The International Aluminium Institute published figures on aluminium recycling

The latest aluminium recycling figures published by the International Aluminium Institute suggest that Europe has one of the highest recycling efficiency rates in the world and the transportation industry recycles the most aluminium. Wiser Environment outlines the pertinent information from the International Aluminium Institute’s research.

Representing the majority of the world’s aluminium producers, the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) encourages the aluminium industry to sustainably develop. Established in 1972, one of the IAI’s key objectives is to “identify issues of relevance to the production, use and recycling of aluminium and promoting appropriate research and other action concerning them”.  In turn, their intention to improve recycling forms the foundation of their metals research.

International Aluminium Institute Aluminium Factsheet

The IAI’s aluminium recycling factsheet is available here.

The IAI’s latest aluminium recycling factsheet includes the following interesting information:

  • It requires less energy to recycle aluminium than to produce it from bauxite ore. Furthermore, recycling will not reduce its quality.
  • Out of the aluminium ever produced, the IAI suggests that 75% of it is still in use today. Additionally, the latest global figures show the recycling
    input rate is 32% and the recycling efficiency rate is 76%. In other words, 1/3 of the aluminium produced originates from scrap and over 2/3 of aluminium is recycled.
  • Interestingly, the IAI details that the transportation industry recycles the most aluminium with 9 million tonnes recycled. Also, a near 70% of aluminium drinking cans end up recycled.
  • The IAI also discovered that Europe has the highest recycling efficiency rate in the world. With 81% of the aluminium scrap recovered.

A consistently successful metal recycling industry

These findings do not come as a surprise for Wiser Environment. The fact that over 2/3 of all aluminium is still in use demonstrates the metal recycling industry’s consistent success. Wiser knows firsthand from its clients that many ELV (end-of-life vehicles) and MRF (material recycling facility) operators work hard to continually innovate and find new methods to improve their resource recovery.

Whilst recycling aluminium can produce a great value for businesses, navigating the increasing costs and complexity of waste management is challenging. Therefore, Wiser Environment believes that it is important that industry managers stay informed. The team at Wiser has extensive experience in resource management and is ready to provide waste businesses with support. For more information contact Wiser Environment or call on 01480 462232.

Consultation on the Green Gas Levy

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is hosting a consultation on the Green Gas Levy. This consultation closes on the 2nd of November 2020. Broadly, the levy intends to fund the injection of biomethane into the UK gas grid; also known as the Green Gas Support Scheme.

According to the UK Government, the biomethane initiative will save 21.6MtCO2e over the duration of the scheme. Furthermore, the levy will help support the expansion and development of anaerobic digestion and other biological treatment facilities.

Arriving shortly after the Environment Agency’s consultation on the appropriate measures for the biological treatment of waste, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is hosting another consultation that will impact the biological treatment industry. This time the consultation concerns the Green Gas Levy. Here, the initiative intends to fund the Green Gas Support Scheme’s expansion of biological treatment facilities – such as anaerobic digestion operators – through placing a levy on licensed gas suppliers.

The BEIS explains that a “biomethane injection into the gas grid accelerates the decarbonisation of gas supplies, by increasing the proportion of green gas in the grid”. Furthermore, the Green Gas Support Scheme will provide 21.6MtCO2e of carbon savings over its lifetime. The intention of the Levy is to pass the cost of decarbonisation down the supply chain and onto the consumer; supporting the acceleration away from burning fossil fuels.

In a BEIS press release, the Minister of State – Kwasi Kwarteng – supports the Green Gas Levy: This new funding will support an ambitious scheme to decarbonise the gas grid that will prevent millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere…”

Support with submitting a response

Wiser Environment encourages all those who operate within – or are affected by – the biological treatment industry to contribute to the consultation. The BEIS consultation on the Green Gas Levy will be available until the 2nd of November 2020. For those who would like Wiser Environment to submit a response on their behalf, then contact us or call on 01480 462232.

Wiser Environment Visiting a Biological Treatment Client

Wiser Environment Visiting a Biological Treatment Client

EA letter to regulatory stakeholders

Providing an update on the COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statements, the EA sent a letter to regulatory stakeholders. The letter reaffirms that the EA has provided the National Permitting Service with more resources to deal with the application backlog, extended the Continuing Competence deadline until 2021 and conducted a review of the COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statements.

