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Quality assurance

November saw Ross Finnie MSP, Minister for Environment and Rural Development, launch a quality protocol published by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to boost market confidence in the status of construction aggregates processed from inert waste in Scotland.

The Scottish Executive, a sponsor of WRAP, supported the development of the Quality Protocol for Scotland by WRAP and Scottish stakeholders operating within that industry sector such as Quarry Products Association Scotland and the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland.

Discussing the importance of the protocol, Sir Ken Collins, chairman of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, said: It is vital that we turn around the perception in industry that waste and waste law are too difficult to deal with. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency is therefore always keen to see initiatives like the Aggregates Protocol for Scotland, which is aimed at reducing the amount of waste going to landfill by recognising the market opportunities that can be had from sustainable waste management.



Impact

The Quality Protocol for Scotland specifically references the Landfill (Scotland) Regulations 2003 in addressing European Court of Justice (EJC) rulings on the definition of waste. These have impacted on the use of construction aggregates processed from inert waste due to the uncertainty about when the waste could be considered fully recovered and no longer a waste.

The protocol provides a uniform control process for producers of recycled aggregates in Scotland from which they can reasonably state and demonstrate that their product has been fully recovered and is no longer a waste.

In addition to setting out a framework for aggregates producers, the protocol is designed to provide purchasers with a quality-managed product that complies with common aggregates standards and, in doing so, increases confidence in its performance. It will also give a clear audit trail for those responsible for ensuring compliance with waste management legislation.

The new Quality Protocol for Scotland will promote greater confidence in the performance of sustainable aggregates by providing clarity as to when inert waste that has been through a recovery process can be considered to be fully recovered, added Professor George Fleming, WRAP non-executive director and chair of Civil Engineering at the University of Strathclyde.

The recent ECJ rulings have resulted in more materials being classified as waste and remaining waste for longer presenting a challenge for those wishing to use and promote sustainable aggregates. The protocol will go a long way towards addressing this barrier to better resource efficiency. u

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