Not such a silver lining for the environment
Gothenburg-based Chalmers University of Technology researcher Rickard Arvidsson has developed ways to assess the risk of nanomaterials used in clothing that are not broken down at waste water treatment plants.
His studies have concluded that silver nanoparticles could have a severe environmental impact if their use in clothing continues to increase.
If everyone buys one silver nanoparticle-treated sock a year, the silver concentration in waste water treatment plant sludge could double, according to Arvidsson. If that sludge is subsequently used as fertiliser, the silver could cause long-term damage to agricultural land.
Silver nanoparticles have an antibacterial effect, and are used in a variety of consumer products such as workout clothing to prevent the smell of sweat.
When the clothes are washed, nanoparticles are released and enter waste water treatment plants through waste water. The particles then release silver ions that are not broken down and remain toxic to many organisms.
“If silver usage in clothing continues to increase, the consequences for the environment can be major,” warned Arvidsson.
Double certification for composting operation
Hills Waste Solutions’ composting operation has achieved two significant certifications after moving to a purpose-built site at Parkgate Farm, near Purton, Wiltshire.
The compost produced on-site, known as Warrior Compost, has been certified to BSI PAS100 (2011) and the Compost Quality Protocol (CQP) standard, which is accredited by the Association for Organics Recycling and the Soil Association.
Ed Dodd, divisional director at Hills Waste Solutions, said: “PAS100 and the CQP give the customer an assurance of quality and traceability via an independent assessment during the production cycle of the compost.”
The site’s environmental management system has also been certified to the international ISO14001 standard following an extensive audit by an independent external certification body SGS UK.
Green waste collected from Wiltshire households via the kerbside service and at 11 household recycling centres is processed at Parkgate Farm where it undergoes rigorous monitoring.
The raw material is first finely shredded, then stacked in windrows and constantly turned to speed up the decomposition process, which takes some 12 weeks.
The final product is screened to remove any over-size particles and then bagged for sale.
Powerful low energy mobile shredding duo
Lindner Mobile Shredder’s Urraco line of low-speed, two-shaft shredders is designed for users of mobile and semi-mobile pre-shredders.
Available in two sizes, these machines come with either powerful and eco-friendly diesel engines or with an electric motor.
A broad selection of tool shaft configurations enables both units to handle material including waste wood, biomass, domestic and commercial waste, electronic scrap, railway sleepers, car bodies and mixed construction waste.
Final grain sizes obtained vary between 150mm and 400mm.
The two-shaft system adopted for the Urraco delivers a high throughput at low energy demand. Its aggressive hooks provide an efficient feeding action.
The interaction between knives and counterknives - in conjunction with a design that effectively prevents bridging - ensures outstanding use of the power input, according to Lindner.
Glowing guide for high-visibility equipment
With the dark nights returning, now is an ideal time for businesses to check that their employees’ high-visibility clothing is up to scratch.
Workplace equipment supplier Slingsby has produced a guide to ensure workers stand out and stay safe this winter.
It is 20 years since the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work Regulations came into force, covering all clothing and equipment intended to be worn or held by a person at work.
Lee Wright, marketing director of Slingsby, said: “Anyone working in low-visibility environments or in areas where they could go unnoticed must wear high-visibility clothing.
“Generally speaking, the darker the workplace is, the more high-visibility clothing should be worn. However, wearing high-visibility clothing that is covered in dirt or is so old that it no longer has any fluorescent properties is pointless.”
Trade waste fleet adds remanufactured duo
Ascot-based Shorts Group is expanding its trade waste collection fleet with two remanufactured vehicles from Refuse Vehicle Solutions (RVS).
Shorts has been providing a diverse range of services including plant and skip hire, agricultural contracting, waste management and demolition for more than 50 years.
It bought two identical vehicles - Mercedes Econic, Ros Roca Cross 205 bodies with Terberg OmniDel bin lifts - from remanufacturing specialist RVS.
Mike Banham, general manager at Shorts Group, said: “Historically, we have purchased new vehicles, but the quality of refuse trucks from RVS is difficult to tell apart from new vehicles, and the cost is around 40% less.”
He added: “We felt the RVS vehicles offered us a better spend for our money and we are not disappointed. The vehicles are immaculate.”
RVS provides used and remanufactured refuse vehicles, amd has the expertise and resources to engineer a vehicle to meet a customer’s requirements.