Recycled plastic bottles are being used to grow papyrus plants at a lake in the Rift Valley, Kenya. Plus Sir Ranulph Fiennes teams up with Finning engineers and Caterpillar and the latest from Stanton Recycling, Merlo, McCarthy Waste Management and Doosan. And finally, forklift safety checks explained.
Plastic-grown plants help to clean dirty water
Recycled plastic bottles are being used to grow papyrus plants at a lake in the Rift Valley, Kenya, to help clean the water.
The environmental scheme, funded by the German retail Rewe Group, aims to create floating islands of recycled bottles containing plants. The papyrus restoration work is in partnership between UK-owned tea producer and flower grower Finlays and Dr David Harper, a senior lecturer at Leicester University.
Papyrus is a natural filter of dirty water and acts like a sewage treatment works. The roots of papyrus islands are important fish nurseries and feeding grounds, while their 5m-tall stems house a rich variety of birds such as warblers and kingfishers.
The restoration project is one of several clean-up initiatives in the Lake Naivasha basin.
Team makes tracks for the Antarctic
Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has teamed up with Finning engineers and two bespoke Cat D6N track-type tractors in an attempt to make the coldest ever journey across the Antarctic - during the winter.
The challenge has never been attempted before. Fiennes hopes to raise £10m for Seeing Is Believing, a global initiative to tackle avoidable blindness.
“This is the one expedition that, until now, everyone has avoided,” he says.
During the past two years, Finning’s engineering team at its Cannock headquarters has been working to make two D6N track-type tractors ‘expedition ready’ (pictured on another journey).
The tractors, usually used on waste or construction sites, have had hundreds of changes made. The biggest challenge was designing a unit that could work at temperatures reaching as low as -70ºC.
Each unit will be towing more than 55 tonnes of material, including a science caboose that houses equipment to measure the ice depth in winter, providing data that will prove decisive in the climate change debate.
The expedition will begin on 21 March 2013, and Fiennes is being accompanied by Finning engineer Spencer Smirl.
Telehandler boosts work rate and health of drivers
Stanton Recycling has replaced one of three existing telehandlers at its composting centre near Ilkeston with a Merlo 5.5-tonne capacity Panoramic P55.9 CS.
On start-up, a hydro-pneumatic ram lifts the cab by 60mm, and in operation there is 110mm of ram movement. This reduces vibrations to the driver’s body, a major cause of back strains and work injury.
Stanton has also replaced all the tyres on its tele-handlers with puncture-proof Super Cushion solid rubber versions.
Operations manager Mick Clifton says: “This is a hard working environment - drivers can spend up to nine hours in the cab. Combining the cushioning effect of the CS cab with the puncture-proof SG tyres means we have the benefits of low downtime while protecting our drivers’ health and efficiency.”
Recycler on target for zero waste to landfill at MRF
Bristol-based McCarthy Waste Management has bought a fleet of Doosan excavators and wheel loaders to help it meet a two-year zero waste to landfill target at its MRF.
The machines were bought from Kellands (Plant Sales) in Bridgwater, Somerset, and includes the new DX140LC 14-tonne crawler excavator.
It is equipped with a HGR13 handling grapple from Montabert, also supplied by Kellands. The excavator and grab will be integral to a new 12-man picking station at McCarthy.
High-reach crawler aims high on demolition job
Wring Group’s high-reach Doosan DX700LC crawler excavator has completed the demolition of a nine-storey high-rise building at the former Swindon College in Wiltshire.
Wring Group is taking down buildings at the Regent Circus site as part of a £50m project to construct a 52,000sq ft superstore, restaurants and bars, a six-screen cinema complex and a 450-space car park.
Who is responsible for forklift safety checks?
Companies hiring and leasing forklift trucks are often confused about who is responsible for carrying out vital safety checks. This can leave them open to prosec-ution under the Corporate Manslaughter Act.
A thorough examination of checks is meant to be carried out on every truck and a certificate supplied by the employer of the driver operating the truck.
But research by Consolid-ated Fork Truck Services found that just 16% of supervisers and managers were aware that it was their responsibility to ensure this had been done.
There is an exception in the cases of short-term hire of trucks - less than a year - where best practice advises that the leaser carries out the check. However, the hirer should again make sure it has been done.