Click here for COVID-19 Update: Reduced Opening Hours are Monday to Friday 9:00 to 16:00

Waste disposal workers have keyworker status

Greenzone services are critical to the Coronovirus response

Get a Quote
Greenzone Facilities Management

First European plastic chemical recycling machine announced

Recycling Technologies, the specialist plastic recycling technology provider, has developed a technology that can recycle plastic waste into a valuable feedstock for new plastic production. The RT7000 is a scalable patented technology that recycles low-grade plastic waste into a feedstock, trademarked as Plaxx, for new plastic production. It enables the creation of value from plastic waste, which is today difficult to recycle through current mechanical recycling methods and is therefore disposed of through landfilling, incineration or exported. Brightlands Chemelot Campus, a research and technological growth hub, is located close to the main petrochemical hub in Europe from Antwerp and Rotterdam to the Rhine and Meuse accounting for 40% of Europe’s chemical industry, employing over 320,000 people. The campus together with Chemelot industrial park forms one of the largest research and industrial sites in Europe This agreement marks a significant step for Recycling Technologies, representing its first site outside of the UK to showcase, test and deploy its technology throughout Europe. This news follows a joint statement in December 2019 announcing an initiative with Citeo, Total, Mars and Nestlé to develop chemical recycling of plastics in France. Orginal Source

Greenzone Facilities Management

Law change makes HWRC visits ‘legally acceptable’

Previously, doing so had not qualified as one of the ‘reasonable excuses’ listed by the government by which people could leave the place where they were living. This change applies only in England. An amendment to the coronavirus restrictions published by the government inserted “to use a waste or recycling centre” into the paragraph of the legislation defining the reasons by which people could leave their homes during the emergency period. Other listed reasonable excuses include to obtain food and medical supplies, to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household and to travel for the purposes of work where it is not reasonably possible for them to work from the place where they live. The amendment was announced as part of numerous new policies coming into effect on 13 May, which now mean people can exercise outdoors as often as they wish and go to a garden centre, among other things. Orginal Source

Greenzone Facilities Management

Material Change launches electrical recycling campaign

The not-for-profit, formerly known as the WEEE Fund, is calling on households to stop throwing away and hoarding unwanted old electricals and start reusing and recycling them instead. As part of the campaign, Material Change is funding technical research on the barriers to reusing and recycling old electricals, with the aim of finding new approaches to recycling. The organisation is also working with partners to expand the number and type of electrical collection points across the country. It has launched a website to help householders find their nearest reuse and recycling points and encourages people to recycle their electricals when lockdown lifts. Announcements about the expansion of reuse and recycling facilities will be rolled out later this year. The Recycle Your Electricals campaign will also involve a communications initiative to help people see the value of their old electricals and know what to do with them. Scott Butler, executive director of Material Change, said: “We want to stop old electricals being simply thrown away, and create a campaign that inspires millions to take action by reusing and recycling. “When we recycle our old electricals, we’re giving a new lease of life to the treasure hidden within - valuable metals like gold, copper, steel, and aluminium. “These materials can then be transformed into everything from bicycles to life-saving equipment. “If you’re decluttering at home, now is a good time to gather up, prepare, and store your old electricals in a bag - ready for recycling after lockdown.” Orginal Source

Greenzone Facilities Management

Deposit return approved by Scottish parliament

The Scottish conservatives spoke against the motion, under concerns that implementing the DRS too soon could add a burden to already struggling businesses due to the economic and other impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Scotland’s minster for rural affairs and natural environment Mairi Gougeon, spoke in favour of implementing the DRS in 2022 The implementation of the scheme was already pushed back to 2022 in March, after initially being planned for April 2021, to allow businesses ‘more time’ to prepare in light of the pandemic. Ms Gougeon, who is also SNP member Angus North and Mearns, said that Scottish businesses would continue to be “monitored closely to see if further flexibility is required” to the implementation date. The minister added that July 2022 was the “earliest date” parliament was confident they could deliver a successful deposit return scheme. Timing Talking against the motion, Annie Mills of the Scottish Conservatives said: “There is no disputing that the DRS can increase recycling rates and protect our environment. The question is timing. We support delayed implementation to July 2022 in light of the virus outbreak. However Conservative don’t think it goes far enough. “Small businesses are struggling more than ever. Many of them won’t see 2021 despite vast financial support provided by government. The business community will be responsible for making DRS work. Now is not the time to force them to scrutinise and engage with legislation adding to their burden.” Ms Gougeon reiterated that the DRS is a “great opportunity” to create a more circular economy while reducing litter and contributing positively to the climate emergency”. Orginal Source

Greenzone Facilities Management

Rebecca Pow thanks waste industry for coronavirus effort

The letter, thanks waste sector workers for the “vital service” they have continued to provide. “I want to pay tribute to all of you who are working in such challenging times to protect the environment, local amenity and people’s health,” Pow writes. “To thank you for keeping waste moving. Maintaining the rates of black bag rubbish collection, working behind the scenes in recycling centres, treatment plants, energy recovery centres and disposal sites despite all the challenges that coronavirus brings.” The letter also recognises the pressures felt by the waste sector - from staff absences to financial pressures to an increase in household waste - and thanks workers for their resilience and “cooperative spirit”. Pow also refers to government guidance on PPE and social distancing at work before assuring waste workers that they are “not forgotten” by government. “I am enormously grateful for all you are doing, and will continue to do, and proud of your commitment to the services you provide,” she concludes. The letter has been well-received by the waste industry. Jacob Hayler, executive director of the Environmental Services Association (ESA), said: “We are grateful to the minister for acknowledging the tireless, but often overlooked, work of recycling and waste sector workers who continue to provide a vital public service during this crisis. Orginal Source

Greenzone Facilities Management

Delayed plastic straw ban met with disappointment

This has prompted an outcry from the Environmental Audit Committee, a Commons select committee. The ban was meant to come into force this month in England and had received widespread public support. A public consultation, published in May 2019, shows that over 80% of respondents backed a ban on the distribution and sale of plastic straws, 90% a ban on drinks stirrers, and 89% a ban on cotton buds. Exemptions under the ban will ensure that those with medical needs or a disability can still access plastic straws. The ban is now expected to come into force in October 2020. Philip Dunne, chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee, said: “It is very disappointing that the government has delayed the ban on plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds. “These items when made from plastic are virtually impossible to recycle, so they end up in landfill or are dumped, jeopardising the environment and wildlife both on land and when they reach the sea. “The UK is a world leader in environmental protection. “While it is completely understood that the response to coronavirus should dominate government resources currently, it is crucial that the pandemic does not threaten progress being made with relatively straightforward steps to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.” England uses an estimated 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers, and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds each year, many of which end up in waterways and oceans. Orginal Source