News in brief | the latest waste and resource news


Dive into the latest waste and resource news with Circular Online’s news in brief round up.

In this news in brief, we look at ASH Waste Services being awarded £176k BEIS funding to assess hydrogen fuel switch for machinery, What Design Can Do launching global circular design challenge, LondonEnergy supporting the “More Than History” fashion show in North London and a site fire at Bedlington recycling site being extinguished.

However, to start with we cover how British Airways are accelerating sustainable aviation fuel for commercial use in the UK.

British Airways to accelerate sustainable aviation fuel for commercial use in the UK

British Airways

British Airways, LanzaJet and Nova Pangaea Technologies have signed an agreement that it says will accelerate Project Speedbird, an initiative to develop cost-effective sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for commercial use in the UK.

As part of the agreement, British Airways’ parent company IAG, is investing in the project to support the next phase of development work that will help decarbonise the aviation industry.

Project Speedbird was initially launched by the three companies in 2021 and was granted nearly £500,000 by the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Green Fuels, Green Skies competition to fund an initial feasibility study for the early-stage development of the project.

This work is now complete and so the next stage of development can begin, British Airways says, and once in operation, it would be the UK’s first SAF facility utilising agricultural and wood waste taken from sustainable sources.

The project has now applied for the DfT’s Advanced Fuels Fund grant for additional funding, which the British airline says will be key to the project’s continued development whilst the DfT seeks to roll out its recently announced Jet Zero strategy that includes implementing a SAF mandate to come into force in 2025, which will require at least 10% of UK jet fuel to be SAF by 2030.

Project Speedbird is another great step towards our mission to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner.

Project Speedbird would transform agricultural and wood waste taken from sustainable sources into 102 million litres of SAF per year, British Airways says. It continues that construction could begin as early as 2023 and the facility, which is planned to be built in North East England, is expected to be producing SAF by 2026.

The SAF produced would reduce CO2 emissions, on a net lifecycle basis, by 230,000 tonnes a year. This is the equivalent emissions of approximately 26,000 British Airways domestic flights, British Airways says, before continuing that Project Speedbird has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 770,000 tonnes a year.

British Airways says that Project Speedbird would also provide significant skilled employment with the generation of hundreds of jobs and supply chain opportunities in the North East of England and help spread the benefits of investment in green technologies across the UK. It would also bolster the UK’s energy security as the facility would boost domestic production.

Director of Sustainability at British Airways, Carrie Harris, said: “Project Speedbird is another great step towards our mission to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner and achieve our target of using SAF for 10% of our fuel by 2030.

“SAF is in high demand but in short supply across the globe and so it is essential that we scale up its production as quickly as possible. With further investment and continued government support, Speedbird will be a key and pioneering project in the production of SAF here in the UK.”

£176k BEIS funding for firm to assess hydrogen fuel switch for machinery

ASH Waste Services

A UK waste specialist has been awarded £176,000 in funding to establish whether it can power its industrial machinery with hydrogen instead of diesel and electricity, grant specialist Catax can reveal.

ASH Waste Services has won £175,844 from the Industrial Hydrogen Accelerator (IHA) programme, run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and funded through the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP).

The award will fund a six-month feasibility study into whether the company could power its industrial plant and equipment using low-carbon hydrogen, which Catax says could potentially make it a pioneer of the kind of fuel switching that could help all UK industries transition to net zero.

ASH, whose HQ is in Wrexham, North Wales, will be aided by Compact Syngas Solutions (CSS) based in Deeside, Wales. The two companies are already collaborating on a wider project aimed at converting landfill waste into hydrogen fuel, Catax says.

Reducing our carbon footprint sits at the core of our business.

The aim is to switch a significant proportion of the ASH Group’s processing and transport equipment to hydrogen.

The IHA is a £26 million programme that funds projects able to demonstrate end-to-end industrial fuel switching to hydrogen.

Neil Hassall, Managing Director at ASH Waste Services, commented: “We are delighted to have been successful in obtaining government funding for our feasibility study into powering our machinery with hydrogen.

