From 1st April 2016, the Environment Agency will be introducing changes to hazardous waste regulations that will eliminate the need for businesses operating hazardous waste premises in England to register their site with the EA.
The aim is to reduce the burden of costs and administration to the operator and has been brought about by the Strategic Smarter Environmental Regulation Review.
Businesses producing, storing or handling 500kg or more of hazardous waste annually in England will no longer need to register its premises with the EA, but it must continue to have a valid registration up until 1st April 2016.
This change only applies to premises in England. Premises in Wales must continue to register with their environmental regulator, Natural Resources Wales.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “By eliminating the need to register with us these changes will reduce the regulatory burden on business and the use of the revised consignee information will help ensure that we can continue to trace hazardous waste back to its source.”
There are two changes you need to know about:
1. CONSIGNMENT NOTES To accommodate the removal of premises registration, the format of the unique consignment note code will also change in England from 1st April 2016. Businesses will need to amend the first six characters of the consignment note code (currently the premises registration number), replacing them with the first six letter or numbers of the business name. The code “EXCEMPT” will no longer be used or accepted. The second set of characters will continue to be five numbers or letters of your choosing.
2. SIC CODE The requirement for the SIC code on the consignment note ill also change. The requirement for the SIC code on the consignment note also will change. The EA currently accept SIC 2003, SIC 2007 or NACE on the consignment note. The change in the Hazardous Waste Regulations from 1 April 2016, specifying SIC 2007, matches the requirements for waste transfer notes (for non-hazardous waste).
The EA currently has a Regulatory Position to allow different SIC publications and the use of NACE codes to be used; they will continue to allow the use of NACE.
The EA is working with gov.uk to get further guidance published as soon as possible and is in the process of contacting all registered producers informing them of the change.
British paper manufacturer James Cropper has launched a new trial recycling initiative with McDonalds UK that it has said will “pioneer moves in sustainability and recycling” and will see previously non-recyclable plastic-coated paper cups recycled into paper and plastic products.
Richard Burnett, Market Development Manager at James Cropper, said: “It’s estimated that up to 2.5bn paper cups are used in the UK every year. Most of these are currently not recycled as, being polyethylene-coated, they can’t be recycled amongst ordinary household waste. In addition, collecting used paper cups for recycling has been problematic due to the nature of their use – they’re used on the go and are often taken away from the place of purchase.”
“The partnership with McDonald’s has been nearly two years in the making and signifies an important step towards recycling used paper cups and, ultimately, reducing waste going to landfill. By collaborating with McDonald’s, we’re working towards an effective scheme that can recoup as many used paper cups as possible, which can then go back into the supply chain.”
The trial recycling scheme which James Cropper says is a “UK first” has initially been rolled out across 150 of McDonald’s 1250 UK restaurants. Paper cups are collected from restaurants and then baled by Simply Cups, before being delivered to James Cropper for reprocessing. Reclaimed fibre can then be used in everything from brochures and stationery to designer gift boxes.
Helen McFarlane, Sustainability consultant at McDonald’s UK, added: “Paper cups constitute about 30% of our packaging waste and this is a great opportunity to ensure that the quality fibre used in making those cups gets another life. We have recently started to introduce recycling stations in our restaurants to allow customers to separate paper cups, and we’re eager to see what this trial with James Cropper and Simply Cups will look like, hopefully helping set up the infrastructure for others to use in future.”
The partnership with McDonald’s is just the start of the journey to make widespread post-consumer paper cup recycling a reality.
The reclaimed fibre facility at James Cropper, which was opened by HM The Queen in 2013, uses a method which separates the paper from the plastic coating, and currently processes the equivalent of 10 million paper cups per week from the off cuts of paper cup manufacturers.
The process results in no wastage whatsoever – with 90 per cent of the cup waste being converted back into FSC® certified fibre for paper production and the remaining 10 per cent, which is plastic, being repurposed as garden furniture, for example.
The Kent Resource Partnership has received a huge boost to it’s funding after being awarded the sum of £70,694 from WRAP’s “Increasing Communications through Local Authorities” fund, and a further £40,000 from the private sector.
In an announcement made by the organisation last month, it was revealed that the WRAP money will be used to support important communications to over 300,000 households in six of the county’s boroughs – Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks, Swale, Thanet and Tonbridge & Malling. Additional funding from the private sector, will be used to ensure the same important communications are distributed to residents in the other 6 boroughs – Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Maidstone, Shepway and Tunbridge Wells.
The majority of the funding will be used in a campaign to encourage householders to recycle more plastics and metal packaging at home. Social media, vehicle liveries, display materials, leaflets, website banners and other channels will be used to get the campaign’s message across clearly.
