UK business briefs: Recycling buggy upgrade, Clean power deal, New recycling farm, Green home competition, Waste contract, Earth songs, Recycling success

Electric carts providing valuable door-to-door recycling collections across Wales are to receive a £30,000 upgrade thanks to the Welsh Assembly Government. The vehicles, known as Pedestrian Controlled Vehicles, are particularly useful for collecting household recycling in small, remote communities in Wales, where it would be uneconomical to provide a conventional collection service. The Community Recycling Network in Wales, will receive the funding to upgrade existing vehicles so they are better able to negotiate steep hills and carry a bigger load.

npower business has signed a contract with informations solutions provider Experian to supply its Nottingham office with 5 GWh of green energy generated by sustainable sources such as wind farms and hydro stations. As part of the contract, Experian has also take 15 GWh of combined heat and power (CHP) which, although not as clean as renewable energy, is a 3:1 improvement on conventional energy generation.

Highview Farm, a new £2.3 million facility, capable of processing 50,000 tonnes of waste each year, is to open next week in Harefield, Middlesex, and will be the UK's first recycling centre modelled on advanced European standards. West London Composting will be partnering with local authorities to help convert household waste to compost.

Green mortgage lender Norwich and Peterborough are running a competition for the greenest self-built house. Whichever entrant has made the most environmentally friendly features a priority in building their home will have the chance to win £5,000. With the effects of global warming being felt all around the world as floods and hurricanes have ripped across the earth this summer, the competition aims to raise awareness that homes can be built in a more environmentally sound way.

ACM waste Management has won a contract to provide waste disposal services for an international crop protection company. The move will save its customer thousands of pounds. It will now supply Syngenta with a Gigant Roll Packer to crush tonnes of mixed waste, cutting the company's costs by at least £5,000 a year.

A collaboration of top Scottish musical and artistic talent have produced an album to support Friends of the Earth Scotland. Named Silver Green, the album will be launched in October and includes one of the best new singing talents in Scotland, Daisy Haggard, song writers Mike Merritt and Tom 'Furry' Howe, and top record promoter Judd Lander, who helped guide Katie Melua's career. It also includes a message of support from Paul McCartney, and has been commissioned to celebrate 25 years of FoE Scotland.

And finally, by adding a 44 litre kerbside box to its existing 55-litre size, North Hertfordshire District Council has improved its collection yield by 12%, as well as the quality of its recycled glass and paper. Following the introduction of kerbside collection, the Council's combined recycling rate for 2003/4 rose to 17.7% of all household waste, a 6% increase on the previous year. Actual volumes increased from 3,430 tonnes to 6,697 tonnes.



Waste & resource management
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