Recycling March 22 2012 Weekly & WA S T E W O R L D Sign up for our digi tal edi t ion now. Register at www. recycl ingwastewor ld.co.uk
In this issue:
Merthyr Tydfi l gets funding boost
ENVIRONMENT MINISTER, John Griffiths has announced more than £400,000 to help drive up recycling rates in Merthyr Tydfil. The minister has
Source segregation: Worth the expense?
Our Wales focus looks at quantity versus quality in the principality. Is moving from comingled to source segregated waste a wise move?
• Page 4
Precious metals map to plug gap
David Burrows Freelance writer
Brewery is first Welsh business to sign pledge
Find out how a Welsh brewer has signed the Courtauld Commitment 2 and why a Welsh Trust is to receive extra funding.
• Page 6
THE GOVERNMENT will develop a new map showing where, and how, precious metals come in and out of the UK in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). The map is part of a
new ‘resource security action plan’, published jointly by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The aim of the action
plan is to ensure the UK extracts and re-uses more of the speciality metals found in everything from mobile phones to flat screen TVs. Concerns are mounting
Contaminated waste: Is it a walk in the park?
A remediation specialist has helped turn gasworks into a vibrant public open space through judicious recycling of contaminated waste.
• Page 8
over demand and supply imbalances for various speciality metals and rare earth elements. China produces over 97%
of the world's rare earth elements, for instance, while Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo account for 92% and 62% of niobium and chromium extraction respectively.
China has also been
accused of holding the world to ransom with curbs to exports. A report published by
the Crown Estate last week suggested there would be a “critical period” for rare earth metal supply and demand from now until 2014/15. This could have an impact
on large scale renewable power projects given the use of such metals in the generators for offshore wind turbines. Meanwhile, a recent
survey by EEF, the manufacturers association, found that 80% of manufacturers regard the shortage of raw materials as a risk. Through its action plan,
the government wants to focus on security rather than scarcity. Given the levels of
materials already in the system, environment secretary Caroline Spelman claimed there is a “multi- billion pound opportunity” for businesses involved in their extraction. Between now and 2020, the UK is
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www. r e c y c l i n gwa s t ewo r l d . c o . u k March 22 2012 1 ge
expected to dispose of 12 million tonnes of electronic equipment; a quarter of which will be IT equipment, consumer electronics and display devices which contain around 63 tonnes of palladium and 17 tonnes of iridium. At current market
prices, this amount of palladium would be worth approximately £1bn and the iridium, around £380m. Key developments in the
action plan include £200k to improve product design and make extraction easier, and the new map to help plug gaps in the supply chain. For instance, 75% of the
£350m worth of gold used in the production of consumer goods each year is lost through traditional recycling processes, according to Defra. Adrian Chapman of
Oakdene Hollins, who contributed to several of the studies cited within Defra’s action plan, warned that while the immediate focus on waste EEE (WEEE) was clearly important, there are other applications that rely on these ‘at risk’ materials too.
confirmed the extra money will be invested in establishing a kerbside sort recycling scheme for more than 2500 households in the Gurnos and Galon Uchaf areas of Merthyr. At 35%, Merthyr is
reported to currently have one of the lowest recycling rates in Wales. It is anticipated that this
extra funding will help to drive recycling rates in some parts of the authority up to 70% by 2019. Griffiths said: “We are
working towards 70% recycling by 2025 and zero waste by 2050. [This] pilot will test whether this innovative kerbside sort method can help to deliver 70% recycling here in Merthyr. "I am optimistic that Welsh
government investment in this pioneering project could drive recycling rates in the affected communities up to levels that will rival some of the highest performing areas." The pilot, the first of its kind in Wales, will see the
Plans submitted for Pontypool AD plant
SHANKS HAS submitted a planning application to Torfaen County Borough Council for the development of an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at its site at New Inn, Pontypool, South Wales. The AD plant, which uses the technical and operational experience of Shanks’ Orgaworld business, is designed to recycle food waste from local households and businesses, rather than send it landfill, which, according to a Shanks, is both environmentally and financially unsustainable. Shanks plans to build a 90,000 tonne p.a. AD plant at the
New Inn site, which would produce enough energy to power at least 4,000 homes. Subject to receiving planning permission, the plant would be operational in the first half of 2014.
weekly collection of dry recyclable materials and food waste based on the Welsh government's preferred kerbside sort approach and a fortnightly collection of residual waste. A further vehicle will
collect small electrical items, batteries, textiles, footwear disposable nappies and incontinence pads. It is hoped that the scheme
will dramatically reduce local reliance on general refuse (or black bag) collections. The 3Gs Zero Waste
project is a partnership between Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Cylch and the 3Gs Development Trust.
• See our Wales focus on pages 4-6
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