Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Dont lie to school children!

It has always been rather questionable for the councils of Derby and Derbyshire to have school children educated about rubbish by the same company they are paying to burn the same rubbish from mid 2017.
So what is the story?
Via the waste contract the councils get waste education provided to schools from a waste education officer supplied by Resource Recovery Solutions - owned by Shanks Waste.
At a Community Liaison Group meeting in early 2016 a representative of RRS / SHANKS admitted they told school children the plant was a recovery plant (the representative is named in the meetings official minutes) - now its true to say it will recover some materials and some energy - BUT NOT ENOUGH FOR IT TO BE A RECOVERY PLANT AS DEFINED IN LAW.
Now unless the plant is proven to be efficient enough then by default the plant is considered a disposal plant WHICH IS BAD - and so to educate that it is anything else would be wrong - some would say it is a lie and obviously its a big no no to lie to school children when at school.
 
Now burning waste is a funny old game because doing so can be considered to be one of two things when it comes to considering the process in the waste hierarchy it is considered a disposal process unless it can prove otherwise in which case it is a recovery process.
 
In a twist to things a plant that meets the R1 test of efficiency target is STILL a disposal plant until it is granted recovery status.
 
DOES THE CONTRACTOR KNOW WHAT THEIR PLANT IS?
YES AS THEY CONFIRMED IT AT THE 2ND PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO THE PROJECT
 
SHOULD EDUCATIONAL STAFF EMPLOYED BY THE CONTRACTOR KNOW WHAT THE PROJECT IS?
YES THEY MUST DO AS

 IT IS THEIR JOB.

For more information on this issue please check out my previous blog post which can be found here
http://derby-waste-a-rubbish-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/dont-put-it-in-recovery-position.html


©SIMON BACON 2016

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Dont put it in the recovery position !

It was a simple innocent question that I put to Resource Recovery Solutions at a meeting of the Sinfin waste incineration plants Community Liaison Group (CLG) meeting back in early 2016.
 
We were part way though a presentation by a representative of RRS / SHANKS in relation to what they teach school children they visit at schools across Derby and Derbyshire or tours the construction site with and I was feeling somewhat uneasy that the councils were paying a company that was being employed to burn vast volumes of waste to then also educate school children what we should do with waste.
So at that point I thought hey ho lets just pop a question across to the the RRS / SHANKS  just to satisfy myself that they were in fact educating school children correctly and that I was being unfair to judge them. It was at this point that a representative of RRS / SHANKS (named in the meetings official minutes) told the meeting that they told children it was a recovery plant.
WOW THERE ! WOW THERE ! now hold on just a minute ! did they say it was a RECOVERY PLANT ? really ! a RECOVERY PLANT ?
 
Now burning waste is a funny old game because doing so can be considered to be one of two things when it comes to considering the process in the waste hierarchy it is considered a disposal process unless it can prove otherwise in which case it is a recovery process.

 The waste hierarchy just for clarity is a set of processes when dealing with the whole issue of waste that must be considered as it takes in best practices to deal with waste in the most sustainable way.
It starts with REDUCTION / PREVENTION where the aim is to reduce what waste we produce so managing materials in the best way - by not using them to start with ! Then we have RE-USE which is where whenever possible we take items that are now scrap and attempt to use them again in an innovative way to keep them out of landfill and incineration. Then comes RECYCLE which is when materials at the end of their life if not reused are reprocessed into new items by making use of the products raw material make up. As we head down the hierarchy we get closer to less sustainable methods of waste management such as incineration and landfill - neither of which are good methods of waste disposal. This brings us to RECOVERY which is when those handling waste start to use wastes for energy generation such as in incineration plants which meet an efficiency target called R1. These are plants which can show that their efficiency of energy generation meets a strict target and often requires such plants to export large volumes of heat or steam to customers to meet that efficiency rating. Finally we come to DISPOSAL which includes inefficient energy generation in incineration plants and also landfill.
In a twist to things a plant that meets R1 efficiency targets is STILL a disposal plant until it is granted recovery status.
Now rather conveniently for the UK government they use a waste hierarchy image as shown below which I consider to be incorrect as it blurs the lines between recovery and disposal in the waste hierarchy by using questionable wording.
The image shown below is the image in question and is used by DEFRA in their document
Energy from Waste a Guide to the Debate dated Feb 2014
 
 
Now reviewing the image it would be very easy to be misled into thinking that any incineration plant - including gasification is recovery in the waste hierarchy if it generates energy. The image appears to imply this is the case and as this image is commonly reproduced a gross misunderstanding takes place!
It is only when you take the chance to read other areas of the document that the issue of R1 and its application are considered and at that point you realise the difference between recovery and disposal. Obviously there are some who favour this blurring as it allows them to paint a picture of a project that makes it conveniently sound better than it is.
To aid you readers below is produced a series of statements from DEFRA from the document in relation to R1 and what is known as D10 disposal.
 
Recovery or disposal – the meaning of R1

47. As described above the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) sets out the waste hierarchy and enshrines it in law. It requires that a waste management route defined as recovery should be used ahead of an alternative that is classified as disposal. Exceptions can be made (see below) but this general principle makes it important to know whether a process is considered recovery or disposal. 

