Category Archives: CQA

COVID-19 – Albion Update – 1 Month On!

Well one month on since the lock down commenced, so I thought it would be useful to give an update on what the team at Albion have been getting up to!

We currently have 25% of staff on the government furlough scheme however we are pleased to say the remaining 75% are still working. Like most companies our work and revenue fell off a cliff over 4 weeks ago and forecasts for the next few months are not great! But we remain positive and while we still have work to do and opportunities to follow up, we have been reluctant to put more staff on furlough – after all, when this is all over, we need a robust and sustainable business to come back to!

So, what has been going well:

  • We are continuing to provide environmental monitoring for our clients’ landfill sites. We have experienced some difficulties with labs closing and collection depots but so far, we are able to continue this essential work. Chris Eccles our Site Technician regularly provides lovely pictures which we have used for this post! If you are struggling for staff monitoring resources or meeting your permit requirements, please do not hesitate to contact
  • WAMITAB Training and Assessment Work – Albion was ahead of our competitors and shifted over to an online platform for this work over 5 years ago, so we were already set up to do much of this work remotely. An update on this work is posted here.
  • Planning permission, change of use, WML and PPC applications and modifications – these are all progressing well and much of this work can be completed remotely. We were delighted to receive a change of use permission yesterday for an NHS site to allow them to have a waste transfer facility at their hospital! This work will now progress to securing a Waste Management Licence for the facility. So if you have been holding off on making changes to your site, now is an ideal time to talk to us – please contact
  • Landfill Construction Quality Assurance (CQA) work – landfill sites are continuing to operate as they provide an essential service. Future development and capping of cells needs to continue and we have a number of jobs developing CQA plans. If you have any requirements please do not hesitate to contact
  • Most construction sites are currently closed however we are still offering environmental support to our developer clients with review of 3rd party reports during tender bids and assisting them apply for waste management licence exemptions so that their sites are ready to receive imported soils when restrictions ease and sites reopen.  If you have any requirements please do not hesitate to contact
  • In March we were very busy delivering training and audits to all the NHS boards in Scotland. Once restrictions came in, we quickly transitioned to delivering these remotely, however events overtook as NHS staff quite rightly had other priorities. We are ready to recommence this work either remotely or on site as soon as conditions allow.
  • As part of the lecturing I do at the University of Edinburgh we complete the student project marking for their assignment so this is now fully underway and due to be completed by the end of next week!
  • We are also responding to a number of tenders and grant applications which will hopefully lead to some additional work. There are opportunities out there, you just need to look a bit harder for them!!

Even our staff who are on furlough have not been sitting idle, Yas Watson has volunteered to help the SWITCH Forum and has been keeping the news section of SWITCH up to date. SWITCH (Scottish Waste Industry Training, Competency, Health & Safety) is a multi-partnership forum made up of organisations across all sectors within the resource management industry. The aim of the Forum is to provide leadership by working collaboratively to raise standards of health and safety, training, learning and development, and technical competence and to promote the Scottish resource management industry as an attractive career choice. If you are not already registered for SWITCH please log and register and help share any future posts.

We also had some disposable suits which we use for waste compositional analysis work. As this work has stopped for now, we donated all our stock to a local medical practice which was gratefully received!

And finally as our contribution for Earth Day 2020 on 22nd April all staff have been challenged to support this year’s theme which is climate action. The now easy of option of reducing car use is not permitted and staff are being challenged to be more innovative. Winning ideas will be posted on our twitter and Facebook feeds.

And finally, thanks to all our customers who have worked with us during this difficult period. Thanks also to all our staff who have adapted to new and challenging working conditions.

Stay safe and keep in touch!!

