News round-up October 2021

Veolia raises EUR2.5bn for Suez takeover; Peel plans Protos growth; Dacorum fixes on Econics for fleet; Worked injured in Oxfordshire crash

Veolia raises EUR2.5bn for Suez takeover

Veolia has put together the capital necessary to buy out its rival Suez by issuing millions of shares at EUR22.70. Antoine Frerot, Veolia chair and chief executive (pictured), said: “I am pleased to announce … the success of our EUR2.5bn capital increase, which completes the financing of the Suez acquisition. “The vast majority of our shareholders have chosen to strengthen their investment in Veolia, thus demonstrating their confidence in our growth prospects in very buoyant environmental markets, and in the full success of the merger with Suez.”

Press release

Peel plans Protos growth

Plans for another phase of a GBP165m plastic park have been submitted by Peel NRE for its Protos site near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.  It is intended to cluster processing and treatment technologies to extract value from plastic waste.  Peel NRE is seeking approval for facilities that would provide capacity for up to 367,500 tonnes of mixed recyclables and plastic and create 147 new jobs.

These include an MRF, two plastics recycling facilities, a polymer laminate recycling facility and a hydrogen refuelling station. Press release

Dacorum fixes on Econics for fleet

Dacorum Borough Council has standardised its refuse collection fleet on 25 Mercedes-Benz Econics. It had added a further 14 vehicles to the 11 it commissioned in January 2020, all of which were supplied by Motus Truck & Van.

There are also seven specialised vehicles outside the Mercedes-Benz fleet. The Econics are 2630LL models, in 6×2 rear-steer configuration, powered by 7.7-litre in-line six-cylinder engines and fitted with Geesinknorba MF Series 21H25 compactors and Terberg Omnidel Triple lifts. Press release

Worked injured in Oxfordshire crash

A waste lorry worker was taken to hospital with serious leg injuries when a car collided with the back of the vehicle where he was working.

The incident occurred when a Ford Fiesta hit the lorry in Middle Barton, Oxfordshire on Tuesday. Thames Valley Police are investigating and West Oxfordshire District Council’s waste contractor Ubico said it was cooperating fully with their inquiries. BBC

Fashion firms accused of ‘greenwash’

The Changing Markets Foundation has published a video, which it said exposed five reasons why polyester clothes made from recycled plastic bottles are adding to fashion’s waste crisis and flooding the natural environment with plastics

It said brands such as H&M, Primark and Zara were ‘greenwashing’ as the practice of turning PET plastic bottles into clothing meant the plastic cannot be recycled further and will be thrown away, while turning plastic bottles into clothes removed them from circular recycling loops. Press release

Larac names interim chief executive

The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (Larac) will appointed John Coates as interim chief executive following the news that Lee Marshall is to leave in December to move to the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management. Coates is a former Larac vice chair and treasurer.

Larac is to review of its current structure.  Carole Taylor, Larac chair, said: “We are sad to see Lee go but in John we have someone who is very capable and who brings experience of being a head of service for waste and recycling at both unitary and county councils.” Press release

Two south-west wins for SFS

Specialist Fleet Services Ltd has won new seven year contracts with Somerset West and Taunton and North Devon councils.

They undertook a joint procurement exercise for the management of nearly 200 vehicles. The fleets will run separately but will share workshop facilities. SFS managing director Bob Sweetland said: “Winning these contracts further establishes our service provision in the south west and enables us to share our resources to maximise the efficiency savings for our customers. 

Press release

Biffa takes councils’ joint contract

Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon district councils have awarded a joint refuse and recycling services contract to Biffa Waste Services. Starting in August 2022 and running to July 2030, the service will include separate weekly food waste collections, fortnightly commingled dry recycling collections and three-weekly residual waste collections. The council said the new contract would see the use of a new MRF, currently under construction.

Biffa will use more energy efficient vehicles and smarter routing. The company already serves Stratford-upon-Avon while Suez is the current contractor in Warwick. Press release

Schools plastics programme launched

MBA Polymers UK has launched a recycling ambassadors programme for local schools to encourage children to recycle plastics 

The first event was held at St John’s Academy in Worksop, where company representatives arranged a day of activities, experiments and learning for each year group. The company also presented the school with recycling bins. Account manager Kelly Speed said: “I look forward to being a part of the continued rollout of this programme in all local schools.”

