Scottish councils sign £700m waste recycling deal

Five Clyde Valley councils partner with Viridor to redirect landfill waste for recycling

Five Scottish councils have signed a waste recovery contract worth £700 million with waste management firm Viridor, which will collect and recycle the districts’ municipal waste that was previously destined for landfill.

The contract will run for 25 years and is to begin on December 1, 2019. The councils in North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire and North Ayrshire are all part of the new deal, which was negotiated for and signed by head council authority in the Clyde Valley, North Lanarkshire.

Viridor will be responsible for collecting municipal waste from the partner districts; the waste will then be taken for recycling at Viridor’s plant in Bargeddie, North Lanarkshire. Any surplus waste that is not suitable for recycling will be sent to Viridor’s waste to energy facility, which is to be built in Dunbar, East Lothian.

North Lanarkshire council expects 190,000 tonnes of waste to be collected for recycling, which was previously going to landfill sites, costing the local authorities landfill tax and damaging the environment. According to Viridor director, Paul Ringham, the firm hopes to redirect 90 per cent of the partner councils’ waste from landfill sites.

The partnership between the Scottish councils is the first to come about since Sir John Arbuthnott, former chairman of the Greater Glasgow Health Board, suggested in a 2009 review that Clyde Valley councils could benefit financially from working together.

Council leader for North Lanarkshire, Jim Logue, said: “This is an important contract in terms of the scale of waste processing and environmental benefits. By working in partnership, we are delivering improved services for residents, best value for taxpayers, creating new jobs and recycling more waste which would otherwise go to landfill.”

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Glasgow manufacturer fined for waste packaging offences

A food manufacturer in Glasgow has been fined for flouting business packaging regulations

A food manufacturer based in Glasgow has been prosecuted by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) for failing in its responsibility to recover and recycle waste packaging.

Walter Black Foods of Drumhead Road, Cambuslang Investment Park, were investigated by SEPA in October 2013 when the agency saw that the food manufacturer had ended its member contract with its Producer Responsibility Obligations compliance scheme.

Under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packing Waste) Regulation 2007, manufacturers of products that require packaging are required to register as a product producer with SEPA. The producer will then be given recycling obligations which it can choose to fulfil independently or it can join a compliance scheme.

All manufacturers and compliance schemes are required to record their packaging recovery and recycling rates and submit it on demand to SEPA. The Producer Responsibility Regulations are designed to reduce waste packaging being sent to landfill.

SEPA sent multiple warning letters to Walter Black Foods, informing the firm of its registration requirements, but the letters went ignored.

The case was sent to the Procurator Fiscal and Walter Black Foods was obliged to appear in court. The firm pleaded guilty to failing to register in accordance with Producer Responsibility Regulations; failing to supply a certificate of compliance; and therefore failing to recover and recycle its packaging.

The food company was handed a £8,600 fine and was required to pay £28,538 as part of a Confiscation Order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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Call for government to reimburse landfill tax after nationwide flooding

A skip hire company has called on the government to reimburse flood effected councils their landfill tax payments in the midst of the major clean-up operations which are being carried out throughout the UK.

More than 16,000 homes were flooded in December as the UK suffered one of the wettest Decembers yet recorded in British history. Northern England and Scotland were the most effected areas, with Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Cumbria, Dumfries, and Kinross bearing the brunt of the nasty weather.

Now that the big clean-up is underway and families and businesses must dispose of ruined furniture, white goods and electrical items, which, under government regulations, are now considered hazardous waste and must be taken to landfill rather than recycled.

Call for government to return landfill tax

Carlisle is one of the most effected areas after December’s downpour

 

Tractors and trailers in Carlisle, Cumbria, have collected more than 1,050 tonnes of waste from households and businesses. This waste has been taken to temporary tipping grounds, including a car park, until the councils have assessed the damage and decided upon the best solution for the disposal of so much hazardous waste.

At the present time, councils in England must pay £82.60 landfill tax per tonne of waste, but, considering the nature of this emergency, there have been numerous calls for the government to “ … consider all reasonable means of supporting local authority areas which have been affected by the floods”