Warning as new Welsh Government food waste legislation enters the horizon
Ahead of new Welsh legislation coming into effect, the head of one of the UK’s largest food waste recycling companies is urging businesses to be aware of the changes to ensure they are compliant from day one.
Keenan Recycling, which works with businesses and local authorities to deliver food waste to anaerobic digestion plants, is encouraging organisations to understand the importance of the incoming Welsh Government regulations.
Under the new laws, from 6 April 2024 it will be a legal requirement for all businesses that generate more than five kilograms of food waste to recycle it.
The bill, which is currently awaiting confirmation from the Senedd, will mean businesses that don’t adhere to the rules could be fined.
Grant Keenan, managing director of Keenan Recycling, said: “We currently collect food waste from numerous establishments of varying sizes within Wales, and through our general conversations, there seems to be a lack of awareness of just what these new rules will impact.
“It’s vital embracing these legislative changes as this is a key step towards Wales achieving the zero waste by 2050 target set by the government as well as provide a transformative opportunity for businesses to contribute to a more sustainable world.
“As we have seen in Scotland with similar laws enacted, adhering to the legislation demonstrates commitment to preserving the environment but also aligns your brand with the values of conscious consumers and sees increased customer loyalty.
“In addition, efficient food waste recycling practices through collaboration with partners and external stakeholders such as local authorities and food waste recycling firms will lead to reduced disposal costs and long-term financial gains, so the sooner businesses get on board, the better the results.”
With the 6 April deadline for the legislation on the horizon, Keenan Recycling is concerned companies will not be ready and risk fines and reputational damage for failing to adhere to the regulations.
As part of Keenan’s expansion into Wales, five additional state-of-the-art trucks, which are powered by eco-friendly compressed natural gas, have been ordered along with the creation of up to 10 jobs in the region including drivers and sales roles before the end of the year.
Grant added: “Those organisations which invest in the necessary infrastructure will not only ensure a smooth transition and compliance, but will develop strong, transparent reporting which will showcase dedication to achieving sustainability.
“In our experience, companies that actively engage in socially responsible initiatives often see employee morale and satisfaction increase, as the workforce becomes a driving force behind reaching these targets.”
Keenan Recycling collects food waste from every postcode in Scotland, England and Wales. The food waste is collected from businesses along with public and private sector organisations and is then transformed into either compost, renewable electricity, gas, heat or fuel.
Its ever-growing fleet of specialised food waste collection vehicles including hydrogen and HVO, operate across 17 depots, offering private & public sector clients an opportunity to segregate food waste, lower their carbon footprint and improve their green credentials.
NTM-GB relaunches its websites
NTM-GB Ltd, UK Manufacturers of Refuse Collection Vehicles which were established over 20 years ago with the primary objective of delivering the best RCVs in the market, relaunch their website on 4 September.
NTM-GB Ltd knew a redesign of the website was crucial due to the previous site being outdated. The new site has many improvements from the previous one such as a clean uncluttered design & improved functionality, the manufacturer says.
Callum Hinton, NTM-GB Sales & Marketing Officer, commented: “We are excited to launch our new website. It has been due for some time now and after a lot of work it is great to see it finally come together.”
NTM-GB says it is dedicated to meeting its customers’ exact requirements with innovative solutions as demonstrated by its extensive range of quality products and services.
With ISO9001 and ISO14001 accreditations, NTM-GB says it has a genuine focus on delivering exceptional service for all its customers and is dedicated to the ongoing development of its products, processes, and people, to maintain its reputation as a market-leading supplier of Refuse Collection Vehicles.
You can visit NTM-GB’s new website from 4th September at www.ntm-gb.com.
The TRI Group’s study challenges assumptions about textile recycling’s greenhouse gas emissions
The TRI Group appointed circular economy specialists Eunomia Research & Consulting to calculate their 2022 Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and model their impact against alternative routes for textiles at the end of their use.
