Category Archives: Guidances

Albion Environmental Portal – Online Training Courses

Have you got time on your hands to further your

Knowledge and update your CPD….?

Are you on Furlough and want to prepare yourself for when you return to work…?

Then Albion Environmental can help!

We have online training courses available on our website; with variety of courses that can enhance your development to benefit both you and your employer.

The courses are on our e-learning platform and are in the form of interactive training videos.

They are divided into three categories:

  • Health & Safety
  • Business Skills
  • Health & Social Care

Below are examples of the suite of tests available within each category.

Health & Safety

  • Allergen Awareness
  • Fire Safety Awareness
  • DSE Awareness

Business Skills

  • Equality, Diversity and Discrimination
  • Personal License Holder

Health & Social Care

  • Autism Awareness
  • Dignity and Privacy
  • Principles of Communication

The cost of the courses varies between £15 – £125 per course.

You can trial the courses by completing the first section before purchasing the complete course.

You can access the courses by registering (for free!) on the Albion Environmental Portal https://portal.albion-environmental.co.uk/ ; then you receive an email confirmation with your username and password.

If this sounds like the CPD update you need, or would like further information please call 01292 610428 / email Kirstie@albion-environmental.co.uk.

Continuing Competence Update

WAMITAB have provided us with an update for those individuals whose 2-year deadline occurred after March 2020 and have been unable to undertake the test due to tests centre being closed as a result of Covid-19 lockdown.  WAMITAB have now extended the deadline for individuals to renew their Continuing Competence to 30th September 2020.

As all Pearson-VUE test centres begin to re-open, WAMITAB request that individuals schedule their tests as soon as possible., however they are aware that at this moment in time there will be limited availability.

If you wish to undertake some practice Mock Competence tests before undertaking the actual test, then Albion Environmental can assist. We have a mock competence test available to you on our website completely free of charge and can be accessed as many times as you wish. All you have to do is complete a simple registration form (https://www.albion-environmental.co.uk/continuing-competence-mock-test) which will allow you access.

For any further information please contact Kirstie on 01292 610428 / email Kirstie@albion-environmental.co.uk for more info.

Albion’s ABC of Waste Management – P – Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP’s)

  • What are persistent organic pollutants (POP’s)?
  • How do the recent changes to the hazardous waste regulations impact you?
  • What are the implications of POP’s in waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)?
  • What does this mean for the re-use and recycling industry?

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP’s) are potentially hazardous organic substances which can impact the environment and human health if they escape. Chemical have historically been used in plastic for electrical items due to their flame-retardant properties.

Legal aspect

Many items of WEEE meet the criteria for hazardous waste under the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005, most common are fluorescent light tubes and cathode ray tubes. Hazardous WEEE should be segregated from general WEEE for specialised collection and treatment.

The Hazardous Waste Regulations were amended 2019 to take into account the revised EU Regulation on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).  The new legislation sets tougher controls on chemicals historically used as flame retardants as well as other potentially hazardous substances. 

Research carried out by the Industry Council for Electronic Equipment Recycling (ICER) suggested that levels of POPs present in common WEEE plastics are actually higher than previously thought. High bromine levels that could exceed the POPs Directive threshold can be present in the following electronic plastics:

  • Plastic from cathode ray tube (CRT) display units
  • Flat panel displays
  • Small mixed WEEE
  • Fridge compressors

Further to those, tests have been taking place to determine the presence of POPs in cabling.

Issue for the WEEE reuse and recycling industry

The new legislation sets maximum concentration levels for POPs in waste materials to levels that are below what have been commonly used in products in the past.  Many items, in particular Small Mixed WEEE, Cathode Ray Tube TVs and Flat Screen TVs, could contain levels of POPs that effectively render them hazardous.  Most of these items which previously could be reused or recycled must now be incinerated. 

Implications to the WEEE reuse and recycling industry

We are waiting for guidance from SEPA around this.

The legislation will result in a need for greater sorting and separation of what is now deemed potentially hazardous plastic derived from WEEE.

In practice, the new legislation means that some plastics from WEEE which would previously have been recycled, will now be destroyed by incineration (or potentially other high temperature processes like a cement kiln). Bromine separation technologies may be used to separate these POP containing plastics from other plastics and wastes. The latter may then be suitable for recycling.

It is anticipated that this could add significant cost to the treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment, as hazardous waste materials are subject to greater regulatory controls than non-hazardous waste and due to more limited treatment options.

Recycling industry

Recyclers of WEEE have highlighted that plastics recycled from the WEEE stream such as computer cases had been in high demand, and they believe that concern about POPs is overstated and would prevent recycling.

Does it make sense to burn plastics which could have an alternative route?

The idea of plastic from the backs of television being seen as hazardous is also worrying exporters of refuse derived fuel. The RDF Industry Group concerns are that this would potentially mean that RDF containing these plastics should be classed as hazardous if the plastics were not covered by the exemption for household WEEE.

An additional concern pointed out by the industry was about the impact on recycling rates with the potential that some target rates may now not be achievable.

Reuse industry

There is still uncertainty on the impact of the POPs Legislation on the reuse industry.

