News in brief | CIWM Commercial Partner Updates


News updates from CIWM’s commercial partners.

Greyparrot | Greyparrot launches industry-first performance monitoring dashboard for MRFs and PRFs

AI waste analytics developer Greyparrot has announced the launch of its Facility Dashboard feature, which will unlock more lean recovery facility management for their customers in global MRFs and PRFs.

Foppe-Jan de Meer, a plant manager for the leading plastic sorting facility in the Netherlands, KSI, commented: “We prioritise a people-first approach, utilising technology to enhance their efforts instead of simply adding more equipment. Solutions like the Facility Dashboard help us maximise the potential of our existing resources, and work smarter.

“Our ultimate goal is to sort plastics so they can be recycled again and again; circularity is the end game! To reach that goal we need to have predictive operations within the variables of waste sorting. With real-time actionable insights, we can achieve that goal.”

The dashboard is a feature within the Greyparrot Analyzer system, which uses computer vision technology to automate waste monitoring at scale. Waste management organisations in over 20 countries have already adopted the AI waste analytics system, including industry leaders like Biffa, Veolia and Suez.

Greyparrot’s team developed the Facility Dashboard to help facility operators adapt to ever-shifting material supply and market conditions, which present a constant sorting challenge. By unifying waste composition data from key conveyor belts, the industry-first solution offers a comprehensive overview of plant performance. That top-level insight enables operators to quickly adjust throughput rates, infeed blends and more.

“Traditionally, MRFs have relied on data collected by manual sampling across key belts and product lines, resulting in a fragmented view of their operations,” said Mikela Druckman, CEO of Greyparrot. “The Greyparrot Facility Dashboard offers crucial visibility that has been missing until now. By centralising real-time data and AI analytics, we empower operators to make data-driven decisions to maximise profitability, and minimise valuable material from ending up in landfills.”

The Facility Dashboard includes a real-time overview of production, a flow analysis graph, at-a-glance quality control, and loss visualisation. These features surface the data facility operators need to balance material loss, throughput rates and product quality — and meet market requirements:

With global waste flows expected to reach 3.4 billion tonnes by 2050, recovery facilities are under increasing pressure to process more material, more efficiently. Just 5,500 facilities worldwide currently handle solid waste, adding to that urgency.

The launch of Greyparrot’s Facility Dashboard comes as the UK and other countries are implementing stricter regulations for MRF sampling and reporting. The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2023, set to take effect in October 2024, mandate standardised procedures for sampling and measuring waste at MRFs receiving over 1,000 tonnes per year.

These regulations cover a range of waste types, including materials from residential settings and similar non-household waste from commercial, industrial, or other sources. Under the new regulations, MRFs will be required to develop, document, and implement a sampling methodology that is compliant with the law, and tailored to their specific operational characteristics.

The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales will rigorously enforce compliance through announced and unannounced audits, on-site inspections, virtual assessments, and evaluations of data submissions.

Solutions like Greyparrot’s Facility Dashboard can help operators meet these requirements more efficiently and accurately. To learn more about the dashboard’s role in maximising recovery facility efficiency, read Greyparrot’s full breakdown here.

Waste Recruit | Green skills recruitment

net zero

Recognising the pressing need to develop green skills within the sector, WasteRecruit has developed a skills based assessment tool to help clients recruit Sales Executives.

This tool allows clients the freedom to open up the candidate pool, discard the CV and identify individuals with high potential, trainability, and the right values and behaviours to develop green skills.

Diversity and inclusion is built in, removing bias and allowing clients to make much more informed decisions around recruitment.

As our sector continues to fly the flag on sustainability and the circular economy, green skills become more and more vital to our success.

Our industry is transforming and our approach to recruitment must adapt. WasteRecruit have taken a huge step forward in providing the sector with the tools they need to keep ahead of the curve.

