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Waste

Competition is ‘beneficial to circular economy’, says study

Extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes – key elements of the circular economy – tend to perform better when there is competition between multiple producer responsibility organisations
That’s the conclusion of a new study conducted by think tank adelphi on behalf of European Recycling Platform. The study also provides recommendations on how to further strengthen the performanceof competitive EPR schemes.
The study finds that producer responsibility organisations operating in a competitive environment show astrong focus on driving innovation and improving the services offered to producers. They also tend to lead to higher customer satisfaction and ensure a cost- efficient implementation of waste management activities such as collection, sorting and recycling.
Monopolistic systems, on the other hand, tend to rely on effectivebut often costly innovation and have a higher risk of market power abuse if transparency is insufficient. These results hold for waste electrical and electronic equipment, batteries, and packaging.
In order to further strengthen the performance of competitive EPR schemes, the study suggests to ensurea level playing field between multiple producer responsibility organisations by establishing coordinationbodies independent of private interest. The main tasks of these mandatory bodies would be to coordinate and monitor the allocation of collection responsibilities, to manage joint activities such as awarenesscampaigns, and to function as an intermediary between PROs and other stakeholders such as localauthorities. The study also recommends working towards an EU-wide harmonisation of the criteria for theeco-modulation of EPR fees.
The report “Analysis of Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes” was conducted by adelphi in June 2021 and reviewed by independent scientific reviewers. It assesses the performance of different EPR schemes in Europe using six selected case studies under consideration of nine environmental, economic,and technical key performance indicators, such as collection and recycling rates, costs for producers, or stakeholder satisfaction.
Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of Landbell Group, said: “Extended producer responsibility has proven over the last years to be a very effective means to tackleone of society’s most pressing issues: the growing amount of waste. As the new study suggests, thisinstrument is particularly powerful and cost-efficient when there is competition between multiple actors. In order to accelerate the transition towards circularity, we need to remove barriers for competition and avoid aconcentration of market power at all stages of waste management. Landbell Group has implemented competitive extended producer responsibility throughout Europe for over 20 years and is committed to maintain this role for the journey ahead.”

How to effectively deal with hazardous waste

If you company produces or stored hazardous waste, then it is your company’s responsibility to ensure it is stored and handled correctly.

Of course, if this type of waste is mishandled or poorly stored, it has the potential to damage both the environment and people. In particular, hazardous waste can contaminate surface water supplies and groundwater supplies, which in turn can lead to a much wider-reaching problem. 

It’s understandable then that the UK government has strict policies in place regarding the monitoring and transport of potentially harmful material.

This guide has been created to help you make sure your duty of care is being carried out correctly. 

Identifying different types of waste 

If you produce or store hazardous waste on-site, you must identify the waste type in order to correctly handle it. There are two main conditions that define different hazardous waste types — the potential to harm humans, or the potential to damage the environment. 

Some common examples of hazardous waste include asbestos, batteries, oils, brake fluid, printer toner, and pesticides. 

Of course, there are many other hazardous waste products that could be identified on your site. It is important to know the different types of hazardous waste your company creates, as they need storing separately. For example, if you are working on a construction site, you cannot throw hazardous material in the same standard 8 yard skip you have for general waste and rubble — each type of hazardous waste needs its own container. 

Safe storage for hazardous waste material 

Naturally, the best way to manage hazardous waste is to reduce the amount you are producing. But for some companies, hazardous waste products are an unavoidable part of the process for their industry. In this instance, the waste must be stored, recorded, then correctly transported. 

There are four main subcategories for hazardous waste: construction, demolition, industry, and agriculture. Each type should be separately stored in a container designed to stop anything escaping. To prevent contamination, make use of waterproof covers to avoid any run off from the waste. Be sure that the containers are clearly labelled so that everyone on-site is aware of what they are storing. 

A classified inventory of your hazardous waste stored on-site is also vital. These records will help in the case of an incident, as emergency services will be able to quickly attend to the problem armed with the right information. 

Record-keeping

Once your hazardous waste is collected, you will need to fill out a consignment note. This needs to be done before the waste is removed from your site. 

Consignment notes require the following information: 

  • A full description of each type of waste that is being collected. 
  • The amount, in applicable measurement units, of waste being collected. 
  • The chemical components of the waste. 
  • The form of the waste (solid, liquid, gas, etc.) 

You need to fill out a consignment note if the collection is from a business that is a registered waste carrier, or if the waste is being moved from one premises to another within the same company. You will also need a consignment note if another business has produced the waste on a customer site and it needs moving. 

You do not need a consignment note is the waste has been imported and is covered by other documentation, or for domestic hazardous waste (except asbestos). 

Finally, there is a fee to pay for the consignment note. In England and Wales, this fee is £10 for a collection, or £5 per note if it is part of a milk round of collections. In Scotland and Norther Ireland, the fee is £15. 