48. Historically the Waste Framework Directives have included annexes which set out lists of what are considered to be recovery or disposal operations. Each is given a number and a letter: R for recovery, D for disposal. In the current directive the classifications of particular relevance to energy from waste are: • R1 – Use principally as a fuel or other means to generate energy • D10 – Incineration on land 

49. What this means is that where waste is burnt as a fuel to generate energy it can potentially be considered a recovery operation (R1) but where the purpose of incineration is to get rid of waste, it is considered D10 and hence disposal.  All municipal waste incinerators were and are deemed as disposal activities (D10) unless and until they are shown to meet the requirements of R1. This is why the term R1 often crops up in the debate about how good an energy from waste plant might be and how it compares to other options. 

50. For municipal solid waste, which includes all the waste collected from households, the EU has gone further by defining what it considers to be sufficient for recovery status under R1. The WFD includes a formula relating to the efficiency of the combustion plant. A municipal waste combustion plant can only be considered to be a recovery operation under R1 if it generates energy and the plant meets the efficiency thresholds calculated using the R1 formula

SO THAT IS THE OFFICIAL BLURB FROM DEFRA ON RECOVERY OR DISPOSAL PLANTS AS GOVERNED BY EU DIRECTIVES - WHICH STILL GOVERN THE UK SINCE BREXIT.

So returning to what the RRS / SHANKS representative said they teach students the plant is. they stated they teach students that the plant is a RECOVERY plant - which raises the issue of R1 as noted above.
When we consider R1 and the claims of the RRS / SHANKS representative we know what they are teaching children is false because at the 2nd planning inquiry the developer had to admit that their plant fails the R1 test in its standard mode.
If you tell children something that is false then in general it is usually considered a lie.
It is a lie in this case because staff employed in waste disposal and waste management will know the requirements of the waste hierarchy

 IT IS THEIR JOB.


©SIMON BACON 2016

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Reaching a tipping point !

The Raynesway tip in Derby has reached a tipping point in relation to usage.

The operation of tips - often know these days as Household Waste Recycling Centre sites or HWRC sites for short in Derby and Derbyshire was handed to Resource Recovery Solutions (Derbyshire) Ltd often referred to as RRS a number of years ago now. The operation of the sites which span the county of Derbyshire forms part of the joint waste contract which is linked to the controversial Sinfin waste incineration plant in Derby UK.
 
The councils pay RRS to run the sites and RRS dispose of the waste via whatever route they see fit. They hand that job to HW Martins who appear to run the sites for RRS. The councils pocket some money for waste electricals which are recycled but it appears any other income from recycling is not pocketed by the councils - and so we give money away.
 
The Raynesway HWRC site in Derby is the only recycling site the residents of Derby can take their waste for disposal to. As the city expands one thing that doesn't expand is the Raynesway tip but one thing that DOES expand are the queues that build outside the site of residents waiting to empty their cars. The reason behind these queues is open to debate but one thing is for sure, the controversial £40 brown garden bin charge applied to Derby residents has led to an increase in people looking to dispose of garden rubbish at the tip. This was predicted a number of years ago by myself at a Full Council meeting. The risks were ignored and now along with other issues such as an expanding city and residents from outside of the city using the tip, the HWRC site and the surrounding road structure can no longer cope.
The Derby Telegraph has given the subject of the traffic chaos at the tip pages of coverage over time highlighting the impacts it is having on local businesses with even the suggestion it is causing rubbish to be dumped in areas around the site. plans were published for a change on the site so that more cars would be able to queue on the site although this was recently dropped - mystery surrounds this but the council claim they are working on an alternative.
An out of the box suggestion was suggested by myself to help deal with the situation in the form of a webcam viewing the road to the tip - as is used in Birmingham so that residents can view the queue allowing them to decide if its an ideal time to attend the tip to beat the queues. While published in the Derby Telegraph the council does not appear to have run with this suggestion.

There are 10 HWRC sites in Derbyshire - 1 of those is in Derby and the other 9 are in the county - one of which is run by waste management company SITA - the rest being run by RRS.
Derby as a city continues to expand and areas surrounding the city which are technically in the county become parts of the city by default as residents consider themselves to be from Derby - even if technically they are not. As time passes this puts an ever greater strain on the cities single tip leading to ever greater queues at the tip. Residents in the county living lose to Derby may consider that it is better for them to visit the city tip instead of their own which may be many miles away. Only recently I met a South Derbyshire resident who uses the Raynesway site in Derby because technically her tip was many miles away in Bretby. She said "why would I drive that far when Raynesway is so close?"

Derbyshire County Council publish on their website population estimates for the county and city. They predicted that in 2014 the population would be

DERBYSHIRE 779,800 (with 9 tips)

DERBY 252,500 (with 1 tip)

This is shown here
http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/community/about_your_county/population/population_estimates/

So while Derby is struggling to get by with one tip for over a QUARTER OF A MILLION residents the county on the other hand is lording it up with one tip per 86,644 residents - based on County Council population claims.

BUT NOW IT GETS WORSE

The Derby Telegraph are now reporting in their latest reports that Derbyshire County Council are looking to ban Derby residents from county tips but the city does not propose a similar ban. To read more on that subject check out this Derby Telegraph story
http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/no-plans-to-ban-people-from-outside-derby-using-raynesway-tip/story-29571778-detail/story.html

BUT HOLD ON!