“Reducing our carbon footprint sits at the core of our business, and finding greener ways to operate our equipment will be an important leap forward. We hope our work will prove to be just the beginning of a UK-wide transition in how we power our machinery.”

What Design Can Do launches global circular design challenge

Make it Circular

The Make it Circular Challenge has invited designers and creative entrepreneurs globally to submit “design-driven innovations”.

What Design Can Do (WDCD)’s fourth challenge in partnership with the IKEA Foundation is called the Make it Circular Challenge. This global design competition calls on all innovators to submit their “boldest” climate solutions using circular design.

Winning proposals will be made into reality with an impact-driven development programme, What Design Can Do says. It continues that the end goal is to create products, services and systems that are both user-centred and earth-centred, showing that a circular future is not only imaginable but actionable.

Richard van der Laken, co-founder and creative director of WDCD, said: “Many people become lost in the face of so much outrage, fatigue and disinterest — but not creatives.

“The ability to imagine is the creative community’s ideal domain: seeing what does not yet exist, taking on a challenge, forging ahead with optimism.”

Participants are invited to submit their project proposals online for free from 11 October 2022 to 11 January 2023 via the Challenge website:

Bedlington recycling site fire to be extinguished


An operation to extinguish an ongoing fire at a green waste composting site in Bedlington commenced on 3 November under close supervision by the Environment Agency.

A fire at Green Leaf Recycling Ltd first broke out on 31 August 2022 and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) attended the site to bring the fire under control.

Following advice from Northumberland FRS, there has been a controlled burn of the remaining waste wood on site which has continued to generate low-level smoke and odour in the area. The Environment Agency says that now that the burn is under control, Green Leaf Recycling Ltd, the site operator, will start to extinguish the fire on Thursday 3 November following advice from the fire service.

Environment Agency says its officers will be closely supervising the work done by Green Leaf Recycling Ltd to ensure there is minimal impact on the environment to bring this incident to a conclusion.

This operation is expected to take a few days to complete and may cause a temporary increase in smoke and odour coming from the site until the fire is completely extinguished.

The material on the site is clean waste wood which poses a low risk to health and the environment, however, people are advised to keep windows and doors closed if they are affected by this, the Environment Agency says.

The green waste composting activities at the site are authorised by an Environmental Permit issued by the Environment Agency, it says.

LondonEnergy supports “More Than History” fashion show in North London


LondonEnergy says it has sponsored the “exciting” local event as part of its programme to celebrate Black History Month.

Throughout October, LondonEnergy has celebrated Black History Month which this year adopted the theme – “Time for Change: Action Not Words.”

Over the month, LondonEnergy says it organised and participated in several initiatives to raise awareness and celebrate the continued achievements and contributions of Black people to the UK and around the world.

These included: a food-tasting day of African and Caribbean-inspired dishes – served across all sites, a Black History Month visual display at LondonEnergy’s ReUse shop in Chingford, updating the LondonEnergy logo with the BHM colours on its website and social media and featuring employees from across the business on the website, social media and intranet.

Fashion is inherently circular and the industry is coming to the forefront of the drive for a more sustainable economy.

LondonEnergy says one of the highlights came this weekend when it supported the “More Than History” fashion show. The event was curated and hosted by one of the company’s Site Supervisors, Shane Campbell, and featured 5 collections including the Camouflage Project collection by Julie Corion, which was inspired by the Covid pandemic and people hiding their fears and feelings during this time.

Other collections included the use of upcycled fabrics to create designs around the theme of “play” and “Nothing goes to waste” with models wearing jewellery sourced from LondonEnergy’s ReUse shop.

LondonEnergy’s HR Director, Viv Morris, said: “Black History Month gave us a great opportunity to celebrate black culture and the broad diversity of our local community and business. While we shouldn’t solely focus on the past, we can learn from it to improve the future.

“We’d like to thank everyone who to the time and made the effort to organise or participate in so many interesting and fun events over the month.

“Fashion is inherently circular and the industry is coming to the forefront of the drive for a more sustainable economy.  We were therefore delighted to be able to sponsor the’ More than history’ fashion show and support local designers in showcasing their creativity and skills – congratulations to everyone involved.”

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