The EA has stated that waste display devices and Small Mixed WEEE cannot cease to be a waste, or be reused, unless it is demonstrated that POPs are not present in a particular device or item of equipment. The reuse industry is expressing their concern as this could bring the reuse market for display and small items of WEEE to a close. 

In addition, it is not clear how this would impact on WEEE reuse at civic amenity sites and charity shops. Although the reuse industry did point out that the risk of spreading POPs is low as it is ‘encapsulated in the plastic’, and can only be released upon waste treatment. This means that reuse of items that may contain POPs would not create any risk of harm as the integrity of the plastic is not compromised during testing and repair.

How can Albion help?

This will impact businesses including;

  • Metal recyclers,
  • Recyclers of IT equipment and others accepting WEEE with POPs
  • Local authorities which handle WEEE at recycling centres

Albion can help to assess the implications of this legislation through;

  • Review your activities on the handling of WEEE, licences and/ or permits and cross check against the POPs legislation
  • Identify areas of non-compliance
  • Review your data and estimate potential impact on recycling rates (in case of LAs)
  • Estimate potential impact on costs based on required method of disposal to meet regulations
  • Identify options for management and classification of materials.

Albion’s ABC of Waste Management – N – Non-Hazardous Soil Waste

Albion Environmental provide training and advice to ensure your business is compliant and reduce your waste disposal costs.  Do you produce, manage or handle waste soils? Are you aware of your legal obligations? Find out more and sign up for one of our courses now.

Scotland produces approximately 11.6 million tonnes of controlled waste per annum and approximately 4.3 million tonnes of this is waste soil.

If you produce waste soil, to comply with the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2011 and the Waste Management Licensing (Scotland) Regulations you must:

  • Apply the waste hierarchy to the management of your soil waste
  • Ensure your waste is transferred to someone authorised to receive it
  • Complete a waste transfer note
  • Describe the waste accurately
  • Take measures to ensure that your waste does not cause pollution or harm to human health

While most businesses will have their waste transfer note paperwork, in our experience, many do not fully complete all of the above steps.

Why should you take time to consider this?

  1. Financial Benefits – By ensuring the waste hierarchy has been applied and soils classified correctly you could reduce the volume of waste soil you generate and its associated cost for disposal.
  • Environmental Benefits – You could reduce the volume of material going to landfill, help identify greater opportunities to reuse soils and lower your carbon footprint.
  • Legal Compliance – It is a legal requirement

What Can Albion Do?

Albion can provide those who produce, handle and manage waste soils with a range of services to comply with your Duty of Care Requirements, including:

  • Bespoke training to help your staff understand their Duty of Care Obligations
  • Sampling and assessment of soil waste
  • Soil waste classification in accordance with WM3 Guidance
  • Soil reuse assessments
  • Development of soil management plans

The results of the above will help your business demonstrate it is complaint and can generate significant cost savings.

To find out more or to have an informal chat please contact Andrew Howlett.

Is your construction business ready to meet SEPA’s new licensing requirements?

SEPA’s new licensing requirements come into effect this weekend, Saturday 1st September, and they will affect all new large construction projects across Scotland.  

What is Changing?

The changes to the regulations have been introduced to reduce the potential risks of pollution to the water environment from construction sites. Discharges of surface water run-off from construction sites to the water environment are regulated, and the changes are designed to ensure treatment systems are in place prior to and during the construction phase. These changes apply to a wide range of construction types, including residential and industrial building, wind farms, forestry, transport, pipe laying, overhead pylons and hydro power schemes. The changes are designed to ensure treatment systems for surface water runoff are in place prior to and during the construction phase.

Work at new construction sites, including land preparation, must not commence, on or after, 1st September 2018 at sites where a licence is required without:

  • Having first obtained a licence from SEPA; and
  • Adhering to a pollution prevention plan for the site that SEPA has reviewed.

As of September 1st SEPA are expecting complete compliance across the industry. David Harley, Head of Water and Planning at SEPA, has stated: 

“We are clear that compliance is non-negotiable”

These licences must be approved prior to commencement of work and the plan must be complied with onsite during the entire construction phase.

Who Will be Affected?

From 1 September 2018 all new large construction projects must have a licence and Pollution Prevention Plan. These should be secured before any work on site commences.

A licence will be required for sites that:

  • Exceed 4 hectares in area;
  • Contain a road or track length in excess of 5km; or
  • Include any area of more than 1 hectare or any length of more than 500 metres on ground with a slope in excess of 25 degrees.

Your Next Steps.

SEPA expect the construction industry to be aware of new licensing requirements and adhere to these by September 1st. SEPA have requested applicants allow up to four months for them to issue an authorisation and consider your pollution prevention plan.  If you have new developments planned for after September 1st, and were unaware of these changes or would like some advice on what is required from your business Albion will be able to assist. Albion can help with the development of a pollution prevention plan and application submissions or provide feedback and assistance with existing plans. If you have any questions regarding these changes and potential impacts to your business, give Albion call on 01292 610 428 or mailto: info@albion-environmental.co.uk and one of our consultants will be able to assist you.