Press release

New member for plastics pact

Pact Retail Accessories has joined WRAP’s UK plastics pact. Executive general manager Camillo Colombo said: “Every business has a role to play in helping reduce the volume of plastic waste being sent to landfill and reducing its reliance on virgin materials.  “WRAP is an important partner in helping educate business, industry and government about the importance of the circular economy and the role we each play in building it.”

Pact Retail Accessories supplies garment hangers that can be used multiple times, and those no longer suited el fro re-use are recycled. Press release

Project seeks automated collection tracks

Waste industry software and vehicle technology firm AMCS has started a collaborative two-year research project with Confirm Centre at the University of Limerick. This will seek to automate at large scale the identification, tracking and resolution of contaminated material close to the point of collection.

It will also explore how to fully automate the recording and resolution of exceptions on collection rounds such as contamination, blocked service access and overweight containers. Chief executive Jimmy Martin said: “This application of cutting-edge technologies has the potential to automate at scale the identification and management of collection exceptions.” Confirm is the Science Foundation Ireland funded research centre for smart manufacturing hosted by the University of Limerick.

Press release

UK Waste Solutions buys AMA

UK Waste Solutions has completed its acquisition of skip hire and waste management company. AMA Waste Management for an undisclosed sum. Max Kanda, managing director of UK Waste Solutions, said:

“The acquisition of AMA Waste Management strengthens our position as the leading broker in the UK waste and resource management sector. We welcome AMAs staff, suppliers and customers on board and look forward to working in partnership with you all to deliver environmentally and economically sustainable solutions.” UK Waste Solutions other brands include Novati, Click Waste UK, Evolution Waste Management and C&M Waste Management.

Press release

Minister sees improved HMRC

Northern Ireland environment minister Edwin Poots has visited the Drummee household recycling centre in Enniskillen to see improvements made following a GBP725,122 grant from his department to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council for modernisation.  Poots said: “The former centre was located on an old site with ageing infrastructure in need of redevelopment and equipment in need of upgrading. ” The council estimated that the improvements would see an additional 590 tonnes of recyclable material diverted from landfill.

Press release

Bomb scare shuts recycling site

Police closed the Millhams community recycling centre in Bournemouth over the weekend after the discovery of a suspected explosive device. Bomb disposal experts atetdne but the object was found not to be explosive and the centre reopened after two hours. Dorset Echo

Trade body hails EU methane action

European Suppliers of Waste-to-Energy Technology (ESWET) has praised a European Parliament Environment Committee’s report underlining the need for bold action against methane emissions from waste.

It said that unlike other greenhouse gases methane was not regulated properly in the EU. Patrick Clerens, ESWET secretary-general, said: “The parliamentary report demonstrated that the European Parliament is taking the methane issue seriously.  “Acknowledging waste-to-energy’s role in diverting non-recyclable waste from landfills and reducing methane emissions in the waste sector, while recovering energy and recycling metals and other aggregates, would be a further step in the right direction”.

Press release

Lincs swoop nets waste crooks

Operation Clean Sweep has prevented the illegal disposal of 10 tonnes of construction waste in Lincolnshire and the seizure of three vehicles. Environment Agency staff joined with police, Boston Borough Council, HM Revenue & Customs and the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency in the swoop on illegal waste. There were also 14 DVSA prohibition notices and seven fixed penalty notices of GBP300 each issued. 

Vehicles found illegally carrying scrap metal, waste white goods, green waste and end-of-life vehicles were also stopped and follow-up enquiries are being made. Press release

Council objects to Portland EfW

Portland Town Council has unanimously objected to plans for an incinerator in its area. Powerfuel Portland wants to build a GBP100m facility to burn up to 202,000 tonnes of non-hazardous waste a year for conversion to energy.

The council said: “A wide range of documentation and specialist feedback has repeatedly demonstrated that that the harm of building this facility clearly outweighs the benefits.” Planning powers rest with Dorset Council. Dorset Echo

Contract win for UKCM

UK Container Maintenance has won a four-year contract with Oldham Council to maintain and repair its four-wheeled waste and recycling containers. It will also supply new and restored containers.

UKCM said it is the UK’s largest family owned container repair and refurbishment company and its process brings old, and often unwanted, waste containers back into use instead of them going to scrap.

Press release