Online Assessment Tool Launched To Support Quality Recycled Products

20-03-14(1)picA new online tool to help producers of quality products made from waste launches today (20 March) as part of an EU Life+ funded partnership programme to encourage quality products made from waste.

Developed initially for compost and recycled aggregates, the QP Checker webtool is linked to the Environment Agency’s Quality Protocols (QPs), which set out quality criteria for the production and use of products made from specific waste types.

Complying with the criteria in the QPs is sufficient to ensure the fully recovered product is no longer considered a waste and is removed from regulatory controls. The aim of the QPs is to provide increased market confidence in the quality of waste-derived products and encourage greater recovery, recycling and resource efficiency.

The new QP Checker provides a way for both new and existing producers to check that they meet the QP quality requirements and any other underpinning specifications.

The tool creates a user report that documents performance and pinpoints any areas where improvement is needed. It can also be used as an internal audit check and will support a more robust and consistent compliance regime.

Roger Hoare, Environment Agency – “To date, the QPs have resulted in an estimated 21m tonnes of materials being diverted from landfill, savings of around 40m tonnes of virgin raw materials and approximately 130 thousand tonnes of carbon. We estimate that by 2020 around £3.5bn in terms of increased sales and £1.5bn in terms of reduced regulatory burden will be realised”

Developed in close co-operation with a wide range of industry partners and stakeholders, the web tool is free to use and all data remains confidential to the user.

It is currently available for compost and recycled aggregates, but the intention is that industry stakeholders with an interest in other QP waste streams will take it forward and tailor it to their own needs. Work is already underway on a QP Checker for the digestate from anaerobic digestion processes, and there is interest from other sectors including pulverised fuel ash (PFA).

“High quality waste-derived products not only benefit the environment through improved resource efficiency, they also benefit producers’ bottom line through improved profit margins,” explained Roger Hoare, environment & business manager at the Environment Agency.

“The Quality Protocols programme as a whole is delivering multi-billion pound benefits to business. To date, the QPs have resulted in an estimated 21m tonnes of materials being diverted from landfill, savings of around 40m tonnes of virgin raw materials and approximately 130 thousand tonnes of carbon. We estimate that by 2020 around £3.5bn in terms of increased sales and £1.5bn in terms of reduced regulatory burden will be realised.”

“By supporting producers who opt for QP compliance, we hope to encourage market growth and end-user confidence. The EQual programme is also helping regulators to promote greater resource

efficiency by supporting a clear and consistent regulatory framework to assist with wider End-of-Waste decision making and compliance assessment.”

The QP Checker web tool has been delivered by multi-national consultancy Ricardo-AEA and can be found at www.qpchecker.info

Further information can be found about the EQual programme here.

Send this to a friend