Waste Photography Exhibition Launches in London

A new photographic exhibition exploring the pioneering work of Living Earth Foundation in transforming environmental problems in African slums into opportunities for sustainable urban enterprises.

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The exhibition entitled ‘Waste to Wealth in Africa’ showcases the work the environmental charity undertakes in Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

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African micro-entrepreneurs are leading the way in harnessing waste recycling technologies that have positive impacts beyond the waste sector, from drainage ditch clearance to job creation and from road building to reducing school fees.

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The ‘Waste to Wealth’ programme encourages all sectors of society to develop collaborative solutions to tackle the challenges of waste management. They support entrepreneurs, micro enterprises, social ventures and community groups to generate an income through waste recycling, and to develop partnerships with local government to improve waste collection and waste management in poor slum areas.

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Living Earth’s ‘Waste to Wealth’ programme is funded by the European Union, the UK Government’s Department for International Development and Comic Relief. It is hoped that the exhibition will raise the profile of the charity by demonstrating the ‘effectiveness of slum residents, local councils, and the private sector working together to tackle the challenges of waste management in African cities’.

The photographs, taken by Marcus Wilson-Smith, demonstrate how people across the continent are harnessing innovative waste recycling technologies to safely dispose of, recycle and reuse materials.

The exhibition is free and open to all until 12th June 2015. It is being held at The Building Centre in London and is open Mon-Fri 9.00am-6.00pm and Sat 10.00am – 5.00pm.

2015 Energy & Environment Awards

The 16th Annual Energy And Environment Awards took place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham last week.

The Awards are a great opportunity for businesses across the country to be recognised for advancements in green technologies, excellence in energy and water management and outstanding sustainability performances.

AkzoNobel, B&Q and Sainsbury’s were among the big winners announced at the awards ceremony, chosen by an esteemed panel of judges including industry experts from Global Action Plan, Forum for the Future and WRAP. 67 finalists were whittled down to individual winners and highly commended businesses across 11 categories.

ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY AWARDS 2015 WINNERS  Environment Product / Service – 4Eco  – Environmental Leadership Award for Organisational Behavioural Change – Global Action Plan & Sainsbury’s   Innovation Award for Environmental Technology – Desert Aquaponic Company   Innovative Water Management & Efficiency – Yorkshire Water   Sustainability Communications Campaign– HM Revenue & Customs   Sustainable Business of the Year – B&Q (Highly Commended: Forest Centre)   Energy Manager of the Year – Louise Hall of Asda Stores (Highly Commended: Gareth Williams of Northern Rail)   Innovative Energy Efficiency Project – AkzoNobel Decorative Paints UK (Highly Commended: L&Q)   Innovative Award for Energy from Waste – NVP Energy   Environmental, Health & Safety Skills Development – O’Donovan Waste Disposal   Energy Product / Service – Lontra   Outstanding Contribution to the Energy Industry – Terry Casey of Intellastar Europe

From Environmental Leadership through to Innovative Water Management and Sustainability Communications, the strength of finalists for the Environment & Energy Awards was a true reflection of how issues surrounding waste management, environmental responsibilities and sustainability have become widely engrained in business cultures nationwide.

HOW WE CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS

Equinox Recycling is a privately owned company operating a waste and recycling collection service that caters for all sizes of business establishments in Kent. Collectively we have a wealth of knowledge and experience built up from many years working within the industry and that allows our staff to develop tailored solutions for each individual customer.

Our aim is to collect and dispose of your waste in the most economical and environmentally friendly way. We are firmly focussed on diverting waste that can be recycled from landfill and disposing of residual waste at destinations such as Energy from Waste to achieve zero waste to landfill.

We are able to provide a fully comprehensive range of waste management and recycling solutions for all businesses. Using a range of vehicles including trade waste (rubbish sacks & wheeled containers), rear end loaders, skip and Roll On Roll Off, Equinox Recycling operate throughout the South East of England.

If you feel that your business could recycle more and would like a free waste audit, please call us on 0845 520 21 21 or use the contact form on our website. One of our experienced advisors will be happy to identify how and where we can save you money, where improvements to your waste management can be made and how to reduce the impact your business may be having on the environment.

HWRC Anti-Charging Laws To Commence This Week

Household Waste Recycling CentreEarlier in March, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) announced that it was to push ahead with legislation that bans councils in England from charging residents for using household waste recycling centres.

The issue of councils charging residents for services, particularly the use of civic amenity sites has been a subject of contention for Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, who has previously labelled the charges as “counter productive” and likely to “inconvenience residents, increase fly-tipping and make recycling harder for people rather than…easier”.