THIS IS THE SAME COUNTY COUNCIL THAT WANTS TO SHIP LARGE VOLUMES OF ITS WASTE TO BE BURNT IN THE CITY OF DERBY FOR THE NEXT 25 YEARS.
FUNNY HOW THE COUNTY DOESNT THINK TWICE ABOUT SENDING ITS WASTE TO THE CITY WHILE BANNING THE CITIES RESIDENTS FROM COUNTY TIPS.


©SIMON BACON 2016


 

Monday, 25 July 2016

To be a fly on the wall

It was only when posing some questions to the Environment Agency - the government body responsible for ensuring waste sites conform to permit conditions that it became clear what a total car crash the situation was at the Shows Waste Management site on Slack Lane, Mackworth, Derby.

 It would be hard to have missed the media coverage of what has happened this year at the Slack Lane site which became a hub for a fly infestation that impacted on a whole area of the city which was only acted on strongly when local residents exposed to the media the situation they found themselves in.
 
Purchased in 2015 for £850,000 by Sam and Wayne Turton - who had run a waste management company in Nottinghamshire for a number of years called Go 4 Greener you would expect from their experience they would understand the requirements of the waste permit which carried the name of their other company - Shows Waste Management. If they failed to meet the requirements of their permit they could face action by the Environment Agency.
 
The permit and some of its many requirements were set out in my previous blog post which can be found here http://derby-waste-a-rubbish-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/permit-to-fly.html 
What became clear from the Environment Agency response to my questions - which related to the tonnages of material able to be stored on site was the sites operation was riddled with serious issues spanning acceptable practices on site through to serious site management issues. In response to my request for clarification on aspects of the permit - namely the tonnages on site and if they were inert or non inert the Environment Agency sent me a copy of their site visit report from 2nd March 2016 when two members of staff from the Environment Agency visited the site for almost two hours.

Note the 2nd March was BEFORE Shows Waste Management claim to have taken on other companies to operate the site and who they appear to be looking to blame for the situation that developed.
The document itself notes SIX breaches of the waste permit at the time of the site visit - remember the sites owners have run waste companies before - but managed to breach the site permit SIX times on one Environment Agency visit.
What follows is my extraction of information from the site visit report. Text in RED are my observations.

The document start by stating that on arrival it was noted there was a large amount of waste being stored in white bales all around the site. The sites managers name is redacted ( BLACKED OUT) but the manager stated they were refuse derived fuel RDF bales and that they would usually be sent to Andusia Recovered Fuel in Holland
In 2014 Go 4 Greener went to AEG AMSTERDAM to agree disposal contracts for 2015 - it isn't clear if those contracts ran their course but it shows the sites owners have previously engaged with waste to energy plants in Europe.
 but due to transportation issues they were having to find somewhere else to take them, possibly Poland. Someone (redacted but presume it was the site manager) was unable to tell the Environment Agency how many bales were on site but the Environment Agency staff felt there were 300 bales on site.
It was noted that there was a BREACH of permit condition 4.6.1 which requires combustible waste to be stored in bays on impermeable pavement with sealed drainage with access to fire fighting equipment. The bales were not stored in bays and were not on sealed drainage. Someone (name redacted but presume as above) could not locate the site fire plan and their description of the fire fighting equipment did not sound adequate for the amount of combustible waste on the site.
Clearly a site fire plan and suitable fire fighting equipment should have been at hand noting the volumes of waste involved. 
It was noted that the RDF bales needed to be removed from site and this would be formalised in a notice.
Someone (name redacted but presume as above) was not fully conversant with the waste conditions of the permit relevant to his duties. The was noted as BREACH of permit condition 1.3.3. He was also not aware of the site having an environmental management system.
You would hope all staff would be aware and conversant with the above
Someone (name redacted but presume as above) took the Environment Agency staff on a tour of the site and explained that the incoming general mixed waste had already been processed elsewhere metal, paper and card had already been taken out and shredded for transport reasons. Shows Waste Management then shred the waste further and pass it through a trommel to remove fine material. This process results in RDF and fines. The fines are stored within the building before removal off site. The RDF is baled and currently stored all around the site mostly free standing in the open.
This waste operation involving the shredding and screening of waste to produce RDF is not authorised by this permit and is therefore a BREACH of permit condition 1.1.1. This operation should stop immediately.
So they were doing something they were not permitted to do
The incoming mixed general waste has already been mechanically treated elsewhere prior to arrival on site. This means it should be coded as a 19 waste code. The acceptance of this waste type is a BREACH of permit condition 1.2.1. The permit does not allow the acceptance of any waste from waste management facilities. The acceptance of this waste type should stop immediately.
The permit limits the quantity of non inert waste on site to 350 tonnes. The weighbridge operator (name redacted) provided us with a spreadsheet with the incoming and outgoing wastes for February 2016. This showed that the total amount of non inert waste stored under the permit was at least 783 tonnes. This is a BREACH of permit condition 4.6.1 which limits non inert waste to 350 tonnes.
So they knowingly accepted levels of waste above the permit limit
In addition to the bales there was a large amount of unprocessed waste stored in the main building. Some of this waste was visibly steaming indicating that it is decomposing and was likely the cause of the odour reports. Permit condition 4.6.1 table 4.6 b addresses odorous waste including wastes which are likely to be odour producing during storage. It states that odorous waste should not be stored for longer than 48 hours unless agreed to by the Environment Agency. It was clear from the weighbridge spreadsheet that a large amount of potentially odorous waste had been stored on site longer than 48 hours. This is a BREACH of permit condition 4.6.1.
So they were storing stinking waste for longer than they should have
In order to monitor and control odorous emissions permit condition 5.2.1 requires the site operator undertakes monitoring activities at least twice per day and records these in the site diary. This monitoring was not being carried out or recorded in the site diary. This is therefore a BREACH of permit condition 6.3.1. The site now needs to implement monitoring as per their permit condition.
So they were not monitoring the situation successfully
Condition 6.3.1 requires that a site diary should be kept detailing specific events that should be recorded. Someone (name redacted) stated that the site did not have a site diary. This is a BREACH of permit condition 6.3.1. The site should implement a site diary with immediate effect.
Appears they had no site diary to log things in
Permit condition 1.3.4 is being BREACHED as it requires that the technically competent manager records their arrival and departure in the site diary. In addition Warren Steele does not have the required WAMITAB qualification for this permit. Provide details to this office of an appropriately qualified technically competent manager for the site by 23rd March 2016.
The storage of RDF on site without the correct infrastructure or authorisation in place is a serious matter and needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible. Shows Waste Management Limited now need to produce an action plan detailing how they will bring the site back into compliance with timescales. While the RDF is still on site the site should produce a risk assessment detailing what measures and procedures they will put in place in order to deal with any such risks such as fires and odour. The action plan should be submitted to this office by 23rd March 2016.
The fire service have been alerted to concerns we have regarding the site.
We will now be considering what enforcement action we will be taking with regards to these permit breaches.

