The Environment Agency has temporarily placed the import of concrete blocks that contain reprocessed hazardous glass under waste controls while it further investigates their quality.
In March, a group of recyclers and concrete manufacturers had urged the regulator to stop cathode ray tube (CRT) glass from being exported from the UK to the Netherlands to be used in the manufacturing of precast concrete.
They said they were concerned about the environmental credentials of the blocks and that the process unfairly competed with reprocessing facilities in the UK, which had been equipped with expensive technology to deal with the hazardous material.
At the time, the EA told MRW that once waste glass was turned into blocks it was no longer a waste product so its import into the UK should not be subject to waste regulations.
But a spokesman for the agency has now said that “a small proportion of the blocks” has failed a set of analysis.
The import of the blocks has therefore been put under “waste controls” while the agency gathers further evidence on their quality.
“We have been in contact with the main company in the Netherlands and the sales team in the UK and have told them they must provide us with more evidence to demonstrate the quality of the [CRT glass] waste being exported,” said the spokesperson.
The main company producing the block is A Jansen, which sells them under the Legioblocks trademark.
Marianne Kleingeld, sales manager at company division Jansen Recycling, told MRW the company was co-operating with the EA and will provide it with research, investigation results and analyses of the concrete elements and mixed glass aggregates it handles.
“We are in a dialogue with the EA regarding the use of processed mixed CRT glass as aggregates in our Legioblocks. We do not foresee any difficulties in this respect.
“The use of processed mixed CRT glass is fully compliant with the Dutch and European legislation and is thereby [for] the first time a topic of discussion. We will therefore fully cooperate with the Environment Agency’s investigation in order to completely and amicably solve this misunderstanding.”