UK business briefs: Vehicle depollution guide, REEEP gets millions, Mining and metals sustainable library, Surrey gets WRAP opportunity, Cheshire underground waste storage, Pesticide appointments

Defra has launched a new guide for vehicle breakers on how to depollute vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, including buses and coaches, so that they comply with the End-of-Life Vehicles Regulations 2003. End-of-life Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) have many pollutants associated with them and are classified as hazardous waste. Legislation requires that end-of-life HGVs are depolluted to remove their hazardous components and fluids. The new guide will not only help vehicle breakers meet the new regulations but will help to ensure that breakers can cash in on the considerable resale market for parts, both in the UK and abroad. The guide is available at Defra's website.

The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) has received formal commitment from the UK Government of a £2.5 million contribution for the REEEP’s 2005-2006 financial year. The announcement was made by Margaret Beckett, UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at the COP10 conference in Buenos Aires. This more than doubles the current funding of the partnership. Currently the REEEP is seeking project proposals for €1 million to augment the partnership’s ongoing 40 clean energy projects. The new funding will allow for many more projects to be funded next year.

An online library for all those working to improve the sustainable development performance of the mining and metals sector has been launched. The Mining and Metals Sector Good Practice website contains nearly 350 items, among them good practice guidelines, standards, case studies and legislation. Users can retrieve information on a wide range of topics, including: prospecting, mining and mine closures; metals use, processing and fabrication; biodiversity, regulation, human rights, community issues, risk management, reporting, health and safety, and materials stewardship; and small-scale artisanal mining. Developed by the International Council on Mining and Metals in partnership with the UK’s Department for International Development, the UN Conference on Trade and Development and the UN Environment Programme, the library is a resource for individuals and organisations implementing good practice in mining and metals operations around the world.

Surrey County Council has been successful in its recent bid to the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) for the opportunity for all the district and borough councils to receive free expert advice on their waste collection services from WRAP’s Recycling and Organics Technical Advisory Team (ROTATE). Over several days per district and borough, ROTATE will offer support and advise on the separate collection of dry recyclables and organic wastes to identify potential improvements to the collection services available. The advice will be ‘hands on’ and practical support will be customised to the specific needs of individual authorities.

A judgment in the London High Court has given Minosus the green light to construct the necessary handling facilities for its proposed underground waste storage facility at Winsford in Cheshire. The storage facility is expected to be operational by June 2005. Mr Justice Harrison, in giving his judgment, rejected a statutory challenge to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s December 2003 decision to grant planning permission for the facility. Minosus is a joint venture between Compass Minerals UK, owners of the Winsford rock salt mine and a subsidiary of Compass Minerals International, Inc, and waste management specialists Onyx, part of the Veolia Environment Group.

And finally, Minister for Rural Affairs Alun Michael today announced the
appointment of four new members of the Advisory Committee on
Pesticides: David Colman, Professor of Agricultural Economics in the School of Social Sciences at The University of Manchester; Dr Martin McPherson, Technical Director at Crop Protection Services, Stockbridge Technology Centre in Selby; Dr Alastair Leake, Head of The Game Conservancy Trust’s Allerton Project; and Gabrielle Hawksworth, Professor of Molecular Toxicology at The University of Aberdeen. Alun Michael said: “These new members will help continue the excellent work of the Committee, providing sound scientific independent advice on all matters relating to the control of pests.” The new appointments will take effect from 1 January 2005 for three-year terms.

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