An online resource has been launched to help producers of products made from compost and recycled aggregates.
The QP Checker is as part of an EU Life+ funded partnership programme to encourage resource efficiency and is linked to the Environment Agency’s Quality Protocols (QPs), which set criteria for the production and use of products made from specific waste types. It can be seen here
Complying with QP criteria ensures the product is not considered as waste and is removed from regulatory controls, so increasing market confidence in waste-derived products.
QP Checker creates a user report that documents performance and any improvements needed. Use is free and all data remains confidential to the user.
Although initially available only for compost and recycled aggregates, the agency expects that industry stakeholders with other waste streams will tailor it to their own needs.
Work is in progress on a QP Checker for the digestate from anaerobic digestion processes, and there is interest from other sectors including pulverised fuel ash.
Environment Agency environment and business manager Roger Hoare said: “High quality waste-derived products not only benefit the environment through improved resource efficiency, they also benefit producers’ bottom line through improved profit margins.
“The QP programme is delivering multi-billion pound benefits to business. To date, the QPs have resulted in an estimated 21 million tonnes of materials being diverted from landfill, savings of around 40 million tonnes of virgin raw materials and approximately 130,000 tonnes of carbon.”
He said that the agency estimated that by 2020 some £3.5bn worth of increased sales would be realised together with a £1.5bn savings in reduced regulatory burdens.
Charlie Trousdell, planning, estates and licensing manager for waste management company Countrystyle Group, said: “This tool is a very useful aid to both new applicants to Quality Protocols and those at the renewal phase to assist in auditing their processes to ensure compliance.”