Category Archives: Networking

Resource Management Association Scotland (RMAS) Site visit to Optimum Eco Group – Restructa Ltd. and CCL (North) Ltd.

Resource Management Association Scotland (RMAS) Site visit to Optimum Eco Group – Restructa Ltd. and CCL (North) Ltd.

We had the pleasure of taking part in the RMAS site visit to Optimum Eco Group, sites Restructa Ltd. and CCL (North) Ltd, both in Irvine.

After a brief catch up over tea/ coffee and pastries, we were spilt into groups and taken by bus to the first site, CCL (North) Ltd. Established in 2000, CCL is one of the UK’s leading specialists for secure data destruction, IT asset disposal and WEEE recycling. Here we were shown around the plant and the process from the items arriving, to them being stripped down and recovered or fixed and reused. There is a museum section where some of the rarer finds are kept and displayed and I was delighted to see a ZX Spectrum computer on show, which took me back to my own childhood memories of my first ever console.

The ’hands-on’ approach with the waste demonstrates incredible attention to detail and ensures every part that could be recovered or reused is able to be utilised elsewhere. I found the vape dismantling particularly interesting as I am seeing more and more discarded vapes everywhere I go. These were stripped down, batteries removed, and plastic sleeves separated to try and make use of as many parts of the vape as possible. This was done by hand and under a fume cupboard.

The handling of IT equipment and other data sensitive equipment was very well thought through to maintain sensitivity and security throughout for the client. We were able to see the process of shredding, and the vast difference from the assets that went into the shredder compared to what came out at the other side.

We were then taken to Restructa which was formed in 2005 in response to the UK Government’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive.

It focuses on the repair, reuse and recycling of display equipment from its 25,000sq ft facility, handling more than 1000 TVs every day. Restructa. has developed into a leading recycling and waste management provider.

The televisions and monitors arrive and are checked to see what is wrong with them to segregate those repairable from those requiring recycling. We learned that out of 650,00 televisions sent for recycle each year, 37,000 tv’s are repaired and go on to have an extended life by around 5 to 6 years and are used by those who need them most.

At both sites we saw their modern apprentices hard at work and learning new skill sets. It was very reassuring to hear that approximately 70% of apprentices go on to progress within the company.

One fascinating thing about our visit was being shown what happens to the old TV screens, the glass is processed on site and made into garden decorative pebbles and chips, that has an opaque quality and let’s light shine through meaning the old TV screens become part of garden décor, water features and I was given some myself which I look forward to adding to my plant pot.

The other incredible piece of technology we were shown was the POPs (Persistent organic pollutants) testing system that Optimum Eco Group have developed, which tells you if a television backing can be recycled or not, thus increasing recyclable material. The manufacturing industry has no current responsibility to tell us what chemicals are in the items they produce, meaning they are less likely to consider the cradle to grave concept and how easy their product is to be recycled at end-of-life and this responsibility now falls to the waste industry to deal with.  

Our visit gave me lots of food for thought and great chat over lunch and it was so nice to see an organisation, not only doing what they should, but going above and beyond showing best practice and actively looking for the next best thing. How great it would be if everyone thought so carefully about their impact on the environment and what they can do better. RMAS does a great job of encouraging knowledge sharing, networking and engagement as well as encouraging innovation.

RMAS is a not-for-profit, non-political membership organisation for micro, small and medium sized resource management companies operating in Scotland. They actively represent and support companies who are operating across the length and breadth of Scotland. RMAS ensure members are well informed and that priority issues, risks, and opportunities are communicated, and represented effectively to Government, its various agencies, the commercial sector and the public.

I am grateful to RMAS and Optimum Eco Group for arranging the day and provoking the conversation that followed as a result. A truly informative site visit and lunch.

Welcome to the Team, Senior Consultant Ruben Breuls

 

We welcome a new Senior Consultant to Albion’s ever-growing team. 

Ruben shared his responses to our ‘Meet the Team’ interview questions, where he discusses his experience in the industry and how he has been getting involved with projects at Albion since joining us. 

Ruben Breuls

Senior Consultant

Favourite Quote: “Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement” – Matt Biondi

 

Job Role: As a senior consultant, my main role is to provide support to clients with their planning permission applications and various licence applications. As part of the team at Albion, I also provide support to the wider consultancy team.

