The Welsh Government says this is essential for reaching its recycling targets
According to new figures announced by the Welsh Government, one quarter of black bag waste in Wales is still made up of food, whilst another quarter is possibly made up of recyclable material.
The Welsh Government says that these findings could be the key as to whether the country reaches its recycling targets before time.
It claims that if only half of all the food and recyclable materials placed in black bags across Wales was recycled, the country could reach its sanctioned 2025 recycling target, which is 70%, a staggering nine years earlier.
Registered charity WRAP, have revealed that in Wales, there has been a 14% increase in the amount of residential recyclable materials being recycled but that refuse bins throughout Wales are still being stuffed with numerous items that could be re-used or recycled.
The study also revealed that 17% of electrical waste and electronic equipment and 50% of textiles and clothing, were still being sent to landfill sites, along with food waste and dry recyclable items.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said: “It’s great to see people’s recycling habits are significantly improving. However, this research shows there’s still more we can do to meet our aim of being a zero waste nation by 2050.”
Towards Zero Waste: One Wales One Planet – is the Welsh Government’s plan of action when it comes to waste. Its aim is to see Wales become a high recycling nation by 2025 and a zero waste nation by 2050.
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As the global solar panel industry grows, so too will the recycling potential
According to a joint report, end-of-life solar panel recycling could be worth $15 billion by 2050, as experts says the average lifespan of a solar panel is around 30 years.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency’s Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme have published the report claiming that the recycling of used solar panels could prove to be big business in the not so distant future.
Solar panel use is on the rise across the globe, as it offers sustainable and affordable energy solutions for new housing and industrial buildings, as global population levels rise and emerging economies record yet more financial success.
The director general of IRENA, Adnan Amin, said: “Global installed PV capacity reached 222GW at the end of 2015 and is expected to further rise to 4,500 GW by 2050.”
The research as published in the report, suggests that solar panel waste could be as much as 78 million tonnes by 2050. China accounts for a significant percentage of this waste production, at a projected 20 million tonnes of PV panel waste.
Recycled materials and components from waste solar panels can be used for the manufacturing of new panels or sold into the global resource material industry. The report is confidant that the solar panel industry will benefit significantly from the recycling of end-of-life panels, as a circular economy will result in a self-sufficient sector.
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West Yorkshire salon manager fined £2,000 for not holding a business waste contract
A West Yorkshire hairdresser has been fined in Leeds Magistrates’ Court for waste offences, including the illegal disposing of business waste and forging a receipt for waste disposal.
Carl Deacey, manager at Arena Hair Studio, situated in Wetherby, was not in possession of a business waste contract when he was contacted by Leeds City Council environmental officers in August last year.
The council officers had received complaints from the public that the hairdressing salon was using town centre public waste bins to dispose of its commercial waste.
Therefore, environmental officers handed Mr Deacey a legal notice demanding him to prove, with paper documentation, that his business had a valid waste management contract with a certified waste operator.
The hairdresser supplied the council officers with a waste disposal receipt, however, following an investigation, it was found that Mr Deacey had paid a waste contractor to forge a fake receipt. It emerged that Arena Hair Studio had not been in possession of a waste contract since it was established 35 years ago.
Mr Deacey appeared in Leeds Magistrates’ Court and was fined £2,000 under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 after pleading guilty to the waste offences.
Judging magistrates said that forging the documentation was a serious offence and disposing of business waste in council public bins was potentially harmful to the public’s health.
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‘Resourcing the Future’ conference held to debate the EU referendum and how leaving could affect the industry
Debate was raging at the final meeting for the ‘Resourcing the Future’ conference held in London last week, as waste bosses discussed Britain’s future in the European Union in relation to the waste industry.
Arguing to remain in the EU, Suez UK chief executive and president of the European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services, David Palmer-Jones asked the conference attendees: “What has the EU ever done for us?”
He then mentioned a number of waste improvements, including Britain’s 44 per cent recycling rate and the creation of landfill tax revenue, which have apparently been achieved solely because of Britain’s EU membership.
Mr Palmer-Jones finished off his argument by answering his initial question: “In terms of what the EU has done for us, it’s absolutely everything.”