Householders will have already received plastics recycling leaflets in January, so the next stage of their campaign will be the delivery of leaflets on MetalMatters during February/March 2016.
The MetalMatters industry partnership is committing £30,000 towards a second “Metal Matters” campaign, which will run across the whole of Kent in February/March 2016. This is the first area in the UK to receive a second wave of communications activity following a campaign with the Kent Resource Partnership in 2012.
Rick Hindley, Alupro chief executive officer said: “We are looking forward to assessing the impact of running a second MetalMatters campaign across an area, and are using this opportunity to refresh some of the Metal Matters campaign materials. We are confident our work in Kent will be as 2 successful as the 2012 programme where an increase in metals recycling of 9% for the whole of the county was recorded and campaign costs were recovered within five months.”
Welcoming all funding commitments, councillor Rory Love, added: “The Kent Resource Partnership values highly our relationship with WRAP, and we are delighted to be supported financially by Marks and Spencer plc and Alupro. This is possible only because of the KRP’s track record of solid project delivery and our achievement of results. This investment of over £110k in communicating with Kent householders will help make a positive impact on the environment.”
A YouGov survey commissioned by Sainsbury’s has found that families in the UK are wasting twice as much food as they think they are.
According to figures published by Waste & Resources Action Plan (WRAP), over 4m tonnes of edible food is thrown away each year in the UK, yet the research showed that only 81% of British families believe that they waste little or no food, with many stating that the problem lies with supermarkets.
The YouGov research which revealed a ‘food waste gap’ found that households of four think they only throw away less than £30 worth of food a month, the equivalent of 10 meals, when in fact the average household throws away four times that amount, an estimated 44 meals per month worth £58.30.
The research coincides with the launch of Sainsbury’s ‘Waste less Save more’ campaign, a £10 million initiative to reduce household food waste.
The five-year programme starts in Swandlincote, South Derbyshire, which won a bid for £1 million to trial initiatives to tackle food waste. The market town beat applications from 188 other UK towns and cities to be the test-bed for the latest innovations to cut household waste by 50 per cent, which would equate to annual savings of £350 per household.
The launch will see the piloting of various innovative ideas including fridge thermometers, ‘smarter’ kitchen appliances and the Olio food sharing app. Swadlincote is the first place outside of London where the free Olio app is available, allowing neighbours, friends and cafes to share surplus or unwanted food by posting pictures of it online and enabling those who can use it to get in touch.
Further technologies designed to help customers enjoy food for longer will be introduced during the 12 month project; and findings from the year-long trial in Swadlincote will be used to create a blueprint for towns and cities across the UK.
Clean for The Queen is a campaign launched by Country Life magazine in conjunction with Keep Britain Tidy to clear up Britain in time for The Queen’s 90th birthday on 21st April 2016.
Across the country individuals, volunteer groups, local authorities, businesses and schools are being urged to clean up their local areas and take part in a special clean-up weekend during 4th– 6th March 2016.
Rory Stewart, Environment Minister said: “Her Majesty The Queen is an inspiration to all of us. Her 90th birthday is a unique opportunity for people to come together in celebration of Her Majesty’s long service and dedication to this country. Everyone has a responsibility to keep their community tidy and this campaign provides us with a great chance to protect our wildlife and improve the quality of our streets and public spaces. I hope it will help lead to a lasting legacy of a cleaner, tidier Britain.”
How much litter is there?
About 2.25 million pieces of litter are dropped on the streets of the UK every day. Thirty million tons of rubbish are collected from England’s streets each year. That’s enough to fill Wembley Stadium four times over.
The Highways Agency clears about 180,000 sacks of litter from motorways and A roads alone. There could be 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of the ocean. About 80% of that comes from the land. Plastic takes at least 450 years to break down in seawater.
In 2013/14, local authorities dealt with 852,000 fly-tipping incidents in England and Wales. These cost roughly £45 million to clear up. The RSPCA receives 7,000 calls a year about animals injured by litter.
In 2013, 8.3 billion single-use plastic bags were handed out in the UK. The amount of litter on UK beaches has almost doubled over the past 15 years.
How much is it costing?
- It costs taxpayers almost £1 billion every year to clean up litter from our streets
- The cost of cleaning up chewing gum from a town centre is up to £60,000
- Fly-tipping costs Network Rail more than £2.3 million each year
- Clearing litter costs Dartmoor National Park £20,000 a year
- According to a 2014 Keep Britain Tidy report, if we recycled 50% of items littered in England, it would have an economic value of at least £14.8 million
How can you get involved?