As such, laws prohibiting councils from charging residents for the use of HWRCs will come into effect from 23rd April 2015.

The Local Authorities (Prohibition of Charging Residents to Deposit Household Waste) Order 2015 brings into law amendments to the 1990 Environmental Protection Act and the 1967 Civic Amenities Act barring councils from charging residents at the point of entry, exit or disposal for the use of HWRCs. For local authorities where charges are already in place for residents, the law does not apply until 1st April 2020.

Councils have criticised the plans to restrict the ability of local authorities to charge for the use of household waste recycling centres after DCLG said it was “not persuaded by arguments against” changes to the legislation.

The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) has stated that changes to the law are likely to impose greater restrictions on how councils are able to manage budgets. However, those in favour of the changes have fought back by saying that there are many other ways HWRCs at risk of closure could remain open without charging including:

  • A successful pilot scheme with a third sector organisation operating a HWRC
  • Costs kept down through changes to sit opening times and associated reduced staff and operational costs
  • Developing on-site reuse facilities
  • More attractive cost tariffs for local business using such centres.
  • Improvements in management and monitoring, for example to prevent fraudulent trade waste disposal
  • ‘Producer responsibility should offer more on-going support for HWRCs, both in terms of WEEE collection and packaging waste.
  • Central Government intervention in the form of business rates reduction or lower Environment Agency permit charges

What are your thoughts on the new HWRC anti-charging laws?

UK Beach Litter Up By 20%

beach litterNew figures released by the Marine Conservation Society have revealed that litter found on beaches around the UK has increased by 20% over the last ten years.

The report, published as part of the MCS’s annual Great British Beach Clean, was based on litter collected by volunteers between 19th and 22nd September 2014. In total, 5349 volunteers cleaned and surveyed 301 beaches, collecting 2501 bags of rubbish from our coastlines, including 273,747 items of litter.

According to the society, the majority of litter comes from the general public (plastic bags, drink bottles, food containers and drinks cans), and although the percentage of public litter has gone down over the last two years, the volume has increased meaning that the society are finding more items in every kilometre cleaned.

Discarded items found included a colostomy bag, a plastic hand, a piping gun nozzle, a bra strap and –on one beach alone – nine pairs of shoes.

The survey found:

  • Since 1994 the MCS has collected 5.3million items of litter weighing over 150 tons from nearly 3,000 kilometres of beaches.
  • 101 different types of litter were recorded during the survey.
  • Litter levels increased in England by 10.1% from 2013-2014.
  • The amount of litter per kilometre in Wales was 6,437 – more than two and a half times that of the UK as a whole.
  • Welsh beaches were the dirtiest in the UK with litter density increasing by 46%.
  • Litter in Scotland decreased for the second year in a row – falling by 8%.
  • The North West of England had the lowest levels of litter – showing a decrease of 70% since 2013.

According to the survey there was also a 50% increase in wet wipe litter. It says: “There’s a common misconception they’re all flushable but wet wipes don’t break down like toilet tissue because they are made of tougher fibres. Some even contain plastic such as polyester”.

The Marine Conservation Society has been working with water companies to find ways of helping customers understand why baby and face wipes should not be put down the toilet. Southern Water said that wet wipes were ‘causing havoc’ with sewers in Kent and estimated that 70% of blockages would be avoided if the wipes were disposed of correctly.

The next Big Beach Clean-up is from 7th to 13th May 2015 and the Great British Beach Clean from 18th to 21st September 2015. For more information and to register for events visit www.mcs.org/beachwatch

Landfill Tax Set To Rise To £84.40 In 2016

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has confirmed that all waste operators wishing to dispose of waste at landfill sites in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will need to pay £84.40 per tonne from 1st April 2016.

In a briefing document sent to all landfill site operators registered in the UK, it was confirmed that on the 1st April 2015 the standard rate of landfill tax will increase in line with inflation from £80 to £82.60 per tonne in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This will again increase to £84.40 per tonne for disposals of waste made, or treated as made, to landfill on of after 1st April 2016.

Similarly, the lower rate of tax, which applies to less-polluting wastes listed in the Landfill Tax (Qualifying Material) Order 2011, will increase to £2.60 per tonne in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from next week and Finance Bill 2015 will increase this again to £2.65 per tonne in April 2016.

HMRC also confirmed that the Loss On Ignition (LOI) testing regime announced at Autumn Statement will come into effect from next week, improving compliance by helping prevent mis-description of waste fines for landfill tax purposes.

