Rule Changes In Aggregate Recovery

6 Nov 2013

The newly published revised edition of the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) Protocol on the recovery of Aggregates from Waste is a major development for local authorities and their waste management companies, as it means they can now recycle the bulk of their gully or sweeper waste.

Last week’s announcement by WRAP, states that the mineral fraction recovered by Mechanical and/or Biological Treatment (MBT) can now be used as feed stock for aggregate recycling, therefore allowing recovered material to be removed from the waste chain for the first time and achieve ‘End of Waste Status’.

Prior to this, the recycling of aggregate from sweeper or gully waste could only been undertaken by a limited number of sites holding a bespoke Environmental Permit. As such it was out of the reach of most local authorities.

Although in volume terms, gully or sweeper waste is small compared to domestic waste, it represents a significant proportion of the overall weight of waste local authorities have to deal with. In addition to this, since April’s increase in the Landfill Tax, simply sending gully waste to landfill is a much more expensive proposition than it used to be. Therefore it is a valuable recycling opportunity for local authorities trying to meet ambitious recycling targets and minimise costs; typically gully or sweeper waste contains 60% to 80% mineral fraction which if reprocessed could be put to good reuse, leaving only the organic and finer fractions for disposal or further treatment.

Dr Richard Coulton CEO of Siltbuster Ltd says: “To date most local authorities have managed to meet their recycling targets by maximising recovery from domestic waste. But with stiff targets still to meet, and most of the obvious avenues exhausted, they need to find new options. This development is therefore a golden opportunity for local authorities as it makes recycling of gully and sweeper waste a viable option.”

According to the revised protocol from WRAP the MBT process must be designed to recover the mineral as a clean product free from the organics and other contaminants. Simply screening the material without further treatment will not achieve the required separation; the material must be put through a washing system, such as Siltbuster’s Gritbuster, specifically designed to separate the components on both size and density. Following separation the material can then be further processed under the WRAP protocol and sold as aggregate.

Richard Coulton Concludes: “With over one million tonnes of roadside and gully waste to be dealt with each year nationally, there has never been a better moment for local authorities to revisit how they deal with their road and gully waste.”