To take part in Clean for The Queen, please register here, where you’ll find advice and tips about how to join a group or to simply do your bit.
Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council is inviting members of the public to join any of the ‘Clean for The Queen’ community events taking place in Golden Green, Wateringbury, Burham, Wouldham, Aylesford, Ditton, Kings Hill, Hildenbourough, East Malling or Tonbridge on 4th, 5th and 6th March 2016. The council will be providing litter-picking equipment and of course dispose of any litter collected.
Please contact the Council’s Environmental Projects Coordinator for more information on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01732 876147
The Chartman Group, independent operator of numerous petrol stations, has introduced aluminium can recycling facilities at its award-winning flagship Winning Post site on the A38 outside Exeter, in a pilot scheme for the forecourt sector.
The recycling scheme is being organised by Every Can Counts, which is sponsored by the metal industry and drinks companies including Red Bull and AG Barr, and has been designed to uncover the best ways to implement and communicate drinks can recycling for the sector. As part of the scheme, Every Can Counts and the Chartman Group are hoping to establish a recycling message that is clear to understand and use.
Every Can Counts Brand Manager, Jonathan Easthope said: “Recent research has shown that 44 percent of all drinks cans purchased in the UK are consumed outside of the home, so petrol forecourts are in a strong position to help customers to easily recycle these empty cans on the go and do their bit. This is the first pilot scheme of its kind for the sector, so we are delighted to be working with the Chartman Group and hope to encourage other forecourts to get on-board as a result of this activity.”
Research has shown that 3% of drinks cans are purchased at petrol stations and service stations in the UK, which may not seem like a lot, but it adds up to over 18million drinks cans per week, of which approximately 33% are sent to landfill instead of being recycled.
Jonathan added: “From these statistics alone, it is easy to see the potential for can recycling at locations such as petrol forecourts and equally why it’s important that we encourage other operators like Chartman to get involved too.”
Chartman Director, Clive Sheppard said: “We hope to scale this up to all eight Chartman sites after Christmas, and then in turn, through the Petrol Retailers Association, the whole forecourt industry, thereby making a significant contribution to recycling activity.”
A group of the UK’s leading retailers have banded together to reduce supermarket food waste by 20,000 tonnes over the past year, according to a new report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
The report, which details the practical steps supermarkets are taking to reduce waste, reveals the total amount of waste generated by UK supermarkets in 2014 was 180,000 tonnes, down from 200,000 tonnes in 2013. This figure was calculated using data from seven major supermarkets; Asda, Co-operative Food, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, and was independently collated by the Waste and Resources Action Programme.
While this decrease in food waste is positive, the report notes that retailers still account for just a little over 1% of the estimated 15million tonnes of food that is wasted in Britain each year. A considerably higher proportion of this waste occurs at other stages along the food chain including at the farm and manufacturing stages, as well as within the home.
However, it added that the retailers’ position at the heart of the supply chain means they can influence and potentially reduce the amount of food wasted both in the supply chain and at home. Many are working on a range of projects an initiatives focused on their own operations, on suppliers and on households to prevent food waste altogether. These are outlined in greater detail in the BRC report.
BRC director of food & sustainability, Andrew Opie, said: “While we welcome the fact that retail food waste levels are falling, it is nevertheless important to continue to focus attention and efforts on where the biggest reductions in food waste can be made and that is in the supply chain and at home. As an industry, we have a huge contribution to make and we will continue our work with suppliers and customers to build on the progress we have already achieved.”
Retailers are also working very closely with redistribution organisations across the UK to ensure that where they do have useable surplus food, as much as possible goes to the people who need it most. Where food waste does arise, retailers continue to find the most appropriate way of utilising it effectively, with many retailers now sending zero food waste to landfill.
OUR FOOD WASTE SERVICES
If you are based in Kent and are worried about your business’s food waste or it’s effects on the environment, we can help.
Here at Equinox Recycling, we provide two food waste collection services – naked (no packaging) and packaged. The naked food waste is a more popular and efficient method of food recycling, typically being placed into 240litre wheeled bins lined with BioBags. Most food packaging (once incinerated) can be recycled, but due to the high level of contaminate from food, the non-recyclable packaging would have to be incinerated to maximise recycling rates. This service is provided as a frequent collection service, however we can provide one-off collections for bulk quantities of food waste.
For more information, please call our friendly and experienced sales team on 0845 520 21 21 or use the contact form on our website.
In a speech delivered ahead of the public spending review scheduled for 25th November, Osborne said he had reached a “provisional agreement” with four departments – Defra, the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Treasury and the Department for Transport – to cut every day spending by 30% over the next four years.