IWFM assesses impact of government’s waste management strategy

The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) has analysed the contents of the the government’s recently unveiled waste and resource management strategy to assess its impact on the FM sector.

The UK is looking to position itself as a leader in resource efficiency thanks to a new strategy by the government that adds developing sustainability to the agenda, with Environment Secretary Michael Gove also outlining plans for a low carbon economy.

Reviewing the government’s 146-page waste and resource strategy document, the IWFM found that the most likely impact on most workplace and FM professionals include:

• Eliminating avoidable business, industrial, chemical and household waste by 2030
• Developing the Business in the Community’s Circular Office initiative to change the way workplaces are designed, used and operated to eliminate waste and create more efficient, resilient spaces which contribute to the long-term sustainability of businesses, the environment and the wider economy
• Increasing resource efficiency and minimising waste in the built environment sector through developments such as digitalisation, off-site manufacturing and innovative construction materials and techniques
• Extending mandatory corporate reporting on resource usage to include reuse, repair and recycling; moving from weight-based to impact-based targets
• Ensuring, if necessary through legislation, that businesses present recycling and food waste separately from residual waste for collection and make information available on what is recycled
• Reducing food surplus and waste through dedicated strategies for schools, hospitals and other public sector institutions, with mandatory targets and annual reporting
• A deposit return scheme for single-use drinks containers and measures to reduce the environmental impacts of disposable cups
• More sustainable government procurement to achieve the best whole life value for money with social value, including environmental considerations, at the heart of policy
• Improving the transportation, management and description of waste by making businesses more accountable for their waste when it is passed along the resource chain
• Regulations forcing those responsible for producing environmentally damaging materials to pay the full cost of recycling or disposing of their waste

In terms of next steps, the IWFM says it will provide an update through their Good Practice Guide on Recycling and Waste Management in early 2019, considering the practical and legal implications for workplace and facilities management professionals.

GUEST BLOG: How IoT is changing the waste water industry

Kelly Potter, Marketing Associate, Transcendent Corporation

Water is perhaps one of the most precious natural resources. With rapid urbanization, the resource is becoming scarce quickly.

For organisations and systems that operate in the water industry, there has been the dependency on Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems to monitor some parts of the water distributions systems, yet the practical limitation of its installation points has restricted its use.

As stated in IoT and Hospitality, “The number of connected devices will grow by two billion objects in 2006 to a projected 200 billion by 2020.” With the growing number of connected devices, the water industry is taking advantage of IoT sensors to monitor water levels, chemical leaks, and even regulate water flows.

IoT in water treatment uses the concept of smart sensors installed at various points in the water system. These sensors collect data and send it back to the monitoring systems. This data could include, water quality, temperature changes, pressure changes, water leak detection, and chemical leakage detection.

In the simplest form, IoT in water treatment lies a reliable communication technology that is used to send data from physical objects over a wireless channel to a computer with smart analyzing software. Smartphones and tablets can have apps that connect to the cloud or be integrated with an EAM CMMS system to access the IoT sensor data in real-time. This technology can help technicians, engineers, and other facility management staff to get insights wherever they are or places engineers typically can’t reach.

An IoT enabled smart water sensor can track quality, pressure, and temperature of water. In fact, a sensor solution can measure liquid flow and can be used by a water utility company to track the flow across the whole treatment plant. This can also be a handy tool to incorporate with an EAM CMMS so you can track all the data for the plant in one easy solution. Engineers can then access this data, interpret the data, and make suggestions and send to the facility manager.

IoT can also play a role in leak detection and send an immediate alert to a remote dashboard. These notifications are immediate where as if an engineer had to check the levels by hand or on foot it could take hours for a problem to be detected. Now, it allows the engineer to address the issue faster, find a solution, and move on to the next task.

Lastly, another huge benefit to IoT in wastewater management is the detection of residual chemicals after treatment. This can be used to calculate the efficacy of the selected treatment process and ensure the release of chemicals stays within permissible limits.

This type of sensor can also help detect and reduce the spreading of legionella throughout a facility. Legionella is spread through mist, such as from air-conditioning units of buildings and can be very dangerous for employees. IoT has many benefits and can increase the productivity of staff, keep them out of harm’s way, and reduce unnecessary costs for facility management.

How an EAM/CMMS Can Help the Waste Water Industry

An EAM organizes the physical and fiscal information of enterprise assets on one platform, follows the work flows associated with managing assets, supports the business processes of managing the receiving, assigning, deploying, and retiring assets. From an operational perspective, it tracks the physical whereabouts of the assets, who have custody of them at any point of time, and the physical condition of the assets.

The CMMS tracks the maintenance activities and costs for the equipment that require maintenance. mEAM tracks the entire enterprise asset portfolio, including IT and physical assets, equipment and buildings, fixed assets and consumables, while CMMS tracks a subset of that.

EAM will track the life cycle of your water system allowing staff to prepare for maintenance in the future to protect not only your assets but your consumers.