NWS | How NWS is making sure the right waste, is in the right place with safe, sustainable and cost effective solutions

Nuclear power plant

Chris Macey, Service Lead for Treatment and Conditioning Services at Nuclear Waste Services (NWS), speaks about how his team is safely diverting huge quantities of nuclear waste away from permanent disposal at the UK’s Low Level Waste (LLW) Repository in Cumbria, saving millions of pounds of taxpayer money and supporting the circular economy by recycling waste.

This has been achieved through a range of characterisation and treatment services, ensuring that only wastes which require the protection of an engineered vault are disposed of at the Repository site. In 2022 to 2023, 1689te of metallic waste was treated, 98% of that waste was released for recycling and diverted from the Repository…

I’ve been working in the waste services team at Nuclear Waste Services for two years now, but we’ve been running our treatment services for about 15 years. When LLW Repository Ltd was set up, part of the mission was to look after the capacity of the engineered vaults where low level radioactive waste is safely, and permanently disposed. We’ve achieved this, and much more.

Transformative work undertaken over the last 15 years has enabled monumental cost savings to the taxpayer and provided environmental benefits with huge amounts of nuclear waste being recycled and CO₂ production avoided. In 2008, a suite of waste treatment services and alternative disposal methods, which were more sustainable, environmentally friendly and cost efficient, were introduced. In parallel, the National Waste Programme was launched to coordinate the initiative (now superseded by the Integrated Waste Management Programme).

This work, fuelled by innovation, collaboration across the NDA group and industry, and the use of new technologies, means that the UK’s Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) in Cumbria won’t reach capacity as quickly, saving nearly £870m of taxpayer money and supporting the circular economy by recycling waste. This is due to waste being diverted away from the Repository and its engineered disposal vaults with the introduction of the treatment services and alternative disposal methods.

The UK creates a wide range of hazardous wastes generated by the nuclear industry, ranging from Very Low-Level Waste (VLLW), for example lightly contaminated rubble, all the way up to Higher Activity Waste (HAW), that originates from reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. All of this hazardous waste needs to be managed safely and securely, both now and for the future. More than 90% of the UK’s radioactive waste is Low Level Waste, so our services to safely manage and dispose of this waste are of vital, national importance, as we work to clean up the UK’s nuclear legacy.

The creation of a centralised waste services division to provide and manage a ‘One-stop-shop’ for all UK radioactive waste customers has led the way in developing and offering services to the industry. Services which take advantage of alternative waste management routes demonstrating real application of the waste hierarchy and processing wastes sooner into their final safe state.

This work has been a total gamechanger for the Repository.  We’ve totally flipped our stats for how much waste goes into our vaults for final disposal, and how much waste is diverted and recycled. We now only dispose of around 2% of low-level waste into the vaults, which is an excellent step forward. We used to dispose of around 95% of the waste we managed into the vaults, so they would have filled up in a very short space of time.

So, how are we doing this? Through incineration, sending lower activity waste to permitted landfill, super-compaction and metal decontamination for recycling.  All of these treatment and disposal methods come at a lower cost than placing the waste in our vaults.

Firstly, our route to permitted landfill sites which take the very low activity waste. This waste  doesn’t need the engineered controls we have at the Repository site, and it doesn’t need any treatment. The waste can just go to normal landfill sites that are permitted by the Environment Agency (EA) to accept it. This is the largest amount of waste we generate as a nuclear industry. It’s all waste that can’t be recycled and isn’t combustible.

Next, we can burn some of the waste in specialised incinerators. The resulting ashes can go to landfill, equating to 100% diversion from the vault. The incineration not only destroys the hazardous nature of waste but reduces the waste volume.  Materials like rubber, plastic, oils, solvents, chemicals, wood, and contaminated PPE can all go in the incinerator.

Another of our treatments is super-compaction, which is a volume reduction technique. This sees drums of waste being literally squashed and compacted into small pucks meaning we can place a lot more waste into a container, a highly effective space-saving treatment method.

The final service is the most environmentally friendly and sustainable process – metallic treatment. We are now utilising this method as much as possible.  We work with our suppliers who use a range of special technologies to clear the radioactivity off a range of metals that can be reused and recycled. We separate the radioactivity, and that small amount of contaminated material then goes to landfill or comes back to the vault in a much smaller volume.