According to Mr Osborne, the spending cuts are part of the government’s plan to reduce the deficit and bring the UK back into surplus by 2019/20, and his speech repeatedly iterated the need to ensure the UK’s “economic security and national security”.
Osborne indicated the cuts would be achieved in part through “closing low-value programmes”.
Defra’s current programme and administration budget for 2015/16 stands at £1.7bn.
The announcement is the latest in a long line of blows to Defra’s budget and the cuts to Defra’s resource spending are likely to hit funding of charitable organisations such as the Waste &Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and Keep Britain Tidy.
WRAP has had its government funding cut in successive years, reducing from £38.9 million in 2013/14 to £35 million in 2014/15, while Defra also axed the final round of its £800,000 Innovation in Waste Prevention Fund, which is coordinated by WRAP, in September.
Faced with successive central government cuts to its budget, the Programme has sought other means of funding and had its status as a charity officially confirmed last year.
Keep Britain Tidy, meanwhile, had its funding from Defra reduced from £2 million in 2013/14 to just £500,000 in 2014/15.
Negotiations continue with other government departments over resource spending cuts ahead of the November 25 announcement. However, a number of departments, such as the Department of Health, have been protected from spending cuts.
Two Kent builders have been fined more than £3,000 for failing to ensure their waste was not disposed of illegally.
Swale Borough Council prosecuted Sam Feaver, Director at Feaverbuild Ltd, after waste from a job he was working on was fly-tipped at Tonge, Sittingbourne in two separate incidents.
Mr Feaver was carrying out renovation work to a property at Provender Walk, Faversham and subcontracted some work to Matt Robinson, of Mount Field.
Mr Robinson had paid an unidentified individual to remove excess waste from the property, which included cardboard boxes, plastic wrapping, broken down kitchen cupboards, a cooker hood and green waste, but the waste was dumped illegally.
Council officers examined the waste and discovered that most had come from the renovation and was linked to Mr Robinson.
Despite both men pleading not guilty at Sevenoaks Magistrates Court on Wednesday 4th November, they were found guilty and ordered to pay fines of £1,125 each and costs of £1,815, with an additional £15 victim surcharge.
Cllr David Simmons said: “We are delighted with these results.
“Flytipping is an eyesore and something which really affects the quality of life of our residents, who are clear that they want us to take the matter very seriously.
“This sends a clear message that anyone who produces waste has a responsibility to make sure that it is disposed of responsibly.
“Residents can help us tackle the problem by being clear on who is taking their waste away. If your waste ends up dumped in a country lane and you have the details of who took it away, we can then trace the fly tippers.
“People should be especially wary of anyone offering to take any items away for a small fee. Always ask to see their waste carriers licence, and make a note of the details. It is also wise to ask for a receipt.”
HOW WE CAN HELP
Equinox Recycling offers a comprehensive range of waste management and recycling solutions for residential and commercial customers in Kent, including zero waste to landfill. Using a range of vehicles including trade waste (rubbish sacks & wheeled containers), rear end loaders, skip and roll-on-roll-off, we are able to operate throughout the South East of England.
Marks and Spencer has launched a new nationwide food redistribution scheme in a bid to cut food waste levels and support charities across the UK.
The retail giant is working in partnership with Neighbourly, a social network mobile app that connects community projects with businesses to deliver the scheme effectively.
Every day, stores will upload information on any surplus food they have available and charities registered in the scheme can claim it using the app and then collect it from the stores.
The company confirmed that redistributed food would include products nearing their expiry date including fruit, vegetables, bread, cakes and groceries, with charities able to select what type of food they receive based on need.
Food charities that wish to participate in the scheme can register online. M&S confirmed that 150 of its biggest stores in the UK will be ready to begin redistributing surplus food by December 2015, with the remainder of stores expected to join the scheme from Spring 2016. M&S will provide live updates on the number of tonnes of surplus food redistributed through the scheme on its Neighbourly profile page.
The nationwide launch of this new food redistribution scheme follows an 18-month period of initiatives in 45 stores to find the ‘most effective way or redistributing surplus food’.
Six stores in the Bath and Bristol area have been piloting the Neighbourly scheme since April. In that time, M&S claims that almost four tonnes of surplus food has been redistributed, with collections being made by charities on a daily basis.
Reducing food waste is one of the aims of the retailer’s Plan A sustainability plan and says that since 2013, it has worked with suppliers to reduce their food waste by 250,000 tonnes, with over half now operating with zero waste to landfill.
Louise Nicholls, head of responsible sourcing, packaging and Plan A at M&S, said “the new initiative would play a major part in helping the company meet its target of cutting food waste in its stores by 20 per cent by 2020”.