ALL THIS WAS HAPPENING IN EARLY MARCH BEFORE ANY OTHER COMPANIES THE TURTON'S ARE TRYING TO BLAME WERE INVOLVED ON THE SITE.
IT APPEARS WHAT COULD GO WRONG DID GO WRONG AND THE SITES OWNERS COMPLETELY FAILED TO OPERATE A WASTE DISPOSAL SITE IN THE MANNER EXPECTED OF THOSE NAMED ON THE PERMIT.


©SIMON BACON 2016

   

Monday, 4 July 2016

Permit to fly ?

 
"IN REACHING THE DECISION WE HAVE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT ALL RELEVANT CONSIDERATIONS AND LEGAL REQUIREMENTS AND THAT THE PERMIT WILL ENSURE THAT THE APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION IS PROVIDED"

So stated the decision notice issued by the Environment Agency when transferring the waste permit for 201 Slack lane from Transcycle to Shows Waste Management.
 
Part of the transfer document is shown below
 
 
 
If EVER we needed an example of a statement not worth the paper it was written on it would have to be this statement when judged against the horrific fly infestation from the site which months later would overwhelm the community of Mackworth and New Zealand in Derby UK.
 
Reports suggest that the site was home to up to 5,000 tonnes of waste at the time news of the fly infestation hit the media and similar tonnages were confirmed at the public meeting held on 6th June which the sites owner attended.
 
BUT HOW MUCH WAS THE SITE PERMITTED TO HOUSE VIA THE SITES WASTE PERMIT - WHICH WAS TRANSFERED TO SHOWS WASTE MANAGEMENT?

The waste permit makes reference to two forms of waste - INERT and NON INERT
The waste permit defines INERT waste as follows

“inert waste”

means wastes which will not undergo any significant physical, chemical or biological transformations. Inert waste will not dissolve, burn or otherwise physically or chemically react, biodegrade or adversely affect other matter with which it comes into contact in a way likely to give rise to environmental pollution or harm to human health. The total leachability and pollutant content of the waste and the ecotoxicity of the leachate must be insignificant and in particular not endanger the quality of surface water and/or groundwater;
 
NON INERT waste is not defined in the permit but should be taken to be the opposite definition to that shown for inert waste.
The company - Shows Waste Management as licence holder appears in the permit to but permitted to hold on site the following
 
INERT WASTE - 2,400 TONNES
NON INERT WASTE- 350 TONNES
 
This is shown in the following picture from the permit
 
 
 
Now even before considering if the material that has caused the smell and fly infestation is inert or not with a combined total tonnage of 2,750 tonnes of waste acceptable to be housed on site Shows Waste Management has completely failed to meet its permit targets and requirements - noting previous suggestions that the site held up to 5,000 tonnes.
 
Now if we are to consider that the material COULD be non inert waste then it is clear that the company in question as license holder has completely failed to meet its duties as a responsible waste management facility. Even if considered inert Shows Waste Management has failed the community it is housed in and must face robust action by the authorities.
 
Talking of robust action the permit comes across as being a robust instrument for controlling the waste site. 
 
Here are some examples
 
"Treatment for disposal of no more than 50 tonnes per day"
 
"Quantities of waste stored on site shall not exceed the maximum permitted storage capacities"
 
 
 
 

1.3.1     Whenever the site is open to receive or dispatch wastes, or is carrying out any of the specified waste management operations, it shall be supervised by at least two members of staff who is suitably trained and fully conversant with the requirements of the licence regarding:

a    waste acceptance and control procedures;

b    operational controls;

c    maintenance;

d    record-keeping;

e    emergency action plans;

f     notifications to the Agency."