An EAM combined with the benefits of IoT software can increase productivity among staff, decrease risk of injury for staff, and reduce unnecessary costs that are being spent in a reactive manner rather than a preventive or proactive approach.

Kelly Potter is a Marketing Associate for Transcendent Corporation. She has lived in Tampa for four years and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in Communications and a Minor in English-Writing. Kelly has written hundreds of blogs focusing around EAM CMMS technology and the use of these solutions within facilities around the world.

Promapp takes Lean Tagging solution forward

Cloud-based business process management company Promapp has extended its feature functionality with the launch of Lean Tagging, ensuring that organisations can integrate lean improvement initiatives into day-to-day business operations.

Aligned with continuous improvement methodologies, including Lean, Kaizen and Six Sigma, Promapp’s Lean Tagging enables teams to identify inefficiencies within processes, prioritise the reduction of non-value-add activities and waste, and track, manage and report on opportunities for improvement.

Lean techniques have traditionally been a popular choice for organisations seeking to work smarter and improve efficiency. However, organisations that want a truly lean organisation need to be able to translate ideas into everyday practices.

“Right now, there is a disconnect between business improvement and lean thinking, says Ivan Seselj, CEO, Promapp.  “We have these terms and labels that we apply to improvement but they are passive language only.

“Lean thinking needs to be totally engaged with process, it needs to be visual and it needs to be easy to use so that organisations can drive innovation and continuous improvement, and then promote track, identify and report on improvement opportunities and benefits.”

Lean Tagging now enables organisations to achieve the true benefits of lean with value-add and waste reduction ideas uncovered in lean projects or workshops successfully embedded into the day-to-day operations of the business.

Promapp’s wide range of public and private sector customers includes: Toyota, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola Amatil, Lantec, TeliaSonera, Ricoh Australia, Konica Minolta, Fuji Xerox, Air New Zealand, Audi Australia and the Department of Justice, Victoria.

www.promapp.com

Guest Blog, Liz Allen – The Circular Economy: Re-thinking waste…

We have become used to the idea of recycling.  We do it at home, and more businesses are recognising the financial benefits of waste segregation and recycling in the workplace.  But is this enough? What ‘matchmaking’ could you do for your business waste? Could your unwanted waste material be just what someone else needs?

Each time a material is recycled, its quality is generally reduced leading to a higher demand for virgin raw material.  According to Friends of the Earth, humans today extract and use around 50 per cent more natural resources than 30 years ago – that’s about 60 billion tonnes a year.  If we continue in the same way, the amount could be 100 billion tonnes of raw material by 2030. It’s not just the environmental problems associated with resource extraction, there are often social problems such as human rights violations and poor working conditions linked with these industries which we should be taking into account.

There is nothing wrong with recycling, and we should all keep up the good practice while looking out for opportunities to think a bit wider and add an extra loop into a products’ life cycle.  The challenge is to move away from the ‘take-make-dispose’ linear route, and move to a circular model where the life of products and materials are extended before they are repurposed, reused or reprocessed to provide new or different services.

The beauty of a ‘circular approach’ is that it can be tackled at any point of the value chain – anywhere from extraction of raw materials, design and manufacture, through to use and disposal. This affects everyone and is providing the inspiration for all kinds of new business models which appeal to the millennials, who are less materialistically-minded, and environmentalists alike.

All kinds of organisations are piloting new business models to try and rethink waste.  These range from product leasing – where you hand it back for someone else to use, to improving product performance by building in upgradability, through to remanufacturing.  All these approaches try to keep the original material in use for as long as possible to get the best out of it before recovering or regenerating products and materials at the end of their useful life.

Organisations such as WRAP and the Dame Ellen MacArthur Foundation are championing approaches to support innovative business models.  These are popping up all over the place including a company in Holland called Mud Jeans which lets you lease a pair of jeans for a year. After that, you can return them for repair, get a different style or purchase them. St Albans based office furniture specialist, JPA will collect, repair and refresh your office furniture, rather than it going to landfill, while businesses in the FMCG market are looking at ways to redesign products so they can minimise the use of virgin material.

We are great at accumulating ‘stuff’, and apparently up to 80 per cent of the products made are thrown away within the first six months. As a society, we have gotten used to wanting the latest trend and another bit of kit, but this cannot be sustainable? All these products have used other materials to make them and there is not an inexhaustible supply.  Think about the opportunities; we are happy to download music and no longer own CD’s, therefore eliminating (or at least significantly reducing) the production of plastic discs.  So what else could we do?

 

Liz Allen is an environmental consultant at Hosking Associates Ltd, and has many years’ experience working with diverse businesses to translate environmental issues into practical actions. She helps organisations prioritise risks and opportunities to reduce costs, and manage compliance. Liz is a chartered environmentalist with experience in designing and delivering CSR, sustainability and stakeholder engagement programmes.