The Textile Recycling International (TRI Group) says there is a widespread belief that shipping used clothes abroad for reuse has a higher GHG impact than landfilling or incinerating for energy, but new research suggests that, in certain circumstances, the opposite is true.
The emission reductions rely on assumptions about the displacement of new virgin production goods by the reuse of older products, and according to the report there is a large margin for error, conservative assumptions were used to account for this, the TRI Group says.
The 2023 study, which is published on the TRI Group’s website, suggested that for every ten pieces of reused clothing sold, TRI would only need to displace one or two new items of clothing to provide a GHG benefit.
Not all international reuse companies share the same standards as the TRI Group. Many companies or collectors struggle or cannot reutilise or dispose of unusable goods as efficiently, leading to a substantial negative GHG impact, the TRI Group says.
Introducing standards and compliance systems for the quality of textiles shipped abroad goes a long way to address these issues as without them “unscrupulous textiles exporters who do not adhere” to standards can profit off of what are essentially illegal waste exports.
The graph below shows the results of their comparative assessment which show that the central case analysis of the process has a net climate benefit when compared to incineration or landfill in the UK.
The TRI Group hopes that by transparently publishing the results, other businesses involved in the reclamation, processing and recycling of used clothing will be encouraged to publish their results. They hope that the report will enable benchmarking once standardisation of accounting practices is achieved across the sector.
Clean up your act
Recycling road planings, construction site waste and street cleaning residue is an essential consideration for highway authorities and contractors, and one of the many steps on the journey to achieving a more sustainable, circular economy in the sector, Go Plant says.
Go Plant describes itself as at the forefront of helping us all to clean up our act. It says it can ensure the recycling process is done correctly, through the UK’s first real-time, electronic waste transfer notes.
Go Plant, which provides operated hire sweeping services and arisings disposal across the infrastructure sector, including the disposal of road waste materials such as planings and waste from road construction sites, says it is first in line to react to this digital shift in the market.
Following a successful trial, the electronic transfer GO PLANT GO-PLANT.CO.UK notice process went live in June. The notice can be accessed online, which, in phase two, will be linked with an online portal allowing clients to track the journey of their waste – creating a live, auditable trail of the safe removal and recycling of waste materials.
The platform is being rolled out for use in Go Plant depots. Go Plant uses third-party disposal sites such as waste transfer stations and soil treatment companies that are permitted and regulated by the EA, and compliant with the relevant EWC code such as EWC 20 03 03, which covers street-cleaning residues.
Jonathan Gunn, environmental quality manager at Go Plant, said: “The GO PLANT GO-PLANT.CO.UK CLEAN UP YOUR ACT Recycling road planings, construction site waste and street cleaning residue is an essential consideration for highway authorities and contractors, and one of the many steps on the journey to achieving a more sustainable, circular economy in the sector.
“Go Plant is at the forefront of helping us all to clean up our act! We can ensure the recycling process is done correctly, through the UK’s first real-time, electronic waste transfer notes. Waste disposal sites recycle the waste: so, for instance, soil treatment plants put it through a process to extract aggregates and sand and soil. Then it would re-enter the sector as per the circular economy. Nothing goes to landfill and so there is no landfill tax burden.”
Go Plant depots also have dewatering plans which separate waste water so clients can be left with dry aggregate.
Gunn added: “The biggest thing is being compliant – you have an audit trail – but you also have the full package from waste clearance on site, to proof of delivery of waste to a licensed disposal site, all through an efficient digital process that coincides with the invoice.”
Gunn stressed the importance of the “duty of care” regarding proper waste disposal and recycling – something he suggests is of greater emphasis now than ever before and naturally at the heart of the EA’s audit and oversight responsibility.
He added that waste has its own critical role to play in the net zero future: “The circular economy is massively important. Obviously, the circular economy helps the carbon footprint, and with our system and services you know the materials are being reused and recycled.
“As part of our own duty of care, I have been visiting the disposal sites ensuring they are licensed and are recycling waste and using it responsibly.”
