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Standards-making committee call for Solid Recovered Fuels collaboration to improve UK’s waste industry

Standards-making committee call for Solid Recovered Fuels collaboration to improve UK’s waste industry

THE International Standards Organisation (ISO) TC300 Solid Recovered Fuels is embarking on a new investigation into the demand for recovery-of-wastes for re-purposing standards.

Currently, the TC300 only covers non-hazardous wastes as inputs into energy conversion, however, the ad-hoc committee writing the report – and convened by the UK – believes this move may support the flexibility, economic value and re-use of materials currently considered purely for energy conversion.

The Committee is appealing to the waste industry to come forward with evidence they believe will help shape fresh understanding and potentially the formation of new standards in the recovered non-hazardous waste marketplace.

UK member of BSI mirror’s committee PTI/17 and MD of UNTHA UK, Marcus Brew, said: “We’ve seen first-hand the difference it can make when a quality focus is given to the manufacture and trade of Solid Recovered Fuels – and standardisation will undoubtedly add value to the marketability of SRFs moving forward.

“Yet recovered waste material isn’t just about energy conversion. We hope by issuing an ‘industry call to arms’, we can share ideas, highlight frustrations and illustrate where opportunities are being missed, with a view to changing what’s possible in the resource world.

“We know there’s enough waste out there, but perhaps we need to shake the tree to instigate change when it comes to converting it.”

UK member of BSI mirror’s committee PTI/17 and MD of UNTHA UK, Marcus Brew

Groups in countries ranging from China to Canada are now working hard to uncover the data needed to take the assignment forward, but deeper insight into the UK’s (and other countries’) approaches to waste transformation is required.

A plethora of data is being sought including:

  • Market uses of recovered waste materials (whether turning Commercial & Industrial materials into a <30mm flock, plastics into oils, or anything in between);
  • Global reach of these markets;
  • Details of varying output specifications for converted waste;
  • The volume of input materials available, output materials required and a gap analysis of UK capacity;
  • Evidence of ‘near-production’ recovered waste innovations that are yet to be commercialised;
  • The varying terminology being given to these converted wastes and the processes involved;
  • Examples of quality-driven best-practice.

When all of the data has been assimilated, the objective is to provide a number of pragmatic evidence-based options for development.

The new standards are to be introduced as a way of improving depth, coherence and robustness between different parts of the waste industry – especially those in their infancy, but this could be complicated due to the UK’s current turbulent economic climate: for example, Brexit on March 29.

The committee want to encourage all within the waste industry to get in touch to share knowledge and collaborate, rather than duplicating effort. The committee stress this is not about infringing on anyone’s intellectual property – but rather about setting out the parameters of best practice when it comes to quality, safety and the supply chain.


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