Specialists play key role in brownfield development
Craig Sillars, Managing Director of Churngold Remediation Ltd, identifies short-term concerns over brownfield development and puts the case for identifying specialist remediation contractors capable of addressing the most complex remediation issues.
The Government has introduced a number of pieces of new legislation to act
as drivers for brownfield redevelopment in order to promote urban regeneration
and achieve construction of 60% of new houses on sites that have had a former
use. In the long term, the market for the services of specialist remediation
contractors is almost certain to expand. However, at the time of writing (December
2001) the rapid implementation of the Landfill Directive, before the effect
on brownfield regeneration has been properly addressed, and, in particular,
the associated definition of what is “waste”, may have a short detrimental
effect on the remediation market.
WRAP – The Waste and Resources Action Programme – is making its presence felt
with a widening range of initiatives, the latest of which, a new Business Development
Service, aims to acts as “marriage service” to deliver investment
The intention is to translate the much-vaunted good intentions many businesses
express under the umbrella of “ethical investment” and “going
green”, into reality.
Speaking at the launch of the new scheme on 29 January, Dr Alistair Keddie,
Director of Environment and Innovation Services at the DTI, highlighted the
significance of WRAP’s role in the Government’s resource productivity agenda
and the importance of the environment industry to the UK economy.
“Current estimates indicate that the global market for environmental products
and services will rise from £240 billion in 2000 to £450 billion
in 2010,” he said. “The UK recycling sector has the opportunity to
expand significantly as part of that growth, and this represents a new and exciting
opportunity for the financial community.”
One of WRAP’s main objectives is to bolster market confidence in the recycling
sector and find ways to improve the economics of recycling, including a target
to lever a minimum of an additional £10 million a year into the sector.
The new Business Development Service will provide comprehensive support to
recycling businesses, particularly small and medium sized enterprises, in putting
together strong investment proposals and identifying the best sources of capital.
It will forge strong links with the financial community, build up a network
of potential investors and increase confidence in the recycling sector.
Also last month WRAP announced £3.6 million funding for 21 major R&D
research projects aimed at increasing the use of recycled material in the UK.
Part of WRAP’s first round of R&D projects within its Materials R&D
Programme, the research will explore innovative recycling methods and new uses
for recycled materials, including glass, plastics and wood. More than 60% of
the funding will be provided by WRAP, which is contributing over £3.6
million towards the expected total cost of £5.6 million.
In the newsprint recycling field WRAP also made its presence felt by announcing
a change of the preferred bidder status of the two companies remaining in its
competition for support for newsprint reprocessing capacity.
WRAP stated that Shotton Paper Company, of Deeside, North Wales, is now the
preferred bidder to receive support under the competition, replacing Aylesford
Newsprint, which was originally appointed preferred bidder in November 2001.
According to WRAP: “Since November, WRAP and Aylesford Newsprint have
been in intensive negotiations with a view to finalising the contract for provision
of financial support. At the beginning of January, Aylesford Newsprint made
a significant change in the proposals they were putting forward.
“WRAP cannot provide details of that change due to the commercial confidentiality
of the negotiations. However, the introduction of an additional condition to
the bid led the WRAP board to conclude that Aylesford was not now in a position
to execute a contract giving certainty that new capacity would be delivered
within a timescale that fulfils the objectives of the competition, and therefore
decided to remove their preferred bidder status.”
WRAP added that its expert assessment panel shared its view.
In response, Aylesford Newsprint issued a statement saying it is reassuring
local authorities and other suppliers that it is “business as usual”
following the WRAP decision over the November tender competition which had been
designed to increase the recycling of used newspapers and magazines.
“While we are disappointed at WRAP’s decision,” said Recycling Manager
Chris White, “the Aylesford recycling team remains committed to helping
local authorities and others achieve their recycling targets and committed to
taking all the tonnage generated by local authorities who sign contracts with
us. We look forward to continued and successfully relationships with these groups.”
He added: “We believe, both for environmental and technical reasons, that
the Aylesford site remains the right location for further investment.”
The Environment Agency is maintaining its vigorous pursuit of companies who
fail to comply with the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste)
Among recent cases reported by the Agency, in a successful prosecution on 23
January, Southampton Magistrates told a supplier of prepackaged aggregate to
the construction industry, JPM Aggregates Ltd, that being ignorant of the producer
responsibility regulations for packaging waste was not an acceptable excuse
for failing to register.
The company confirmed that it had not been registered for the year 2000 but
explained that it did not know it had to register. In mitigation it explained
that it had no intention to save money by not registering.
Additionally, the company added that it had immediately registered when it
realised it was an obligated producer and had given an early guilty plea. The
magistrates said that they had appreciated it had been a mistake but that was
not an acceptable excuse.
On 16 January 2002, Gloucestershire company Lister-Petter, of Long Street,
Dursley, pleaded guilty at Stroud Magistrates to four charges relating to the
company failing to meet conditions of the Producer Responsibility Obligations
(Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997.
The company was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay £1,135 costs.
Speaking after the case, an Agency officer said: “UK companies produce
approximately 12 million tonnes of waste packaging. The packaging regulations
are aimed at reducing this quantity of waste being landfilled and promoting
the recycling of packaging. It is important that every company with a turnover
of over £2million as year is aware of their responsibilities under these
regulations and help us to meet the UK’s national target, set by the European
Commission, for recycling packaging waste.”
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