The waste will only head to the vaults if it can’t follow one of these routes, if the radioactivity levels are too high or it just can’t be treated.  Our services line of business is making a huge difference to decommissioning work. Whilst safety is always our number one priority in everything we do, as we move forward our work is becoming more efficient, more sustainable and is saving money through innovations.

Looking forward, we are continuing to lead a number of ‘Safe Sooner’ projects, which are geared towards re-evaluating wastes currently destined for GDF disposal to see if they can be disposed of at the Repository now.  Examples of this include the disposal of Winfrith TRS Drums and Sellafield WAGR Boxes.

Through our ambition and action-oriented nature, we collaborate with customers and the supply chain to make nuclear waste permanently safe, sooner. As decommissioning activity increases across the UK nuclear industry this work is more important than ever.

With over 15 years’ experience in this specific field of work with waste services, we aim to be first choice for waste solutions, a ‘one stop shop’ providing integrated radioactive waste treatment, logistics and disposal services to support the UK’s radioactive waste programmes. And as technology moves forward and we are becoming more aligned as a sector, we have exciting plans to do much more!

Keenan Recycling | Meet Mushy – the fun guy helping us save the planet

Get ready to be charmed, because Keenan Recycling has a brand new friend joining the team – and he’s sprouted with a purpose.

That’s right, we’d like to introduce you to Mushy the Mushroom, our official mascot and the ultimate champion of responsible food waste recycling.

Why a mushroom?

Mushrooms are nature’s decomposers, breaking down organic matter and returning nutrients back to the earth. Just like these amazing fungi, Mushy embodies our commitment to turning food waste into a valuable resource.

Mushy’s mission

Mushy is on a mission to spread awareness about the importance of food waste recycling in a fun and engaging way. He’ll be joining us at events, popping up on social media, and even starring in some educational materials aimed at younger audiences (because let’s face it, fostering good recycling habits starts young!).

More than just a mascot

Mushy represents the positive impact we can all have on our planet by making small changes in our daily routines. By properly separating food waste, we can help Keenan Recycling convert it into clean energy or nutrient-rich compost. Talk about a win-win for the environment!

Join Mushy on his journey

We’re so excited to have Mushy as part of the Keenan Recycling family, and we hope you’ll love him too! Keep an eye out for his adventures on our social media pages, and remember – whenever you see Mushy, think about the power you have to make a difference, one food scrap at a time.

Together, let’s grow a greener future with Mushy!

ISB Global | Market Intelligence Debrief: A Look at the State of the US Waste & Recycling Industry after Waste Expo 2024.


Matthew Gawn reflects on as North America’s sustainability push gains traction.

Despite being in a country that is almost 5 times the population of the UK, Waste Expo had approximately the same footfall as the Recycling & Waste Management Show (RWM) in the UK. This might reflect the relative maturity of the European market compared to the US, where waste management is gaining traction due to several factors. The US is actively transitioning towards a circular economy, with a growing focus on recycling as a source of valuable resources. Public consciousness about sustainability is rising, driving demand for responsible waste management practices. Sustainability legislation is on the rise too, pushing for reduced greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) through improved waste management practices.

The exhibition floor highlighted a key difference between the US and European markets. The vast West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Centre was dominated by vehicles and transport equipment, reflecting the US industry’s emphasis on hauling and transportation. Recycling machinery had a much smaller presence compared to vehicles at the show.

The WasteExpo conference program covered a broad range of relevant topics. These included operations, fleet management, safety, recycling, landfill management, sustainability talks, business insights and policy, technology and innovation, the Food Recovery Forum, and organics recycling. While the program addressed essential issues like sustainability, organics, and food waste, there was a noticeable lack of in-depth discussions on the circular economy and material streams, reflecting a greater focus on recycling as a whole.

