UK business briefs: Recycling support, Carton recycling up, Biofuel potential for farmers, hazardous waste guide, Soundscape website, ADAS appointment, Water contract

London Remade and London CRN have joined forces to deliver a £1.8 million business support programme called "enhance", for enterprises working in or aspiring to join London's recycling sector. The new service, funded by the London Development Agency, aims to provide a complimentary one-stop resource for information and advice around developing and growing organisations. Businesses and social enterprises working in design, manufacture, re-use, reprocessing and refurbishment are being encouraged to make the most of the services on offer.

UK carton recycling has risen substantially since this time last year, thanks to new reprocessing facilities. According to the Liquid Food Carton Manufacturing Association (LFCMA), the Smith Anderson plant in Fife, which was opened by Environment Minister Elliot Morley in July, is now processing up to 100 tonnes (approximately 3.6 million) cartons a week. A number of local authorities have been trialling carton collection facilities, all with positive results. Following a pilot scheme, Angus Council is now rolling out its kerbside collection to include cartons, and with the Fife plant still running at only a third of its capacity, the LFCMA is hoping many more will follow suit.

Arable farmers in the UK could see biofuels become a major revenue earner over the next five to ten years, but much will depend on government support, a major study into the UK cereals sector concluded this week. However, the independent review commissioned by the Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA), which is the UK’s chief grain marketing body, also said that the grains industry needed do more itself to promote the alternative energy source.

A simple guide to help anyone involved in managing or handling waste comply with new regulations was published this week by the Environment Agency. The guide will particularly help producers and managers of hazardous waste to understand what they need to do if they decide to send waste to landfill sites for disposal. Under the new regulations, which form part of the Landfill Directive, hazardous waste needs to be treated before it is landfilled. From next July, hazardous waste will also need to meet Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC). These set tougher requirements for substances such as heavy metals. The new guidance explains the relationship between the WAC and the pretreatment requirements of the Directive.

Web pages that show how buildings and public spaces can be designed to cut noise and improve sound went live this week. Architects and planners are being encouraged to give as much attention to what people hear as what they see, when designing buildings and spaces. The web-pages give examples of development projects, urban spaces and design features which reduce noise pollution and promote better soundscapes. The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone said: “The quality of the visual design of many of our new buildings and public spaces is exceptional, but sound is all too often forgotten. Reducing noise does not have to mean unattractive designs, such as the ugly barrier blocks that went up alongside noisy roads and railways in the sixties. I want to show that high quality design can offer Londoners better sound environments and can look stunning.”

ADAS, one of the UK’s largest providers of expert solutions and policy advice on rural business and environmental issues, has appointed Dr Stephen Bolt as Head of Integrated Water Management. Previously employed as Environmental Standards Manager with Anglian Water, where he was responsible for environmental policy and compliance, Dr Bolt brings 13 years of experience within the water industry to ADAS. During his employment with Anglian Water, Dr Bolt worked at a national level influencing European and UK water related legislation.

And finally, Black & Veatch has been appointed by Thames Water for the definition phase of projects to be delivered during AMP 4. This important new gain for Black & Veatch is a key strategic award, along with recent wins for Northumbrian Water, DRD Water Service N Ireland, Welsh Water and Anglian Water. Working mainly from Hampton, Black & Veatch will provide approximately 80% of the inputs supporting Thames Water Engineering, concentrating predominantly on the London Clean Water Process.

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