EA Letter to Regulatory Stakeholders

Operators can find a copy of the EA letter to regulatory stakeholders here.

In a letter jointly signed by the Environment Agency’s (EA) Director of Regulated Industry and Director of Water, Land and Biodiversity, the EA outlines its intention to keep regulatory stakeholders up-to-date with the changes in response to the COVID-19 outbreak; recognising the difficulties some operators face in maintaining compliance during the ongoing pandemic.

National Permitting Service backlog

The EA emphasised that its teams are now fully operational and many of its offices are back open. Despite challenging conditions, the EA has incorporated digital technologies to ensure that near-normal compliance and enforcement work can continue.

However, the EA has admitted that the outbreak has negatively impacted the National Permitting Service (NPS) and its ability to process permit applications. The regulator has calculated that it is currently overwhelmed and receives over 1,000 applications a month. In response, the EA has reallocated Area Teams to support NPS directly.

According to Wiser Environment’s sources, the NPS currently has an allocation stage queue of up to 23 weeks. Notably, the average timescale for a bespoke permit to start the “duly making” process is now 18-20 weeks.

Application TypeCurrent Average Time to Initial Allocation
New Standard Rules8-10 Weeks
New Bespoke18-20 Weeks
Admin Variation6-8 Weeks
Minor Variation19-21 Weeks
Normal Variation21-23 Weeks
Substantial Variation21-23 Weeks
Transfer13-15 Weeks
Surrender15-17 Weeks
Medium Combustion Plant19-21 Weeks
Technical competence

At the start of the lockdown in March, Continuing Competence test centres closed and in June a small number of these test centres reopened with capacity restrictions. As a consequence, the EA has now agreed to extend the deadline for Continuing Competence compliance until the 1st of January 2021,

Waste industry managers whose Continuing Competence is due, have until the end of the year to take and pass the Continuing Competence Test. Wiser Environment recommends that operators book their test as soon as possible and to keep their local regulatory officer updated.

COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statements

Additionally, the EA published time-limited COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statements (RPS) to support the industry; providing operators with some compliance wiggle room. The EA outlines that the COVID-19 RPSs help operators to “minimise risks to the environment and human health where compliance with certain regulatory requirements may not be possible”. Moving forward, the EA intends to continually review each RPS; reinstating or extending particular COVID-19 RPSs should the need arise.

Expiry dates for COVID-19 RPSs
RPS NumberDescriptionExpiry Date
RPS C1Cleansing and PPE waste at a healthcare waste management facility31/03/2021
RPS C2Exceeding waste storage limits at permitted sites because of COVID-1930/09/2020
RPS C3Water and Sewerage Company OSM and UWWTR sampling affected by COVID-1930/09/2020
RPS C4Incinerating specified healthcare wastes at a municipal waste incinerator30/06/2020
RPS C5PPE waste from home healthcare workers treating patients with COVID-1931/03/2021
RPS C6Storing treated sewage sludge you cannot move because of COVID-19 restrictions30/09/2020
RPS C7Monitoring emissions from some environmental permitting activities30/09/2020
RPS C8Social distancing when signing and handing over waste transfer and consignment notes in person31/03/2021
RPS C9COVID-19 and packaging waste: registering as a packaging producer08/07/2020
RPS C10Reporting for installations, radioactive substances and waste permits30/09/2020
RPS C11Emissions to air from large combustion plant during black start events31/07/2020
RPS C12COVID-19 and spreading slurry or milk on land, or storing slurry30/09/2020
RPS C13Accumulating radioactive waste that you cannot transfer because of COVID-1931/03/2021
RPS C14COVID-19 and delaying hazardous waste consignee returns31/07/2020
RPS C15COVID-19 and exceeding permit limits for medical use of radioactive substances31/03/2021
RPS C17COVID-19 and storing waste at unpermitted sites due to exceeding your storage limits30/09/2020
RPS C18Emissions to air from Large Combustion Plant in the Transitional National Plan30/11/2020
RPS C20Monitoring emissions from some environmental permitting activities31/01/2021

EA letter to regulatory stakeholders – Additional support available at Wiser

To support the industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 setback, Wiser Environment is ready and available to help. In cooperation with clients, Wiser’s experienced team can represent waste businesses and ensure they receive the regulation they need. For more information contact Wiser Environment or call on 01480 462232.