News in brief | Veolia trials innovative electric tricycles in Westminster

Veolia, the UK’s leading resource management company, in partnership with Westminster City Council, is trialling two electric pedal tricycles specially designed for on-street waste collection.

These small electric vehicles are powered by batteries that assist the rider with the additional weight of the tipping body tank, where the waste is loaded. In comparison to a normal barrow used by a street sweeper, which has a total capacity of 20kg, the e-tricycle can carry a maximum of 150kg, while still being able to easily enter pedestrian areas or other places with limited space for movement.

During the three-month trial, one e-tricycle will be in operation in the Victoria area in Westminster, and a second one in the West End. These e-tricycles are both environmentally friendly and people friendly, offering a safe, efficient and clean air solution for street waste collections.

Julie Angulo, General Manager Veolia Westminster, said: “The electric tricycle trial is another testament to Veolia’s ongoing commitment to create greener cities by constantly providing sustainable and innovative waste solutions.

We are extremely proud to collaborate with forward thinking local authority partners such as Westminster City Council and to keep trialling alternative fleet solutions. We will continue to support the council in fulfilling their commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030.”

Councillor Melvyn Caplan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Management, said: “Westminster City Council is committed to utilising new technology to keep our streets clean and reduce our carbon footprint.

“These new vehicles offer an innovative and efficient solution to waste collection, and I am pleased to be working in partnership with Veolia to deliver a cleaner and greener city for all.”


Charity recycling initiative reports ‘record annual collection rates’

Foil for Snappy, the York-based community initiative renowned for collecting aluminium packaging to raise money for charity, has announced its best ever year for packaging volumes.

During 2020, the programme collected 5,482kg of recyclable material, including 2,843kg of aluminium foil and 1,459kg of aluminium drinks cans – its highest ever rates. With material sold to raise money for The Snappy Trust, which supports children and young adults with wide-ranging disabilities, the initiative prevents recycleate from being landfilled, while raising much needed funds alongside!

Despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, local residents have shown their community spirit by donating aluminium packaging to support the cause. Due to its continued success, Foil for Snappy was even asked to take over the collection of foil at the city’s two HWRCs early in 2020 to ensure the aluminium continued to be recycled when the previous service provider could no longer continue.

Karen Nash, founder of Foil for Snappy, commented: “We are delighted to have seen such an impressive increase in the amount of aluminium collected by Foil for Snappy. With material arriving at our supermarket car park collection bins or directly to my front door throughout the pandemic, I would like to personally thank local residents for supporting the scheme and helping to raise much needed funds for The Snappy Trust.”

Rick Hindley, executive director at Alupro, the aluminium packaging recycling organisation, added: “Record rates is great news for Foil for Snappy – Karen’s fundraising efforts are truly inspirational. However, while volumes have been high, a significant proportion of the donations were unfortunately unsuitable for recycling, consisting of mostly plastic laminate and bonded paper packaging. This highlights why it’s so important to take care when separating materials for recycling – not only to prevent contamination, but to maximise recycling rates.

“While Foil for Snappy is grateful for donations from other counties in the UK, they would ask those residents not to post their aluminium foil to them as they are ending up having to pay the postage for these packages. It’s important that residents research local recycling schemes closer to home, which will reduce your personal costs and also reduce the impact on the environment due to the packaging travelling fewer miles to be recycled.”


Reconomy renews recycling contract with nursing and assisted living providers

Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare, providers of care, nursing and assisted living for the elderly, have renewed their recycling and resource management contract with Reconomy across 46 care homes.

UK provider of outsourced resource management and recycling services, Reconomy, has been working with Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare since 2018 and continues to provide a reliable and proactive managed service for the collection and safe disposal of all waste streams across their care homes.

Reconomy has been working extremely closely with Sunrise and Gracewell to navigate through the pandemic, providing the essential management that ensures waste handling and disposal procedures are compliant in-line with government guidelines.

Looking ahead, the new contract sets out to explore and introduce innovative solutions to waste that sees a more sustainable outcome such as coffee ground recycling, closed loop PPE recycling as well as uniformed signage and labelling systems that will ensure in-house teams are engaged with the process and support to minimise contamination of waste streams.

Steve Hatton, Head of Account Management at Reconomy, Said: “We are proud to have been able to support Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare over the past 3 years, especially with the immense pressure the facilities have been under during the pandemic.

“Our role is very much to enable our customers to focus on their core business while we take care of the environment, specifically the waste, around that. By continuing to deliver a hassle-free waste service that evolves over time to deliver financial and environmental benefit, we feel satisfied we are fulfilling this and creating a long-lasting partnership”


Bunzl plc and WasteAid to close the loop on plastic waste in Douala, Cameroon

The specialist international distribution and services group, Bunzl plc is partnering with international NGO WasteAid to create jobs in the collection and recycling of plastic waste in Cameroon.

With Bunzl’s support, WasteAid’s partners will recruit and train 30 young entrepreneurs in the coastal city of Douala to recover value from plastic waste and create long-term employment opportunities in the green economy.

James Pitcher, Head of Sustainability at Bunzl plc said: “The lack of waste collection in Douala is a major cause of environmental concern, with plastic waste blocking drains and filling riverbeds close to the Atlantic coast. WasteAid has been working in Douala to engage young unemployed people in the collection and recycling of plastic waste since 2019, and we are delighted to be building on their positive impact through this 12-month partnership.”

Solid waste management has been identified as one of the major environmental concerns of the city of Douala, and about one third of economically active youth are unemployed. WasteAid will work with existing partner RED-PLAST and new trainees to collect and sort plastic waste from market areas and divert it from waterways and the ocean.

Angela McDermott, WasteAid’s Head of Programmes and Impact said: “The nascent recycling industry in Cameroon can provide dignified jobs and generate much-needed income, while cleaning the environment and preventing pollution. With Bunzl’s support, we are able to develop targeted interventions that provide long-term opportunities for vulnerable young people.”

Plastic waste will be collected from four markets in Douala: Sandaga (Douala I), Congo (Douala II), Maképé and Bépanda (both Douala V). Through partnership working with the local municipality, market managers, stallholders and surrounding businesses, the trainees will collect eight tonnes of plastics including PET, PP, PE and PVC by the end of 2021 and sell the plastics to a network of existing local re-processors, keeping it in the loop.

This initiative will provide a legacy of waste recycling knowledge, skills and employment as well as waste reduction and environmental gains.

The partnership between Bunzl plc and WasteAid builds on their recent joint initiative in Indonesia, helping marginalised communities to increase waste recycling from 10% to 90%.

WasteAid’s Chief Executive, Ceris Turner-Bailes said: “We are grateful to Bunzl plc for supporting another intervention that demonstrates the long-term benefits of sustainable waste management, particularly for communities that suffer from a poor environment and high levels of unemployment. Collecting and preparing plastic waste for recycling creates green jobs and reduces dependence on open dumping and burning, providing important health and economic benefits where they are most needed.”

The 12-month partnership will help deliver a number of the Sustainable Development Goals, including: Decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), Industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), Sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), Responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), Climate action (SDG 13), Life below water (SDG 14) and Partnerships for the goals (SDG 17).


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