There is also a large appetite for this from the customers, he stressed, which for Go Plant already includes major Tier One contractors. In the highways sector, there has been a pronounced move to paperless working in recent years with companies seeing impressive growth on the back of the market’s need for digital replacement.
Putting the “E” in ESG
Chris Williams, founder and CEO of waste management software company ISB Global, explains the importance of environmental sustainability, ecological impact, and addressing climate change within companies’ ESG frameworks.
Environmental challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss are today urgent global concerns with far-reaching consequences that affect how we live and work: how companies do business: and even how national economies perform. As such, these challenges require immediate attention.
While all three components of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) are important, the “E” aspect is often considered critical for several reasons:
- Global environmental challenges: The world is facing significant environmental challenges, including climate change, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, and pollution. These issues have far-reaching consequences for ecosystems, communities, global stability, and the well-being of future generations. Prioritising the “E” in ESG recognises the urgency of addressing these challenges and working towards environmental sustainability.
- Long-term viability: Environmental considerations are increasingly closely tied to the long-term viability and resilience of businesses. Neglecting the environmental impact can lead to reputational damage, regulatory risks, supply chain disruptions, and legal liabilities. By focusing on the “E,” companies can identify and manage environmental risks, adapt to changing regulatory landscapes, and position themselves for long-term resilience and success.
- Investor demand: Investors are increasingly recognising the financial significance of environmental factors. They are integrating ESG criteria into their investment decisions to assess the sustainability and future performance of companies. Many studies have shown that companies with strong environmental performance tend to perform better financially and manage risk more effectively. Emphasising the “E” in ESG can attract environmentally conscious investors and enhance access to capital.
- Stakeholder expectations: Customers, employees, communities, and regulators are today more environmentally conscious and demand responsible practices from companies. Emphasising the “E” in ESG demonstrates a commitment to meeting these stakeholder expectations, which can strengthen relationships, enhance brand reputation, and foster customer loyalty and employee engagement.
- The global policy landscape: Governments worldwide are implementing stricter environmental regulations and incentives to address pressing issues like climate change, emissions and waste management. By prioritising the “E,” companies stay ahead of new regulatory requirements, demonstrate legal compliance, and also seize opportunities arising from the transition to a low-carbon economy.
The “E” recognises the crucial role that environmental factors play in long-term ongoing business success and societal well-being. They acknowledge that environmental risks and opportunities can significantly impact a company’s performance, reputation, and stakeholder value. By prioritising the “E,” organisations contribute to mitigating environmental problems and creating a more sustainable future.
There is growing evidence as well that integrating environmental considerations into business strategies and investment decisions can lead to positive outcomes. Focusing on the “E” in ESG can help companies identify cost savings, improve operational efficiency, enhance brand reputation, attract socially responsible investors, and foster innovation.
The “E” aligns with the evolving expectations of stakeholders, including investors, customers, employees, and regulators. Increasingly, these groups are demanding greater environmental responsibility from companies and favouring those with strong sustainability practices.
Emphasising the “E” in ESG also recognises the significance of environmental factors and sustainability within the broader framework of responsible investing and corporate governance, meaning companies and investors demonstrate their commitment to addressing environmental challenges, reducing their ecological footprint, and contributing to a more sustainable and resilient future.
All ESG is created equal: Whilst emphasising the “E,” it’s important to note that each of the three components is as important as each other and that the significance of each ESG component may vary depending on the context and circumstances. Here are some points to consider:
The interconnectedness of components: The three components of ESG are interconnected and influence each other. For example, social factors can have environmental implications, and strong governance practices can facilitate effective environmental and social management. Neglecting any one of the components can undermine the overall sustainability and long-term viability of a company.
Social impact and stakeholder relations: The “S” in ESG focuses on social aspects such as labour standards, human rights, diversity and inclusion, community engagement, and product safety. These factors are crucial for a company’s social license to operate, its employee well-being, and its relationships with various stakeholders. Companies that prioritise social responsibility often benefit from increased employee satisfaction, improved reputation, and customer loyalty.