 

"b)       Odorous wastes, including wastes which are likely to be odour producing during storage

 

 

 

i)        These wastes only permitted if:
·        received in sealed containers and stored in sealed containers and in areas provided with impermeable pavement and sealed drainage; or
·        stored in covered buildings providing containment of aerial emissions; or
·        stored in bays provided with an impermeable pavement and sealed drainage.
ii)       These wastes shall be subject to monitoring in accordance with condition 5.2 and shall in any case not be stored for longer than 48 hours, unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Agency."
 
 

 

"5.2                   Monitoring and control of odorous emissions

5.2.1                Measures shall be implemented and maintained throughout the operational life of the site to control and monitor emissions of odours from the site, in accordance with the standards specified in Table 5.2.

5.2.2                All emissions to air from the specified waste management operations on the site shall be free from odours at levels as are likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health or serious detriment to the amenity of the locality outside the site boundary, as perceived by an authorised officer of the Agency."

"5.3                   Monitoring and control of pest infestations

5.3..1                Measures shall be implemented and maintained throughout the operational life of the site to control and monitor the presence of pests on the site, in accordance with the standards specified in Table 5.3. The objective of these measures shall be to prevent pest infestations that are likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health or serious detriment to the amenity of the locality."

 

                      Important sections of the environmental protection act 1990

 Section 33

Prohibits under penalty the deposit, treatment, keeping or disposal of controlled waste in or on any land otherwise than in accordance with the terms of a Waste Management Licence.

Non compliance with any licence condition may lead to prosecution under this Section.  A person who contravenes Section 33 subsection (1) shall, subject to subsection (7), be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 (six) months or a fine not exceeding £20,000 (at the date of issue of this licence) or both, or on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 (two) years or a fine or both, or in relation to special waste for a term not exceeding 5 (five) years or a fine or both.

 

Section 34

Places a duty on any person who imports, produces, carries, keeps, treats or disposes of controlled waste to take all such measures applicable to him or her as are reasonable in the circumstances to prevent any other person contravening Section 33, and to prevent the escape of waste from his control or that of any other person and, on the transfer of the waste, to ensure that it is only to an authorised person, or to a person for authorised transport purposes, and that a written description is transferred with it.
A person who contravenes Section 34 subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £5,000 (at the date of issue of this licence) or on conviction on indictment to a fine.

Section 40

If the licence holder wishes to transfer the licence to another person ("the transferee,") the licence holder and the transferee shall jointly make an application to the Environment Agency (enclosing the prescribed fee). The Agency will not effect the transfer unless it is satisfied that the transferee is a Fit and Proper Person.

 

Section 59

The Environment Agency is empowered to require the removal of any controlled waste deposited in breach of Section 33(1), or to require the undertaking of such works as are required to reduce or eliminate the consequences of such deposits.

 

SO WITH ALL THIS IN MIND HOW HAS THE WASTE SITE IN MACKWORTH DERBY BEEN ABLE TO DEVELOP INTO A SITUATION WHERE WASTE WAS ABLE TO BUILD UP AND BECOME A BREEDING GROUND FOR PLAGUES OF FLIES THAT WENT ON TO BLIGHT A WHOLE COMMUNITY?

 

OH TO BE A FLY ON THE WALL OF THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY OFFICES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Sunday, 19 June 2016

Flies the limit!

Oh to be a fly on the wall of the boardroom of Shows Waste Management / Go 4 Greener on the Tuesday morning after their trip into the lions den at the Fly Invasion meeting. Held at the Lonny Wilsoncroft Community Centre in the New Zealand area of Derby the meeting took place on 6th June 2016.
Trapped like flies in a spiders web at the front of the meeting venue one thing you can say in favour of those attending from the site in question was that they had balls to put themselves in front of an angry room of locals.
Site owner Sam Turton attended the meeting and was flanked by family members, staff from Shows Waste Management and also a representative of Colson Transport who for the 1st time we learned was working in some way with Shows Waste Management to clear the site.



 Reports after the meeting suggested that Colson Transport were to take the site on in some way once it is cleared. For those where the issue of the flies has buzzed under the radar you can catch up on my previous blog post here
http://derby-waste-a-rubbish-blog.blogspot.com/2016/06/would-you-like-flies-with-that.html
 
Lets just say it has been grim for many weeks now for those living close to the waste handling site.
Notably lacking in their attendance was anybody from Derby City Councils Environmental Health department and more importantly from the powers that be at the Environment Agency - who issued the site with the required permits to operate.
The lack of anyone from the Environment Agency led to the meeting being in a position where the sites owners and those supporting them were able to make statements regarding the site and the materials on the site which could not be challenged or even validated due to the lack of Environment Agency attendance.
The story peddled by Sam Turton and co from Shows appeared to be that the material was a product known as refuse derived fuel - often referred to as RDF. RDF is a form of fuel often exported to European incineration plants such as those found in Holland. The materials involved are extracted from either household refuse or commercial waste and often have to meet some form of specification. The story placed before us was the fact that as the winter was mild there was not the uptake of RDF from incineration plants on the continent and being a young company Shows did not have the connections in place to dispose of the RDF to energy plants for burning. On finding this was the case Shows came to an agreement with Trent Valley Recycling / Enviro Fuel Solutions who it was suggested had more connections. The picture being painted was that most of the material on site suddenly descended onto the site once these companies were involved. The general suggestion was that up to 5,000 tonnes was being stored on site and was the source of the fly issue. When residents questioned what was IN the RDF material and residents made reference to food waste it was made very clear such material was not present in the RDF on site. This raises the serious question as to what IS in the waste that formed the ideal breeding ground for a fly infestation of such epic proportions!

