MRW brings you markets, business and policy news from around the world.
Shanks ‘well placed’ for Dutch recovery
Shanks is betting on a long-awaited recovery in the Dutch construction market to drive growth in 2014 after cutting costs to stay in profit.
Shanks, the leading solid waste company in the Netherlands by revenue, said it had no plans to reduce its exposure to the Dutch construction market in its sixth consecutive year of decline. Property prices in the Netherlands have been tumbling since 2008, but the rate of decline is slowing.
Chief executive Peter Dilnot said: “When there is a macro recovery, and there clearly will be one, we are going to be very well placed in terms of operational gearing.”
EU funds research into PV panel recycling
Photovoltaic Panels Mobile Recycling Device (PV Morede), a joint research project of La Mia Energia, the University of Florence in Italy, the Leitat Technological Centre in Spain and Belgium’s PV CYCLE, is to get EU funding through the Eco Innovation Programme.
PV Morede will research the development of a mobile recycling device for discarded PV modules at the end of their life cycle. The project foresees the market entry of
Press Release, 19 Nov
Madrid street cleaners get back to work
Madrid’s street sweepers have called off a strike over jobs and pay that has caused rubbish to pile up in the Spanish capital. The strike was launched on 5 November by unions representing workers who clean the city’s streets and public gardens in protest against plans to slash 1,134 jobs out of 7,000 and cut salaries by up to 40%.
Under a deal hammered out during marathon talks, the companies agreed not to make any workers redundant in return for employees accepting temporary unpaid lay-offs.
The Telegraph, 17 Nov
German steel recyclers optimistic for 2014
Although Germany’s steel recycling industry is facing turnover losses of up to 10% for 2013, there is optimism about 2014, the confederation of German steel recyclers, BDSV, confirmed during its annual meeting in Berlin.
According to a survey of BDSV members, at least 21% of companies expect business to be better in the coming year. But BDSV president Heiner Gröger said recovery has been discouraged by the ongoing economic crisis in the eurozone, environmental restrictions, and tightened recycling and collection laws.
New York sets up WEEE collections
New York City has introduced a collection scheme for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) ahead of a ban on disposal in household waste, due to come into effect in 2015. The programme is a public-private partnership between the NYC Department of Sanitation and Electronic Recyclers International.
Buildings with at least 10 units can receive a free on-site collection of stored electronic devices, including TVs, monitors, computers, laptops and small servers.
Joint venture for metals recovery
Covanta Tartech, a joint venture between Covanta Energy and Germany-based Tartech Eco Industries, has started a metals recovery and recycling system at an ash monofill in Massachusetts. The Peabody facility is expected to recover thousands of tonnes of metal deposited in the monofill over time.
Covanta chief executive Seth Myones said the development will provide “a myriad of benefits” for the environment and the economy.
Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection said: “The recovery of valuable metals from the combustion process will help to further shrink the waste stream and free landfill capacity.”
Call to widen scope of ban on dredge dump
A decision by the Australian Federal Government to ban the dumping of dredge spoils on a reef off an industrial port zone has sparked calls for the edict to be extended to other areas.
Environment minister Greg Hunt ordered the Queensland government and the Gladstone Ports Corp to dispose of dredge waste from the proposed construction of a sea lane on land only.
The move comes as Hunt considered an application for the expansion of the Abbot Point port, near Bowen in north Queensland, which involves the upheaval of three million tonnes of dredge spoil.
WWF Australia spokesman Richard Leck welcomed Hunt’s directive as an “important precedent” for all major industrial development along the coast adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef.
UK waste experts offer training in Kenya
Two waste management experts from the University of Northampton have visited Kenya to deliver training for East African Compliant Recycling (EACR) on WEEE hazards and how to avoid them through safe working practices.
Professor Margaret Bates and Ruth Copeland-Phillips delivered the training at the Mukuru Slums Development Projects’ vocational training site in Nairobi.
The session covered the health impacts of improper WEEE management, collecting and safe storing, eliminating potential hazards through the use of personal protective equipment and good working practices, and safety with mercury.
Worn out uniforms are turned back to PE
Japanese chemical and pharmaceutical company Teijin Group is providing its chemically recycled polyester fibre for the production of uniforms worn by players in the China Basketball Association (CBA).
The uniforms, which are made by Li Ning, a major Chinese manufacturer of sports apparel, have been worn by CBA teams since the season opened on 8 November.
After use, the uniforms can be recycled into polyester fibre of the same quality as conventional fibre by using Teijin’s closed-loop chemical recycling system.
Zero waste starts with built environment
The Indian Government has called on architects and structural engineers to develop zero waste and zero landfill metro cities, including the capital Delhi.
Speaking at a workshop of architects and engineers, urban development secretary Sudhir Krishna said they should put forward solutions to ensure resource recovery and protect scarce natural resources by ending waste disposal through incinerators, dumping and landfills.
He said: “The plan should encompass waste reduction, composting, recycling and reuse, changes in consumption habits and industrial redesign. In a zero-waste approach, waste management is not left only to politicians and technical experts; rather, everyone impacted.”
Times of India, 19 Nov
Pupils learn about e-waste in Hong Kong
The recycling programme of Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department has collected 5,500 pieces of WEEE in an attempt to bolster recycling habits.
The month-long initiative, ‘School Recycle WEEE’, was rolled out in 145 schools to encourage the collection of WEEE.