However, on behalf of the leave argument, Neil Grundon, deputy chairman at Grundon Waste Management, took to the stage to claim that the UK was a leading nation in environmental matters.
He said: “I really don’t think that we are going to be any less of a force in our environmental conscience and our environmental pressure on the world as an independent nation.”
Mr Grundon used Britain’s excellent health and safety in the workplace record as an example of how Britain does not need the EU to be a world leader.
Angus Evers, from the UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA), had his time to discuss legal procedures for the waste industry following a remain or leave vote, saying that a remain would be “business as usual”, but a leave would involve “massive uncertainty” which could affect investment.
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The recycling project is designed to educate and encourage children to recycle
An electrical and electronic waste company based in Lancashire has initiated a recycling project amongst primary school children across the country, as they work together to author a WEEE recycling manual designed to educate young people on the importance of recycling their electronics.
The handbook, titled ‘Responsible Recycling’, has been passed from primary school to primary school across the UK and follows the adventures of R3PIC, a robot made up of recycled electronics, and the mascot of REPIC Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, the Bury-based company behind the project.
Year 3 and 4 pupils from each school have the opportunity to write a chapter each, detailing the imaginative recycling adventures of R3PIC. The story is now being completed by pupils in Bradford and Solihull before it goes off to be produced into an illustrated edition later this year.
As part of the ‘Responsible Recycling’ project, Bury Council’s recycling awareness officer, Talat Afzal, visited the schools involved to speak to the children about recycling and how it is an essential process to help save our environment.
WEEE waste firm, REPIC, launched the project in an effort to educate young people as they are now surrounded by an increasing amount of electronic equipment and gadgets.
Dr Philip Morton, chief executive of REPIC, told BuryTimes.co.uk: “The main aim of the campaign is to educate children on recycling issues from a young age. Children are the ambassadors of the future for recycling and are key in spreading the message to parents and carers.”
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The BIR is to launch a World Council of Recycling Associations to support the recycling industry
On May 31, the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) announced plans to launch a ‘world recycling council’ initiative, which would consist of the heads of worldwide recycling organisations and associations.
The BIR World Council of Recycling Associations would bring together world recycling leaders and experts to create an association which would work ‘to tackle the challenges facing the global trade of recyclables’ by promoting ‘free and fair trade of recyclables with minimum regulatory controls’.
The BIR, based in Brussels, was founded in 1948. It works to support companies and associations involved in the global recycling and waste material industry.
Currently, the BIR has almost 800 member companies worldwide from the business sector and national sector, which trade internationally in recycled metals, paper, plastics and textiles.
Ranjit Baxi, the president at BIR, compared the proposed World Council of Recycling Associations to a “United Nations of recycling”. He hopes the new council will attract yet more companies and associations to BIR from more countries.
Currently, BIR member companies represent 70 countries across the globe, but Mr Baxi would like to see this increase to ‘80 to 90 of the world’s more than 200 countries’.
During the 2016 World Recycling Convention and Exhibition, which was hosted by BIR between May 30 and June 1 in Berlin, Mr Baxi also said he hoped the bureau’s World Recycling Day ambitions would be realised by 2017, which would help promote the importance of recycling and the recycling industry.
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The Committee has called for changes to be made to the Waste Framework Directive
Changes to the Waste Framework Directive have been recommended by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, which wants to increase the municipal recycling rate to 70% by the year 2030.
This new figure has increased by 5% over last years proposed package figure of 65%.
The Environment Committee is calling for tougher requirements for separate recyclable collections, which concern items that are placed in our blue bins.
Rapporteur MEP Simona Bonafè is responsible for the new proposals. She has also suggested a ban on incinerating waste that is collected separately and has set a recycling target of 65% for organic waste by 2025.
Other final targets have also been suggested by the Environment Committee; 70% by 2025 for packaging recycling, increasing to 80% by 2030. A target of 25% by 2025 has also been proposed for the reduction of landfill.
It is now up to the MEPs to decide whether they will accept the new proposals.
The new changes to the Commission’s original proposals have been welcomed by the Resource Association, who say that they are a crucial and valuable contribution to the discussion.
