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Energy from Waste

The UK, as a whole, is coming under increasing pressure to develop techniques to achieve its landfill diversion techniques and renewable energy generation targets. Energy recovery from waste is widely used as a way of adding significant value from materials which would otherwise be sent for landfill. Whilst these sorts of developments are potentially contentious ones, they are vital in reducing reliance on landfill and meeting renewable energy targets.

As a result of legislative drivers and government incentives (i.e. the Renewable Obligation Certificates) more and more companies are looking to break into this relatively young market. The Energy Technologies Institute estimates that the UK has the potential to utilise around 100 million tonnes of waste per annum, which in turn could generate up to 4% of its electricity and heating requirements.

With a ready made supply of fuel material and a demand for the outputs, Environmental Compliance’s involvement in planning applications for waste to energy facilities has increased significantly over the last year. We are currently involved in five major applications ranging from 50,000 to 400,000 tonnes per annum facilities.

Our role varies from preparation of individual chapters of an environmental statement, to total project management of the entire planning application. The planning team within the consultancy division is rapidly expanding and now includes chartered town and country planners. In addition to the planning stage, we are also heavily involved in preparing Environmental Permit applications and our UKAS/MCERTS emissions monitoring team are also assisting with commissioning and ongoing support of such facilities.

For more information on this article, please contact Sarah Burley (s.burley@envirocompli.com)

HSE look into the Waste & Recycling Industry

The waste and recycling sector has increased dramatically over the last few years. With this in mind, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has tried to identify the key challenges faced by the waste and recycling industry, in view of the often competing demands in terms of health, safety and environmental considerations (e.g. meeting recycling targets), and the political sensitivities involved. The HSE view this industry sector as one that needs special attention in terms of advice and in extreme cases, enforcement.

The HSE is in the process of trying to establish the effectiveness of health and safety management within the waste and recycling industry, by focusing on certain key operational topics and activities. This approach is part of a wider programme of work targeting the waste management and recycling industry and is being carried out in conjunction with various large companies/operators throughout the UK to try and establish best practice. This will mean an increase in the number of HSE inspections at Waste & Recycling facilities, either local authority or commercial enterprises, and will no doubt lead to more enforcement notices being issued for non compliance with such regulations as:

  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)
  • Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002
  • Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
  • Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005
  • Regulation for the registration, evaluation, restriction and authorisation of chemicals (REACH)
  • The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS)
  • Solvent Emissions Regulations (England & Wales) 2004, Solvent Emissions Regulations (Scotland) 2004

Environmental Compliance has worked closely with companies in this varied sector in helping them achieve and maintain compliance with health & safety, planning and environmental legislation. For help and advice and to arrange a no obligation site visit from one of our consultants, please call the head office on 01443 841760 and we will arrange for someone to discuss your requirements in detail.

For more details on the Health and Safety Executive and the Waste & Recycling Industry, please visit www.hse.gov.uk/waste.

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