Alasdair Meldrum


Albions ABC of Waste Management – L Landfill Ban

Under the ban which was set by the Waste (Scotland) Regulations legislation in 2012; no biodegradable municipal waste would be allowed to be sent to landfill sites from January the 1st 2021. This ban applies to a wide range of waste types including the following European Waste Codes (EWC):

  • 20 02 01 – Biodegradable waste
  • 20 03 01 – Bulky waste
  • 20 03 01 – Mixed municipal waste
  • 19 12 10 – Combustible waste (Refuse Derived Fuel – RDF)
  • 15 01 06 – Mixed packaging.

However, there have been concerns raised in relation to local authorities and commercial waste operators in Scotland as they were deemed not to be making adequate preparations for the ban on time. A study commissioned by the Scottish Government published on April 2019 concluded that, based on 2017 figures:

  • 14 LAs, accounting for 55.5% of residual household waste (744k tonnes), have already made the financial investment to ensure solutions are in place before the ban.
  • 3 LAs (7.6% of household waste – 99k tonnes) have long term solutions in place post 2021 but no firm interim solution.
  • 6 LAs (13.3% of household waste – 177k tonnes) have an interim but no long-term solution secured.
  • 9 LAs (23.6% of household waste – 315k tonnes) have no alternative arrangements in place.

For commercial waste operators the report said that they “to do not appear yet to have made adequate preparations for the ban.” Overall, the report concluded that there would be insufficient residual waste treatment capacity in Scotland available to deal with waste generated once the ban is put in place. The extent of this gap will depend on the level of recycling that is achieved.

Highlighting concerns with the potential for Scottish residual waste be sent across the border to be landfilled in England due to the lack of progress of local authorities and commercial operators towards complying with the ban; the Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has announced on September 2019 that the ban will be pushed back to 2025.

While it is important that companies continue to prepare and develop infrastructure to meet the ban, the work Albion complete on waste compositional analysis for councils demonstrates there is still a lot which can be done to reduce the quantity of waste going for disposal in increase the quantity going for recycling, composting and Anaerobic Digestion. Recent analysis results continue to show –

  • 25-35% of food waste in residual waste
  • 5-15% recyclate in residual waste

Combine these results with only 55% of householders using their food waste system, would suggest there are huge areas of improvement possible.

Albion can provide you with the information you need to start introducing changes to drive consumer behaviour towards using their bins correctly and reducing disposal. We can also provide overall strategy and provide staff training to assist you in making these changes. To find out more or to have an informal chat please contact Jane Bond

Scotlands Environmental Web

There is a new site online bringing together information on Scotland's environment in one place.
There is nowhere else that environmental data and reports from known and trusted sources can be accessed and looked at in combination.
The site provides straight-forward descriptions of the state of Scotland's environment and key messages that highlight our progress in protecting it.
To view this resource click here

CQA Engineering Work

Albion Environmental Ltd provides CQA Engineering as par of a wide range of services. CQA stands for Construction Quality Assurance. Our staff are highly trained and have years of experience in CQA engineering. We provide a CQA representative on site throughout the works to monitor day to day activities as well as provide a CQA Engineer who is a Chartered Civil Engineer with over 20 years experience.
The CQA work provides the assurance and validation for each of the elements of the engineering. We have experience in providing CQA for both the installation of boreholes as well as landfill cell engineering.
In the past 12 months we have undertaken CQA work for the construction of a new landfill cell for Tarbolton Landfill Ltd at their site near Ayr. The key areas for this were the landfill containment cell liner, containment cell leachate drainage and collection system and the connection to the previous landfill cell. The cell was initially lined with 500mm clay followed by a 2.5mm HDPE liner with a protective geotextile fleece. The CQA for the engineering works ensured levels conformed to the design at all stages of construction as well as the quality and consistency of all materials used. Levels of formation and samples of materials were taken daily throughout construction.
We also provided CQA for the capping of Tarbolton Landfill Ltd’s old landfill cells in the pre-PPC Zone 1 area as well as the capping of Phase 3 at Straid Farm Landfill near Girvan. Both these projects are ongoing at present.
For more information, please contact us