The site after the meeting shows baled waste stacked high in the yard
 
The picture as painted requires for us to suspend our concept of common sense because we are expected to believe that the Turton's as owners of the site which cost £850,000 and which carries a permit naming their company Shows Waste Management as responsible for the site somehow enabled up to 5,000 tonnes of waste to enter the site before the influx was stopped.  Now forgive me but if this is the reality then you really have to question the ability of the Turton's to run a successful business because surely as soon as you see such volumes being delivered to the site you would lock the gates!
 Having run Go4Greener for a number of years
 would they really make such a schoolboy / schoolgirl error?
But lets also look at the suggestion
 that Shows didn't have contacts for the burning of the RDF fuel
which they had been producing - which led to the start of the issue.
 If you didn't have customers for your RDF material would you have actually taken in the waste to make the RDF to start with? surely that would be a grave business risk? but hold on if one looks at the twitter feed of the Turton's older company Go 4 Greener as far back as November 2014 Go 4 Greener was posting about signing contracts with AEB Amsterdam for what they called sustainable disposal - AEB Amsterdam is a large waste incineration plant.

Go4Greener@go4greener 3 Nov 2014
Heading to later today to sign disposal contracts for 2015 with to ensure for our .

 


The two images below were taken on 15th June 2016 showing that while waste is being removed from the site much still remains
THE CLOCK IS TICKING

 
 


©SIMON BACON 2016
 

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Would you like flies with that?

After a number of years use and ownership by Transcycle - including acting as a hub for the city of Derby's brown bin recycling scheme where garden and food waste was bulked up for shipment to Vital Earth at Ashbourne for composting number 201 Slack Lane in the New Zealand / Mackworth area of the city was placed on the market.
The community have had issues with the site in the past as sited in an inner city area odour and fly issues were always likely to be on residents minds. Few likely noted the small article in the Derby Telegraph in the late summer of 2015 reporting that a new company was moving to Derby from Nottingham and was known as Go 4 Greener Waste Management. Taking on the 2.6 acre site the company owned by Wayne and Sam Turton was described as a business providing a range of recycling services.
Deeds logged with the land registry indicate the Turton's are owners of the site having paid £850,000 in July 2015 with the support of Barclays Bank.
While described in the media at the time as offering recycling services the companies website talks of zero waste to landfill - which to those in anti incineration circles means sending waste to incineration plants in either the UK or Europe. The Go 4 Greener twitter account in the past made reference to agreeing waste disposal contracts with AEB Amsterdam - a major incinerator of waste so it is clear that the company does not just handle specific recyclables but clearly has an interest in waste of a more residual nature - but then that needs to be shipped in some fashion to the likes of AEB Amsterdam. Tweets from 2014 show their engagement with AEB Amsterdam.

This then brings us to the issue that has unfolded in the streets and homes of the Mackworth community in recent weeks and months. While buzzing along under the radar for some time in recent weeks a serious fly outbreak has blighted the community bringing misery and distress to all around including major impacts on the Kingsway Retail Park leading to store closures.
Many pages of the complex story of what has happened and who is to blame have been printed or reported in recent weeks with fingers being pointed in different directions by different parties.
Without a copy of the waste permit it is not possible to identify what the site should and should not handle but what we do know is that the waste permit itself is registered not to Go 4 Greener but to another company owned by the Turton's known as Shows Waste Management which was launched in 2015. Waste permits are the life blood of a waste site - it is what allows the process to take place and these permits are issued by the Environment Agency.
The Turton's via the media appear to be suggesting that the issues relating to the flies on the site and the surrounding area are due to who they call Envirofuels / Trent Valley Recycling who it is claimed they leased part of the site to although the media report that the companies in question deny these claims.
Independent news reporter Derby News recently published an article on the waste saga shedding light on company ownership and the article can be found here
https://derbynews.org.uk/2016/05/27/mackworth-fly-infestation-convenient-confusion-over-whos-to-blame/

The facts with this situation are all pretty murky as to who is responsible for the waste in question but suggestions are circulating that issues with the site were raised at a residents meeting as far back as February 2016 and if this is the case potentially dates back beyond the involvement with these companies. This is backed up by the fact the Environment Agency issued an order against Shows Waste Management on March 10th 2016 which is before Trent Valley Recycling signed the agreement to use the site.
This has led to the site being filled with large bales on the site of what could potentially be refuse derived fuel - known as RDF - shown below.
 
As to what the bales actually contain and their intended destination if they are in fact RDF bales then they could have been produced by either one of the Turton's companies - noting their connections to incineration plants in Holland or that of fledgling company Enviro Fuels Solutions Ltd who appear to be the company the Turton's are referring to.
What is becoming clear is that neither Derby City Council or the Environment Agency are making Shows Waste Management deal with the waste in the time scale locals need to get the fly infestation under control. In recent days a representative of the Environment Agency on East Midlands Today appeared to be implying that in part the issue was linked to homes being built around the site but anyone who knows the area knows that many of the local homes date back decades and in some cases around a century.
The Go 4 Greener website makes some grand claims about the companies ethos so lets hope they stand by them in the coming weeks and deal with the situation that is playing our in the city of Derby.
 