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The Marine Conservation Society is calling on volunteers to help with the annual beach clean up event
‘The Great British Beach Clean’ is set to take place over a September weekend and the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is calling on the public to volunteer their services to help tidy up Britain’s beaches.
The annual beach cleaning event has been running for 23 years; last year’s clean up attracted the support of over 6,000 volunteers who took to 340 UK beaches, picking up a total of 3,298 pieces of litter; a record for the event.
UK charity, Marine Conservation Society (MCS), is dedicated to the care of Britain’s shorelines and seas and the sea life and wildlife that inhabits these environments. The society’s Great British Beach Clean Up event is being held as part of the International Ocean Clean-up, organised by the Ocean Conservancy.
Last year’s International Coastal Cleanup was held across 93 countries worldwide. Volunteers collected a total of 8,193 tonnes of litter from over 25,000 miles of international coastline. Cigarettes butts, plastic bottles, and food packaging (crisp packets, etc), were the three types of waste collected most by the volunteers.
Eunomia Research & Consulting says that beaches should be the focus in the fight against plastic ocean pollution. According to Eunomia, more plastic is found on beaches than on the ocean surface, which implies that beach clean ups have a very significant impact on the level of plastic in the world’s oceans.
The MCS is therefore calling for ‘urgent’ help for the September beach clean up, which is to take place between Friday 16 and Monday 19. If you’re interested in taking part in the British beach clean up, visit the Marine Conservation Society website for more information.
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Buckley residents concerned about the proposed closure of their popular household recycling centre
Residents in the Welsh town of Buckley have launched a petition to the council to prevent the closure of the local household recycling centre.
Flintshire County Council is due to close three recycling centres across the district, including in Buckley, Flint and Connah’s Quay. According to Buckley councillor, Dennis Hutchinson, the council has been ‘skewing’ the facts in favour of the recycling centre at Nercwys, near Mold.
Councillor Hutchinson said that the Buckley recycling centre is the most used site of the six that are located throughout Flintshire. Figures suggest that the Buckley recycling site processed more waste material last year compared to any of the other sites.
Flintshire County Council figures show that Nercwys recycled 75.1 per cent of the 5,103 tonnes of waste it processed last year. While Buckley processed 6,797 tonnes of household waste and recycled 68.8 per cent.
A report produced for Flintshire’s Environment and Overview Scrutiny Committee said that the Buckley site has a poor recycling rate and that it was too small and was in the midst of protected land.
Councillor Hutchinson said: “I have grave concerns over the proposed closure of arguably one of the best managed and maintained sites in Flintshire, serving a great deal of residents.”
Residents living in and around Buckley agree with Councillor Hutchinson and have set up a petition to Flintshire Country Council to try and stop the closure of the much-used recycling centre. The petition has now reached almost 30,000 signatures and residents believe that the council cannot now ignore this level of protest.
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The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) hits back at council waste service criticism
The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) has said that a recent report published by the Renewable Energy Association (REA), claiming that local authority food waste collection services were “self-serving”, should not be accepted as fact.
The report published in recent weeks by the REA suggests that food waste collection services provided by councils across England and Wales do not reflect what could really be achieved under the right circumstances.
The report, titled The Real Economic Benefit of Separate Biowaste Collections, said that “greater industry wide collaboration and more engagement with local authorities” is the key to improving biowaste recycling across the country.
According to REA, separate biowaste collections for businesses and residents would save money for both councils and businesses alike.
The LARAC also said that a similar report by Environmental Services Association was ‘peddling the myth’ that council waste services are outdated and no longer fit for purpose. Both reports have caused the LARAC ‘dismay’ at the ill-informed notions expressed by the two associations.
According to LARAC, both associations have had “no engagement with local authorities themselves” and yet they claim to possess the knowledge to advise councils on how to improve biowaste services.
Chair of LARAC, Andrew Bird, commented: “…to call for a fundamental change in how local authorities operate without engaging with us first to see how it could work and what the challenges and possible consequences are is disappointing and a missed opportunity.”
Jeremy Jacobs, a director at Renewable Energy Asssocation defended its report, claiming the aim was to assess “the costs associated with separate biowaste collections for businesses and local authorities” and to “add to the discussion about waste and recycling.”
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