Governance and accountability: The “G” in ESG refers to corporate governance, including board composition, executive compensation, transparency, and risk management. Effective governance is essential for ensuring ethical behaviour, preventing misconduct, and protecting shareholder rights. Strong governance practices help maintain accountability, minimise conflicts of interest, and foster investor trust.
Investor preferences and materiality: The relative importance of each ESG component can vary depending on investor preferences and materiality assessments. While some investors may prioritise the “E” due to the urgency of environmental challenges, others may focus more on social, or governance factors based on their investment strategies or specific industry considerations. Materiality analysis helps identify the most significant ESG issues that could impact a company’s financial performance.
Regulatory environment: The regulatory landscape plays a role in determining the importance of each ESG component. Environmental regulations may be more stringent in certain industries due to the nature of their impact on the environment. Similarly, social and governance regulations can vary across jurisdictions. Companies must comply with relevant regulations and seek to exceed minimum requirements to manage risks effectively.
Ultimately, the significance of the “S” and “G” components in ESG depends on the specific industry, stakeholder expectations, and the unique circumstances of each company. While the “E” is often highlighted due to the urgency of environmental challenges, a comprehensive ESG approach recognises the importance of all three components and strives for balanced and responsible business practices.
At the cutting edge of technology
Over the 200-year heritage of Bucher, the company has constantly been driven by change, and at the forefront of innovation and implementation of the latest technology.
None of the ground-breaking technology the company produce would be possible without the people who design, manufacture and take care of every machine.
Bucher is investing heavily in technology and innovation at their UK-based manufacturing site to make them more efficient. The company have recently installed a new state-of-the-art twin 10kW Fibre Laser metal cutting and automated material handling system, together with the latest Press Brake technology for the fabrication of sheet metal, advanced robotic MIG weld cells for the welding of materials used in the assembly process, and a brand-new testing facility. This ensures a very high level of finish and standardisation across component manufacturing.
Due to the outstanding energy conversion from electrical power into a laser cutting beam, fibre lasers can process sheet metal faster and more cost-effectively than any other cutting technology. They also have more durable components, fewer consumables, and minimal service requirements, making them an ideal choice for the metal processing industry.
Sheet metal is not contaminated or at risk of being warped by external objects because it’s cut by light which guarantees a clean, consistent cut from start to finish. Speed is also a distinctive feature in fibre lasers which can cut high-precision parts within seconds, reducing production times, and increasing productivity.
The fact that fibre laser technology is fast and uses less energy than other types of sheet metal cutting machinery contributes to its reduced environmental footprint.
Engineering in improved suction
Cutting edge fan design helps to improve pick-up performance of heavy-duty sweeper.
In the quest to create greater suction power due to the increased hopper size on the MaxPowa V120 sweeper range, Bucher Muncipal’s specialist engineers have developed a new tri-plate fan impellor design which still fits into the standard fan case, but provides maximum efficiency and air velocity for improved pick-up performance.
The improved fan design is only used with the JCB 129kW engine. This powapack runs up to 2200 rpm (when boost function is engaged) for increased flow and performance compared to other engines running at up to 2000 rpm (with the boost function engaged).
The new tri-plate fan design handles the enhanced power from the engine for optimised airflow, which together with an updated radiator position and Bucher Municipal’s unique Smoothflow air technology (patent pending) minimises losses in the system to provide outstanding suction performance in the toughest of conditions.
Part of the V series family, MaxPowa V120 is available with a full range of options including the new “Broomvak” brush assist sweep gear allowing higher speed pickup performance or low fan rpm operation.
Mounted on a 3-axle, 26t GVM chassis the MaxPowa V120 offers a large 12m³ capacity hopper, carries up to 6700 litres of water and allows a 10,000 kg payload ensuring on-station time is maximised.
The MaxPowa V120 is designed to excel in heavy-duty and public works applications such as quarries and construction sites.