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Chubb recycles 500,000th unit

Chubb Fire’s Extinguisher Recycling Unit (ERU) is celebrating after exceeding the 500,000 mark for items recycled since it opened for public business in June 2005.

The operation which is based at Hams Hall, Birmingham sees the landmark as a huge success story in light of the fact that the fire industry at large has struggled with the issue of recycling.

Chubb Fire ERU manager Peter Buy said: “Recycling is arguably the biggest single issue the fire extinguisher industry has faced for many years, and it is a credit to the industry and end users that they realise their social and environmental responsibility for recycling aged and sometimes hazardous extinguishers and their contents.”

The programme recycles all aspects of the extinguisher- the physical container, its ancillaries such as rubber hoses, and its contents that include water and powders, with all materials put to good use in an environmentally friendly manner.

Buy added: “To put our efforts into context, in the last 12 months, our ERU- which we believe is the only one of its kind in the UK and the largest in Europe- has processed more than 500,000 litres of liquid and 192 tonnes of powder that used to go to landfill and disposed of them in other more environmentally friendly ways.

“The recycling rates for plastics and cardboard have also risen significantly, and we are now working on the issue of how to deal with the recycling of hard plastics and hoses.”

Chubb Fire is accredited as a licensed waste collection contractor and all of its local business centres are registered with the Environment Agency. Extinguishers typically arrive at the ERU in roll cages with a significant number physically damaged, with missing parts or corroded.

“Our aim is to set and raise standards in line with our increasing environmental responsibility.

Chubb Fire aims to reduce what we send out to landfill from 30% to 10% of our total waste over the next 18 months.”

The company is also currently looking at ways it might reclaim the CO2 emissions that are discharged as part of the recycling process.

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