SCOTLAND

Elsewhere, the document outlines the process of devolving landfill tax responsibilities for Scotland from HMRC to the Scottish Government.

From the 1st April 2015, landfill site operators in Scotland will no longer be liable to pay UK landfill tax for waste disposed of at their Scottish sites. Instead, they will be liable to register and account for Scottish Landfill Tax (SLfT).

There will be a delay in the LOI testing regime commencing in Scotland has Revenue Scotland are yet to formalise guidance on the issue.

WALES

Landfill tax in Wales is set to pass under the control of the Welsh Government, which HMRC anticipates is likely to happen in April 2018.

Reducing Food Waste Could Save Global Economy £194 Billion

Food WasteA new report by WRAP (The Waste & Resources Action Programme) and the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate has revealed that reducing consumer food waste could save the global economy between £77-£194 billion per year by 2030.

To achieve this, would require a 20-50% reduction in consumer food waste.

According to their report, one third of all food produced in the world ends up as waste, while the value of global consumer food waste is more than US$400 billion annually. It is estimated that this figure will rise to $600 billion over the next decade as the global middle class continues to grow. The research also identifies significant opportunities to improve economic performance and tackle climate change by reducing the amount of food that is wasted in agriculture, transport, storage and consumption.

Dr Richard Swannell, director of sustainable food systems at WRAP said “food waste is a global issue and tackling it is a priority. This report emphasizes the benefits that can be obtained for businesses, consumers and the environment. The difficulty is often in knowing where to start and how to make the biggest economic and environmental savings”.

He added “Consumers also have a role to play. In the United Kingdom, where we are based, the majority of food waste occurs in the home. Through our consumer campaign Love Food Hate Waste we empower consumers with advice and tips on how to waste less and save more. Between 2007 and 2012, this helped householders reduce avoidable food waste by 21%, saving a total of £13 billion.”

The report highlights how practical changes, such as lowering the average temperatures of refrigerators or designing better packaging, can make a considerable difference in preventing spoilage. Approximately 25% of food waste in the developing world could be eliminated with better refrigeration equipment.

HOW 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.

£4.2m Fund To Tackle Waste Crime In 2015 Budget

2015 Budget

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a one-off £4.5m increase in Environment Agency funding to tackle waste crime in the 2015 budget delivered at parliament yesterday (18th March).

The Environment Agency has found tackling waste crime more costly than expected and there have been growing concerns that the £5 million the agency has left to spend over the next couple of years will not last.

The budget documents revealed that George Osborne is to increase the cap on contributions made by landfill operators to the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) from 5.1% to 5.7% for 2015/16, with a total estimated value of £59.4 million. This equates to a change of approximately £4.2 million, which will be used to fund a “one-off” increase in Environment Agency funding to address waste crime in the UK.

BUDGET ANNOUNCEMENTS

Landfill Tax 

The standard landfill tax rate will be £82.60 from 1st April 2015.

The Chancellor also confirmed that the standard and lower rates of landfill tax will increase in line with RPI, rounded to the nearest 5 pence, from 1st April 2016.

Landfill Tax Loss On Ignition Testing

It was confirmed in yesterday’s 2015 Budget statement that a loss on ignition testing regime for waste fines will be implemented from 1st April 2015.

Value Of Landfill Communities Fund

A statutory instrument laid on 18th March 2015 will set the value of the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) for 2015/16 at £59.4million of claimable landfill tax credit. This will be achieved by increasing the cap on landfill tax contributions from 5.1% to 5.7%. The LCF funding is used for a wide range of community and environmental projects in the location of landfill sites.

HGV Driver Shortage

Elsewhere in the 2015 Budget statement, George Osborne said that the government will review the speed with which HGV driving tests and medical assessments currently take place and will consider options to accelerate both in order to tackle the shortage of qualified HGV drivers.

Wrap Launches Online ‘Recycling Locater’ Tool

Recycling LocatorThe Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has launched a new online tool as part of its ‘Recycle Now’ campaign that enables householders to identify materials accepted in their local kerbside collections and at recycling banks.

The Recycling Locater was created with involvement from Waste Awareness Wales (WAW), WRAP Northern Ireland (WNI) and compliance scheme Valpak, with the aim to make “recycling information clearer and more straightforward for householders”.

Householders can access local recycling information by inputting their postcode, town or material type. The tool then identifies on a map your current location and the nearest recycling points, along with useful information on distance from the postcode and directions on how to get there.

In addition to this, the tool provides confirmation of the current kerbside collection system in place at your location; providing a comprehensive list of the material eligible for collection alongside images of the corresponding bins used to collect the recyclables. The tool also holds special instructions such as ‘fold cardboard’ or ‘squash bottles’, which WRAP hopes will reduce the confusion among householders.