The conference program also highlighted interesting trends in the US market. A dedicated track addressed critical topics in waste management policy and business strategy. Sustainability, organics management, and food waste reduction were all prominent themes. Extended producer responsibility (EPR) and deposit return schemes (DRS) were also discussed, indicating a greater shift towards these models already operating in 9 States largely on East and West Coasts. Interestingly, landfill and recycling were discussed within the same track, reflecting the current state of waste management in the US.

The ISB Global stand offered a platform for insightful discussions about waste management software. The value proposition of integrated solutions like ISB Global’s Waste & Recycling One was well-received, offering a clear advantage over fragmented point solutions lacking functionality, robust technology, seamless integration, and comprehensive support. Both small and large enterprises showed interest in migrating to integrated ERP software that can handle waste and recycling operations alongside accounting and finance functions. As the industry evolves towards a circular economy and digital transformation becomes more critical, managing operations on multiple applications will become increasingly complex.

ISB Global’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Pritesh Pattni also hosted a panel interview conference session. The CIO Roundtable’s panel were industry IT experts from leading North American waste management companies: Rob Fisher (LRS), Mike May (GFL Environmental Inc.), and Eric Hansen (Waste Connections) tackled the critical role technology plays in shaping the future of waste management.

A podcast from the Roundtable will be published very soon covering topics on Internet of Things (IoT), Data and Analytics, Customer Centricity, the ever-present AI, Cyber-Security, People and Skills and Strategic IT as a collaborative process in the C-Suite.

The event also highlighted the growing importance of organics management. There was significant interest in Waste & Recycling One from companies involved in organics, composting, and anaerobic digestion (AD). This reflects the expanding organics market and the need for comprehensive software solutions to handle all aspects of these operations.

The presence of South American companies, including large municipalities already using SAP, was another interesting observation, signifying the growing importance of waste management and recycling in the region. This reflects the influence of factors like incoming legislation, market forces, rising public awareness, and the role of waste management in mitigating GHG emissions.

WasteExpo 2024 provided valuable insights into the current state of the US waste and recycling industry. While the event showcased the industry’s growth and focus on critical issues like sustainability and organics management, there’s still room for further development, particularly regarding a more comprehensive approach to the circular economy and recycling material streams. With increasing regulation and a growing focus on environmental responsibility, the US waste and recycling industry is poised for significant growth and transformation in the coming years.

WRA | WRA highlights sustainability advantages of waste wood biomass

Wood recycling

The Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA) has highlighted the sustainability advantages of waste wood biomass following scrutiny of biomass power this week in the press.

This came after the Conservative Environment Network this week published a manifesto, supported by 32 parliamentarians, questioning the government’s policy on bioenergy and calling for more enforcement around the sustainability of biomass imports, such as those used by Drax.

Richard Coulson, chair of the WRA, said: “The media coverage this week highlights the importance of ensuring that biomass is sustainable and is making a meaningful contribution to Net Zero. Biomass powered by our own domestic waste wood really delivers on these criteria.

“Waste wood powered biomass has many sustainability advantages. Our sector has the capacity to provide 3.3TWh of secure low-carbon baseload power which will become more important as energy demand rises and the use of intermittent renewables such as wind and solar increase.

“Furthermore, waste wood biomass delivers environmental benefits in safely and efficiently recovering end of life post-consumer waste wood which would otherwise be exported or sent to landfill, contributing to the circular economy.”

“As a result, our sector is ideally placed to make a further contribution to Net Zero by transitioning to bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), which could enable us to deliver negative emissions on a significant scale.

“It is therefore crucial that our sector is included in plans to provide transitional support for biomass facilities to transition to BECCS following the end of the ROCs subsidy from 2027.”

“We look forward to the upcoming consultation on strengthening biomass sustainability criteria. We hope this will further reinforce the current robust reporting and regulatory regime to ensure that concerns over some forms of biomass are answered and strict sustainability standards maintained.”

Norse | Norse sees increasing interest in its LATCo partnership model for waste services

Norse CEO Justin Galliford.

Political change and financial pressures are driving more and more local authorities to consider the LATCo model.

