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Waste not want not

 A project has been given the go ahead to turn millions of tonnes of industrial and commercial waste into recyclable material, the Environment Agency announced today.

In conjunction with WRAP, five waste streams were selected to be the focus for the second year of the Waste Protocols project 2007/8.

The project will turn common types of industrial waste such as steel slag and old plasterboard into useable new materials.

Environment Agencys head of external programmes Martin Brocklehurst said: According to industry figures, it currently costs them around £150 million each year to landfill these five types of waste.

The Waste Protocols project will look at the current environmental risk posed by the five type of waste chosen today and wherever possible remove the need for companies to hold the permits and licences that they need.

Part of our work is to set out an agreed standard for the treating and handling of a type of waste.

If these are followed by businesses that produce or reprocess the waste it gets rid of the waste tag, making the waste derived products more marketable and attractive to buyers.

By aiding businesses and companies sell on their waste products, it is hoped that the project will help cut down the amounts of waste sent to landfill each year.

The following five waste streams have been selected: steel slag, gypsum from waste plasterboard, incinerator bottom ash, paper mill ash and uncontaminated top soil form greenfields and development sites.

The five waste types were chosen by the project from a shortlist of eight other nominated businesses and industries.

WRAPs director of organics Dr Richard Swannell commented: Earlier this year we produced the first Quality Protocol, for compost which allowed producers to create a type of compost which is no longer classed as a waste, making it a more attractive product to those who buy it.

This first protocol is testament to what is achievable through the collaborative working approach shown by the Environment Agency, WRAP business and industry.

The five wastes we have announced today will go some way in helping reduce the amount of waste disposed in landfills every year as well as helping to create valuable products.

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