News in brief | London hotel made from recycled shipping containers nominated for sustainability award

Stow-Away 3

The eco-aparthotel Stow-Away Waterloo has been nominated for the European tourism sustainability award “GrINN Awards 2022” in the categories of Best Sustainable Aparthotel in Europe and Best Sustainable City Hotel.

Quartz Inn Hotels, the award organisers, says the Stow-Away Waterloo has been created using 26 re-purposed shipping containers with a roof fitted with solar panels which transfer any excess electricity not used in the building back into the national grid.

Quartz Inn Hotels’ Managing Director, Ignacio Merino, said: “The main objective of the awards is to promote good sustainable practices in the hospitality sector and to increase general awareness of the impact of hospitality and tourism activities on the environment.”

The organisers explain that the air conditioning and hydro units recycle and recirculate energy between the heating and hot water systems, and by doing so create real energy efficiency and reduce any unnecessary waste.

Stow-Away’s design focuses on space-efficient models that deliver improved ergonomics in a stylish and eco-friendly way.

Other sustainable practices include rooms that are lined with eco-friendly timber cladding, all waste from the hotel and the on-site restaurant is recycled, all lighting is low energy and LED, and recycling bins are placed in all the rooms to make it easier for guests to separate their waste and all single-use plastics have been removed.

Hotels and tourism leaders from 23 European countries have been nominated and the finalists will be announced in the coming weeks after the jury deliberation. The winners from each of the 50 categories will be chosen among all finalists after a public voting process.


Hamilton mattress announces it has hit 250,000 recycling mark


Hamilton Waste & Recycling (Hamilton) has announced that it has now recycled over a quarter of a million mattresses as the company continues to ramp up its mattress recycling capacity.

In reaching this landmark number Hamilton says it has recovered approximately 2500 tonnes of metal, 750 tonnes of foam, and 500 tonnes of polyester all of which are used in the manufacture of more sustainable products.

The mattress manufacturer continues that the residual materials that cannot currently be effectively recovered are used in the production of solid recovered fuel. This sustainable fuel is used by several customers, including Tarmac, to offset their use of fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions.

We are on track to recycle approximately 100,000 mattresses this year and plans are in place to increase this capacity by a further 20% in 2023.

Hamilton has also recently announced a partnership with Scotland’s largest independent bed retailer, Archers Sleep Centre, to recycle all the used mattresses and beds from its customer take-back scheme. To further increase recycling rates, Hamilton says Archers promotes a voucher scheme to over 1.5 million households which enables them to dispose of their old beds for free.

Hamilton’s Managing Director, Robin Stevenson, said: “We are on track to recycle approximately 100,000 mattresses this year and plans are in place to increase this capacity by a further 20% in 2023.

“Whilst this is a fantastic achievement by the team, Scotland is still only recycling one in ten waste mattresses with over 650,000 mattresses still being landfilled every year.

“This wanton waste of recourses is completely unnecessary and needs to be addressed by Scottish Government if we are to achieve our circular economy ambitions.”


The Royal Mint continues its sustainability journey with circular computing remanufactured laptops

Royal Mint

The Royal Mint has agreed to a deal to help decarbonise its IT estate by using remanufactured laptops from circular computing.

The Royal Mint says it is one of the world’s leading mints and trusted producers of official UK coins and is famous for making coins, but over recent years, it has evolved to offer precious metals investment, luxury collectables, and jewellery.

It says it is committed to growing sustainably, targeting all areas of its operations, including the supply chain. The Royal Mint says combining the carbon neutral, remanufactured laptops provided by Circular Computing is a key step towards embracing a circular economy and lower carbon processes as championed by the IT department.

The unique Circular Remanufacturing Process sees Circular Computing produce second-life laptops that are certified equal to or better than new by the world’s first BSI Kitemark.

The solution offered by Circular Computing is a great example where remanufactured exceeds new.

Following a successful trial, the Royal Mint says the agreed partnership will see it use Circular Computing carbon neutral, remanufactured Lenovo ThinkPad T480 units, designed to meet The Royal Mint’s specific IT needs while allowing for a flexible procurement approach.

Over 70 remanufactured laptops have already been delivered to The Royal Mint, with further deliveries set to take place later this year. By using carbon-neutral remanufactured laptops, The Royal Mint says it can achieve lower carbon contributions from its laptop estate, while also promoting the principles of the circular economy.

Last year The Royal Mint says it introduced innovative new chemistry to the UK to recover precious metals from electronic waste and is now developing a full-scale plant in South Wales to process thousands of tonnes of e-waste per week and recover hundreds of kilograms of precious metals per annum. The first recovered gold has already been used to launch a new luxury jewellery range.

Inga Doak, Head of Sustainability and ESG at The Royal Mint added: “The solution offered by Circular Computing is a great example where remanufactured exceeds new – with their remanufactured laptops meeting our functional IT needs while delivering a circular, carbon neutral product.

“As The Royal Mint transforms for the future, we want to partner with more organisations like Circular Computing, who support our ambition to be leaders in sustainable precious metals.”


Suspended sentences for 2 men who burned waste on Northampton site


Two men who illegally stored and burned waste during lockdown have been handed suspended prison sentences.

The Environment Agency (EA) says that David Wells, 41, and Daniel Hancock, 32, repeatedly ignored its warnings. They were sentenced to 8 months in prison, suspended for 2 years, and each ordered to perform 100 hours of unpaid work.

The pair, who had previously pleaded guilty, was ordered to pay £4,900 in costs at Northampton Crown Court following an investigation by the EA.

The court heard how both had been storing and burning waste without environmental permits at a site on the edge of the village of Boughton. Nearby residents reported toxic fumes and seeing flames coming from the Boughton Springs site.

During lockdown in the spring and summer of 2020, witnesses reported ‘very thick dense smoke and very smelly’ and ‘acrid and very toxic’ at the site. Reports of fires that were ‘frequent and troublesome’ and smoke with ‘a very unpleasant odour’, were also reported.

Neighbours explained they were unable to sit in their gardens, hang out washing or open their windows. One elderly neighbour experienced breathing difficulty when fires were in progress.

Environment Officers visited on several occasions to warn and provide advice on what material could be burnt legally. Despite these visits, the pair continued to burn material without permission and to store mixed waste illegally on the site.

In February 2021, officers visited unannounced after further blazes were reported. On arrival they found a fire made up of green waste in plastic bags, laminated wood, furniture, cans, and other general waste.

Officers at the scene described the smoke from the fire as black, with a ‘toxic’ smell.

Piles of items including toilets, scrap metal, 3 metres squared of spent printer cartridges, sacks of domestic waste, carpets, toys, and clothes were found at the site. Much of the waste was stored on bare ground, risking contamination to soil and water, creating an odour problem and attracting flies and vermin.

In July, the pair were still storing illegal mixed waste in defiance of officers’ advice. The Environment Agency, the court heard, had no alternative but to prosecute.

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