 
There are many unanswered questions in this terrible situation but one that makes you stop and wonder is the following.
 
If you run a waste company and have spent £850,000 on a site and you have an active waste permit in your companies name placing you in the position of overall control and therefore liability why would you risk your business by allowing the serious situation to develop on the site which is now causing such local distress and directly placing your business and family life at risk?
If as suggested in the media there is 5,000 tonnes of waste that needs to be landfilled based just on the landfill tax rate of £84.40 the Turton's face a bill of over £400,000 for disposal of the waste mountain.
 
The latest twist to the saga is that the Environment Agency have started legal action against companies on the site in relation to the waste. How this will pan out is anyone's guess but things need to improve soon for the good of the local community.
 
©SIMON BACON 2016
 
 

 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Last one out DONT turn the lights off!

When the 55 meter chimney stack was installed on the Resource Recovery Solutions waste incineration plant it was lit up like a replacement for Christmas fairy lights!
When asked why so much lighting was required on the stack Resource Recovery Solutions representatives stated it was required by East Midlands Airport - who had the final say due to local aviation issues.
In recent weeks however there has been a serious issue with the stacks lighting system leading to the stack being unlit in the hours of darkness! This directly placed aviation at risk so it was important to raise this with the developer and its contractors.
Below is an image of the plant taken from Sainsburys car park showing the stack unlit.
In a article in the Derby Telegraph published after the event it was suggested that lighting of the stack - at 180 feet was not mandatory but the CAA and East Midlands Airport advice is that the stack should be lit in the hours or darkness and poor weather.
You can read more here
It was noted that there had been an intermittent fault reported in the day on the Wednesday and Thursday, if so this situation raises some serious questions in relation to safe management of the site when we consider that the site has 24 hour security.
Did the security guard monitor the stacks lighting - considering it was known there had been faults?
Surely the security guard would notice that the large stack was unlit! after all it did dominate the site and glow a menacing red shade!
It calls into question the developers ability to run a safe site when something as serious as this is able to happen over a number of days and takes so long to address.
 
©SIMON BACON 2016
 

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

If only the council had some money to invest!

Derby used to have an events venue called the Assembly Rooms which was closed after a fire in the attached car park and so Derby now lacks a suitable venue for theatre and music because the council claimed the venue needed to much work doing to it after the fire. This has been the subject of great debate since the fire. The council proposes to replace the venue but is not able to say when due to lack of funds.
The local newspaper the Derby Telegraph ran this story on the venues closure and proposed replacement.
 
IF ONLY THE CITY HAD SOME MONEY TO INVEST!
 
Derby used to have two large swimming venues open to the public and supporting local aquatic clubs allowing them to compete at local and international level.
Sadly due to suggested government cuts this has led to the council closing the Moorways swimming facility - a corner stone of local swimming provision dating back decades. The pool closed to the public at the end of March 2016 and residents are now struggling to continue their swimming as the cities other main venue has a faulty roof.
The local newspaper the Derby Telegraph ran this story on the pools closure
 
IF ONLY THE CITY HAD SOME MONEY TO INVEST!

The city of Derby is slowly collapsing due to claimed government cuts forcing the council to reduce its budget to make savings. Money has to come out of specific pots to fund things which is regularly pointed out by the council.

IF ONLY THE CITY HAD SOME MONEY TO INVEST!

Well the reality is the council WOULD have money to invest in either of the projects if it had not jumped in with both feet with the Sinfin waste incineration plant project which first raised its head in public circles in late 2008.
A joint contract between the city and Derbyshire County Council will see Derby hosting the plant AND paying £25 MILLION towards the plants construction - which is 50% of the council build cost.
Now is it fair that the cities residents have to host the controversial plant AND pay 50% of the council payment for construction?
But it gets worse as the city does not collect enough residual waste to provide 50% of the plants feedstock and as recycling increases that in turn stops the city from being able to provide 50% of the feedstock.
You can read one of my previous blog posts to learn more about that situation by following this link

http://derby-waste-a-rubbish-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/derby-city-council-public-are-being.html

But what does it actually mean to us in the city? what it means is at the time the proposal was born the council - and so whoever was in charge sold the residents down the river by agreeing a joint contract that was in the County Councils favour and this continued up until the councils signed the full contracts - meaning that political parties of various colours in the city have played a part.
Someone in power somewhere was told city waste would spiral upwards and it would be good value for the city. At the same time the council was potentially in a better financial position than it is now but clearly potential changes in waste prediction or council finances were not considered carefully enough leading to the position we are now in.

SO WHAT ABOUT THE MONEY?

Derby is paying £25 million for a 25 year contract period at the start of the waste incineration plants operation which is a payment towards the plants construction. That's obviously £1 million per year for the processing of 95,000 tonnes of waste - 50% of the plants through put if you consider Derby is paying 50% of the build payment.
Based on 2014/15 data from DEFRA the city only collected 79,320 tonnes of residual waste leaving the city 15,680 tonnes short. At a rate of £10.53 (£1,000,000 divided by 95,000 tonnes) we as a city are paying £165,110.40 per year to much for the project - or £4,127,760 over the 25 year investment.

SO LETS GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING!

We need a new performance venue and we need a new swimming pool but the city has no money!