We are still living with inflation, tight finances, and huge increases in public demand. Across the country councils are struggling to maintain essential services in the face of relentless cost increases, skills shortages and increased demand on services.

The recent LGIU report on the state of local government finances, and the announcement that councils can make use of capitalisation directions to sell assets or borrow for day-to-day spending, come after several warnings of likely section 114 notices. This follows a string of local authorities falling into deep financial trouble, including Birmingham, where finances are so dire that they are having to cut back their waste collection services.

Norse CEO Justin Galliford observes: “With the likelihood of a Labour government in a few weeks, we may see the trend away from outsourcing accelerate. Labour’s position is clear – they favour insourcing of essential services; this, combined with the recent local election results, which saw further Tory losses, will mean that more councils will be favouring self-delivery of waste and recycling collection.”

Once a council has decided on insourcing its waste services, it needs to consider the best model for delivery. This usually becomes a choice between the traditional DLO and setting up a Local Authority Trading Company (LATCo). More and more are looking seriously at the LATCo model, which offers the benefits of a DLO (control over the services, greater adaptability and a strong emphasis on social value), with the added bonus of external trading, which can bring in much-needed revenue.

Crucially, unlike a traditional DLO, a LATCo also offers the ability to create a more commercial culture, with greater operational efficiency and this ability to develop revenue streams. Profits are returned to council coffers rather than private shareholders, helping to close the funding gap and protect public services.

At a time of great uncertainty over waste and recycling services, perhaps the greatest benefit is the flexibility to bring in changes – such as reducing collection frequencies – without the need to renegotiate contracts, and without the penalty of variation charges. As new regulations come in, which will require changes to vehicles and service configuration, and with continuing pressure to achieve net zero, this ability to re-engineer and innovate will become even more important.

The LATCo model can also play a significant role in meeting councils’ ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) objectives. Given the high-profile failures over the last 24 months, delivering sound financial and social value, and being held accountable for it, now needs to be higher than ever on everyone’s agenda. A LATCo can be used to lead the way in achieving net zero targets, making use of its more innovative and commercial culture; the ability to return funds to the council means that support for community projects can be sustained; and having a board of directors, appointed by the council, ensures the highest levels of governance.

However, while the trading model offers huge benefits, setting up a LATCo requires careful consideration. The reasons for doing so, and the objectives of the company, must be clear and well thought through. There must be buy-in at the highest levels of the council, both members and officers. And crucially there has to be an appetite for developing a commercial culture. This can often prove difficult for councils, but is an essential ingredient in ensuring the success of the venture.

Galliford: “For many local authorities the process, and the cost, of setting up a trading company can prove to be too much of a deterrent. Norse’s joint venture partnership model is designed to help councils get all of the benefits of a wholly-owned LATCo – reducing costs, protecting services and developing new revenue streams, all delivered with strong emphasis on the wellbeing of staff, suppliers and the communities that we serve. I am seeing great interest in using our partnership model as a stepping stone to a wholly-owned company: at the end of the agreed term, Norse relinquishes its interest, and the partner council takes over ownership. This gives them their own, established LATCo, already trading and contributing dividends.”

Referring to this partnership approach to LATCOs, Jonathan Werran, CEO of think tank Localis coined the phrase ‘ethical commercialisation’. Norse now has partnerships with over twenty local authorities around the country and, with more than twenty years’ experience in forming, mobilising and running such ventures, is the UK’s most experienced and longest provider of LATCOs.

Over the last few years, Norse has seen growing interest in the LATCo partnership model, and this looks set to increase. The company started a new partnership with Rochford District Council eighteen months ago, providing waste and recycling collection services, and is in discussion with several other councils.

Galliford: “I have never seen such strong, and sustained, interest in our partnership offer. Our pipeline is as strong as it has ever been, and I am confident that over the next few years more LATCos will emerge in response to market conditions and political changes. As councils seek to re-engineer their waste services, the LATCo model offers the ideal solution.”

Send this to a friend