The ‘Recycling Locater’ tool replaces WRAP’s previous ‘Postcode Locater’ tool which was first launched on the Recycle Now website in 2004. WRAP claims it was necessary to redevelop the locater to reflect changes to the materials that can be recycled and how people access information via the internet.

In order to be as versatile as possible, the new locater tool is compatible with all PC’s, laptops and mobile devices and is also available as a widget, allowing businesses and local authorities to embed the tool on their website.

Future plans for the Recycling Locater include displaying information for recycling water filters, light bulbs and ink cartridges and where to donate items of furniture for re-use.

Visit www.recyclenow.com to use the new Recycling Locater.

Unilever Seeks to Boost UK Recycling Rates With Comic Relief

Unilever UK and Greenredeem announced last week that they have formed a new long-term partnership aimed at increasing UK recycling rates and driving actions to help the nation live more sustainably.

The ongoing partnership between consumer goods giant Unilever and Greenredeem, a company that rewards people for everyday green actions, aims to support partner charities and drive recycling rates towards the European Union target of 50% by 2020.

As their launch campaign, the two organisations are encouraging members to donate points earned through recycling efforts to Comic Relief. Headlining the campaign will be Unilever brands Persil, Dove and PG Tips who are already working closely with Comic Relief with special money-raising packs instore and are now looking to improve recycling rates at the same time.

Unilever Red Nose Day

With a 135,000 strong member base, it is hoped that Greenredeem donations will raise an additional £20,000 for Comic Relief ahead of Red Nose Day on 13th March 2015. Not only will this donation hugely benefit the charity and its projects, but it is also hoped that 1,000 tonnes of recycling will be diverted away from landfill – the equivalent of 50 recycling trucks.

Unilver Project Sunlight Marketing Manager, Anna Owen said “ We’re so excited to work with Greenredeem to drive recycling rates in the UK. It’s shocking how far the UK lags behind other nations and we see incentivising positive action as a key mechanic to move rates forward, to meet and hopefully smash 2020 targets. We hope that through the partnership we can educate our consumers that they can recycle more Unilever product packaging than they may realise”.

She added “The Red Nose Day points for donations launch campaign is a brilliant way for us to donate more to Comic Relief and encourage recycling in the process”.

To date, the campaign has already raised £4,000 for Comic Relief.

HOW WE CAN HELP

Here at Equinox Recycling, we are able to provide glass recycling and mixed recycling services for households/residential customers.

Please visit our home services page for more information or call 0845 520 21 21 to speak with a member of our friendly and experienced sales team.

Green Investment Bank Launches £50 Million Waste And Recycling Fund

The UK Green Investment Bank has launched a new £50 million fund to finance small-scale and innovative waste and recycling projects across the country. The Green Investment Bank was created by the government with the aim to use its finance to back green projects on commercials terms and mobilise other private sector capital into the UK’s green economy. One of the bank’s key targets requires an investment of £330 billion in the UK’s green sectors by 2020.

The new fund, Recycling and Waste LP (RAW) will be managed by investment specialist Foresight Group LLP which intends to raise a further £50 million from private sector co-investors to match the Green Investment Bank’s contribution.

Business Minister Matthew Hancock announced the fund saying: “This investment by the Green Investment Bank will be used to fund biopower projects that will put the UK at the forefront of this innovative green technology, turning local waste wood to electricity”.

The new fund was announced during the minister’s visit last week to the £47 million Birmingham Biopower project, a beneficiary of GIB funding which is currently under construction. Once operational, it will process up to 67,000 tonnes of recovered wood every year and is expected to produce enough electricity to power more than 17,000 homes.

Although full details of the RAW fund are yet to be released, it has been revealed that the fund already has an extensive project pipeline in place. It marks the GIB’s second investment in a Foresight managed initiative with the first being UK Waste Resources and Energy Investments (UKWREI); the GIB’s first investment after it became operational in 2012.

UKWREI has supported seven projects from small-scale on-farm anaerobic digestion plants in rural Northern Ireland, powering 850 homes, to the advanced technology, first-of-its-kind system at the Birmingham BioPower facility, powering 17,000 homes.

Once built, the projects should divert more than 275,000 tonnes of waste (per annum) from landfill.

Here at Equinox Recycling we are keen to support green projects and proud to offer our customers a ‘zero waste to landfill’ service. Every attempt is made to recycle and reuse materials, but where this is not possible waste is sent to an ‘energy from waste’ facility in Kent.

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