WELL WE COULD HAVE HAD £4.1 MILLION TO INVEST WITH BETTER PLANNING AND NEGOTIATIONS.

In an example of why we are in the mess that we are in in the city I attended the Derby City Council Full Council meeting on March 2nd 2016 to ask Cllr Asaf Afzal specific questions on the unfair share the city is paying. Even when the £4 million over payment was highlighted to Cllr Afzal he still considered that it was good value for the council - ignoring the fact that we share those claimed savings with Derbyshire County Council we are STILL over £4 million worse off.

WITH A COUNCIL WITH ITS HEAD IN THE SAND ON THE ISSUE THERE IS LITTLE WONDER WE ARE PAYING AN UNFAIR SHARE AND SO LITTLE WONDER WE HAVE NO MONEY FOR EVENTS VENUES AND SWIMMING POOLS!

©SIMON BACON 2016

Sunday, 20 March 2016

If you dont pay - Derby City Council wont take it away!

In the past the residents of Derby UK as part of their council tax payment got a free garden waste collection service allowing them to dispose of garden and food waste all year. Sent to an in-vessel composting plant (IVC) at Vital Earth in Ashbourne, Derbyshire garden and food waste was then processed in a controlled manner to produce compost and soil improver products.
You can read more about that here http://vitalearth.tv/index.html
 
Sadly in an attempt to save money - which the council maintains it has done the council removed the free service in late 2013 and replaced it with a garden waste only April - November service from 2014 onwards. To date the material continued to be sent to Vital Earth at Ashbourne but the impact on the cities recycling rate has been devastating leading to a drop to just 32.9% for the year 2014/15 from a high of 48% in 2010/11.
The killer part of this is the service is no longer free costing £40 per service year with any further bins costing £20 for collection. The council expected to gain 20,000 customers by 2015 for the service but only gained 12,083 customers.
 
There are other options to consider and those include taking your garden waste to the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) site at Raynesway but this is not always convenient compared to a kerbside collection and on weekend days it is known that the site rapidly develops a long queue winding its way out to the main road - another example of the council not considering all the issues when implementing their money saving plan! To find out more about Raynesway HWRC site take a look here http://www.derby.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/recycling-rubbish-and-waste/recycling-sites/

But wouldn't it be better to take control of your own garden and food waste and to turn it into a free usable compost and soil improver to use at home in your garden? why spend £40 a year on a garden waste collection that does not last all year and does not accept food waste when you could spend that money on a compost bin or even just on materials to make your own compost bin that fits into your own garden.
Take my home example!
 
in my case I use an old garden incinerator which holds a reasonable volume of garden waste for a small garden and has air holes to allow your composting process to breathe! Holes in the container are open to debate but personally I like to have a few - plus in this case I was reusing a 2nd hand container.
 
 

When composting it is important to allow the heap to breathe by keeping the mix open to some degree. Don't just fill your heap with grass clippings and other squishy green material, try and make a blend of greenery from your house and garden mixed with some drier woodier materials - which can include paper and card, tissue, shredded paper etc which may in themselves not be ideal for recycling if they are shredded or contain some food contamination for example.
 
As part of a mix they can play a key role in making your compost a success.
 
Be careful when composting certain materials such as weeds and veg peelings because unlike an in-vessel composting plant which reaches high temperatures ideal for killing off perennial weed roots, seeds and things such as potato peelings which try and sprout a home composter may not reach the required temperature to kill off these more aggressive items. You don't want to spread your new compost on the garden only to find every weed seed germinates so try not to put large perennial weed routes in the compost bin or seed heads containing viable seeds. Another important thing to remember is the mix often needs some water to give all the beneficial bacteria the right damp environment to start munching all that garden waste.

For larger gardens you may well need more than one compost bin as the composting process can be a long job and you don't want to find your full up half way through the year!
 
So when is the compost ready you may ask - and thats a good question!
 
 A general rule of thumb is when the material is crumbly and black and you can no longer identify what it was before composting then its usually ready to use. Don't be surprised if the mix still contains some degree of twiggy material as this is not a problem if you are using the compost as a soil improver where it is dug in to improve soil structure and increase nutrient levels.
One thing to note is the term compost! compost can mean more than one thing and leads to confusion and errors when growing plants. You basically have compost you purchase from a shop which will be a blend of suitable materials and fertilisers and is suitable to use on a range of plants. Then you have compost from your compost heap which might better be described as soil conditioner or soil improver because its main use is as the name suggests is to improve the gardens soil structure while adding nutrients - it can be dug in or used as a mulch around plants and the best bit being its FREE!
 
Now you COULD also make use of it as a compost for potting but that is when greater care is needed as often the compost from your heap is to rich to be used on its own and it is common practice to blend it with other materials such as loam and leaf mould so as to make a more stable useable material. You basically have to experiment a bit if you want to use it for such uses.
 
What you can do with your newly produced compost is to run it through a garden sieve to grade out all the bigger material - returning it to further compost leaving you with a rich fine mixture which if kept out of the rain can be used when ever you want to plant in your garden.
 
 
The compost can then be applied to your garden to aid drainage, hold water in dry weather and provide nutrients and beneficial bacteria to aid plant growth.
 
 
You can find out lots more from the internet regarding composting but a fine place to start is here
 
 
©SIMON BACON 2016