Experience: I am an environmental engineer with over 20 years of experience having worked both in the UK and the Netherlands. I have managed a variety of environmental disciplines (i.e. contaminated land, hydrogeology, asbestos and waste management). Additionally, I have experience with Quality Management Systems.

Favourite project I’ve worked on at Albion: Although I have only been with Albion for a short period, I have already worked on a variety of projects. My favourite project has been assisting a client with the planning application to develop a combustion unit to produce bio-char. I really enjoy managing the various specialists to undertake their surveys and assessments.

Get to Know Me: I used to be a competitive swimmer and won the Dutch National Championship when I was 15. As a result, I was selected for the National Team to compete and train. Unfortunately, swimming wasn’t a professional sport at that time and I chose my education over extra training hours in the swimming pool.

I currently enjoy running, cycling, hill walking and still swim from time to time.

When I’m not working, you’ll find me.. standing on the touchline watching my son play for The Honest Men U18s. 

Reach out on LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/ruben-breuls-1304836a/ 

Or get in touch with project enquiries: Ruben@albion-environmental.co.uk 

 

Soils, Stones and C&D Fines Webinar

On Tuesday 27th April 2021, Albion Environmental and Davidson Chalmers Stewart hosted their joint webinar on ‘Soils, Stones and C&D Fines’. After more than a year of virtual events, we were delighted with the turnout and would like to say a huge thanks to those who attended and took the time to listen to our presenters and ask important questions.

A special thanks to our speakers Chala McKenna, Senior Solicitor at Davidson Chalmers Stewart and Andrew Howlett, Principal Consultant at Albion Environmental.

For those of you who were unable to attend the event, you can watch the recording on Albion’s Youtube Channel below.

You can also download a copy of the presentation slides here:

Soils, Stones and C&D Fines Recording. Tuesday 27th April 2021

If you have any questions you’d like to ask the panel, please feel free to contact them via email.

Andrew Howlett: andrew@albion-environmental.co.uk

Jane Bond: janebond@albion-environmental.co.uk

Chala McKenna: Chala.McKenna@dcslegal.com

KTP: TRANSFORMING SCOTTISH BUSINESSES

Earlier this month, we attended the “KTP: Transforming Scottish Business” event at the Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. A KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) is a collaboration between a university, a business, and also a graduate. This event was the ideal platform for showcasing a wide range of KTPs, and the innovative thought-processes behind them. 

Additionally, different speakers at the event were there to highlight the many benefits that an organisation can gain from a KTP scheme, such as:

  • The ability to become more innovative, effective, and efficient
  • Boost in profits and commercial value
  • Helping transform their company and driving growth
  • Strengthened links between the industry and academia (encourages sharing of ideas)

We are currently about six months into the 2-year KTP that we are conducting alongside our knowledge base – The Open University (OU). Albion along with our partners at The OU Scotland provided information on our KTP and the progress we have made in the first 6 months of the KTP. Our KTP is about achieving the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct bioaerosol monitoring for a wide range of commercial clients. Having the in-house capabilities for conducting this work at Albion will reduce reliance on subcontractors, improve flexibility in scheduling work, and expand capacity. In addition, it will provide expertise based in Scotland able to serve the Scottish market.

The KTP event was a great opportunity to showcase our KTP to fellow Scottish businesses, stakeholders, and the press. Over 80 delegates were in attendance, which allowed us to make multiple valuable connections. We displayed some of the work that has been completed as part of our KTP project through a photo slideshow, created by our KTP Associate, Jennifer Kowalski. This generated interest in bioaerosols, the processes involved in monitoring them, and the sites that can act as a source of bioaerosols.

This event was also a great chance for us to explore the other KTPs that are currently taking place within other businesses across Scotland. From developing digital technologies for Virtual Reality, to producing new textile products, to developing new production systems, the aims of the other KTPs that were presented showed that this scheme can be applied to a diverse array of ideas and sectors. The advantages of these projects for the KTP partners were made clear by the speakers at the beginning of the event, but the creativity, ambition, and enthusiasm exhibited by the individuals involved, only served to further highlight this.

 

Scottish Resource Conference 2019 Sponsorship

Albion Environmental host table and provide sponsorship for the  “Best Food Waste Initiative” award at Scottish Resources Awards Dinner 2019 (now in its 18th year) at Perth Concert hall. This prestigious event is to recognise companies and individuals for their creative input within the circular economy and resource management sector. It is held in partnership with the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) . We look forward to welcoming our guests and would like to wish all the finalists the best of luck for the awards.