Station controller for hazardous waste
Pioneering technology in use at a York transfer station has a firm grip on every aspect of the waste management process
A waste management system which aims to achieve standards of control and transparency previously unseen in the hazardous waste sector is up and running near York. The Waste Controller, developed by Bartec Systems for BCB Environmental Systems, is in operation at BCB’s new hazardous waste transfer station.
The computer-based system controls every aspect of waste management, enabling shop floor operations to be viewed by customers on the internet in real-time. It also provides comprehensive reports for auditing.
Initially, the Waste Controller system logs customer requirements, drives the sales quotation and produces transport and commercial documentation to execute the job. It also advises the chemist of the nature of the expected load. As the load is received, it is inspected to make sure it matches the documentation; any variations are logged on mobile data terminals and the EWC codes are verified.
Unique barcodes are assigned via a mobile wireless printing system, which enables the chemist to make commercial adjustments or reject part, or if necessary all, of the load. After these checks have been carried out, the chemist electronically releases the inbound load, digitally ‘signing off’ the consignment and confirming its exact nature.
A chemical analysis of the load is provided and data generated for the quarterly hazardous waste return. A consignee return is also automatically sent to the customer, highlighting any variances. All data is fed directly into BCB’s customer portal, enabling clients to have real-time access to live and historical data of their waste shipments and even live viewing of waste as it goes through the transfer station.
Waste Controller then drives the process of bulking waste and organising efficient and environmentally-compliant disposal, with the ultimate destination of each drum traceable right back to the inbound consignment. Finally, BCB is able to complete the process by producing the quarterly hazardous waste return in a matter of seconds – at the push of a button.
European trends denote period of change for hazardous waste
Hazardous waste management services across Europe are undergoing a period of change, according to new research from Frost & Sullivan. The adoption of the new European Waste Catalogue, which has expanded the definition of hazardous waste, has led to a rise in waste volumes, with demand for waste management services ballooning.
In addition, restrictions on the use of landfills and Europe-wide changes in the treatment of hazardous materials are opening up opportunities for waste management companies.
Analysis from Frost & Sullivan’s European hazardous waste management services markets report shows that revenues in the industry totalled $7.67 billion in 2004 and are estimated to reach $8.68 billion in 2011.
The report says that EU laws restricting landfill use impacts on all aspects of waste management service. It adds that the private sector’s move into a hitherto public sector-dominated field is acting as a catalyst for growth and modernisation across European markets. While this has led to the introduction of new treatment and disposal options, it has also had a detrimental impact on some businesses. As more clients favour multi-nationals, the survival of local companies comes increasingly under threat.
“Hazardous waste management is increasingly an inter-linked market where customers favour companies that can offer an integrated approach to transport, treatment and disposal,” says John Raspin, practice director at Frost & Sullivan.
The research also notes that some companies are struggling to keep up with stringent waste management legislation. However, it argues that hazardous waste management services markets are likely to continue to grow due to the advent of stronger prices as well as the increasing use of alternative means of disposal to comply with regulations.