Take Back Systems) with the aim of establishing and enforcing a set of Europe-wide standards for the treatment of different types of WEEE. Many advanced European economies, including Ireland, are pushing for WEEE processing facilities to achieve WEEELABEX accreditation.

Laura Rattigan, Viridor St Helens Unit Manager, said: “All the staff have contributed a real team effort throughout the auditing process and we are pleased we can continue to offer a WEEELABEX cooling service not only to our customers in the Republic of Ireland but to our producer compliance schemes and future customers who value increased compliance and recycling and recovery rates.”

Viridor originally chose to pursue the WEEELABEX accreditation so that it could support a long-standing collaboration with KMK Metals Recycling Ltd in the Republic of Ireland.

Kurt Kyck, of KMK, said: “We have been supplying fridges in large quantities from Ireland to the Viridor recycling plant in St Helens since 2003. Operating to this standard is a statement of intent and provides producers of cooling appliances with the comfort that their environmental responsibility under the WEEE Directive is being achieved and measured.”

Wayne Copley, Procurement Director of the UK’s largest WEEE producer compliance scheme REPIC, “Viridor continues to play a significant role in the UK WEEE reprocessing sector and this shows it is keeping pace with the quality expectations of UK and multinational clients who want to see WEEE dealt with effectively, efficiently and sustainably. Viridor has done very well to secure the latest WEEELABEX quality approval, it’s great news for Viridor and good news for the UK WEEE recycling sector too.”

Through WEEELABEX standards, it is hoped that the WEEE recovery industry will be able to reduce pollution levels, recover more secondary raw materials, improve occupational health and safety conditions for workers and establish a more transparent material flow management.

To read more about Viridor and its WEEELABEX standard, you can check out the Viridor website.

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