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European Pathway to Zero Waste announce three potential Quality Protocols

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A Quality Protocol may provide the much needed regulatory clarity to generate market confidence and help stimulate investment in new anaerobic digestion technology. It will provide standards to inject quality biomethane direct into the grid and for use as a vehicle fuel.

Ash from the combustion of meat bone meal

Annually, approximately 60,000 tonnes of ash from the combustion of meat and bone meal is produced in the UK and sent to landfill. A Quality Protocol could provide the standards by which fertiliser and building materials (such as aggregate and concrete blocks) can be produced to an industry recognised specification using treated ash from this waste stream. For producers of the ash, substantial savings could be made through reduced disposal costs. For farmers and building materials manufacturers who require this product, it would provide quality assurance in the recycled material they buy.

Coal tar for aggregate

The project will also look at coal tar covered road planings, a waste product created in the maintenance and improvement of roads which requires treatment before it is landfilled. Producing a Quality Protocol standard to stimulate reuse and sale of material conforming to such a guideline offers the potential to use this material as a building aggregate. This could significantly reduce disposal costs for road construction companies and provide the opportunity to buy, sell and reuse a quality recycled material. Such innovation could contribute to the UK meeting its landfill diversion targets through provision of an alternative waste management route.

Margaret Doherty, EPOW Programme Executive, explains the purpose of the new Quality Protocol development, "Through our research with industry, we have identified that these materials have the potential to make the most difference for South East businesses and the environment. Through this work we hope to gain best practice insights that can be used to demonstrate the benefits and share our work to encourage this approach in other EU regions."

Mervyn Jones, WRAP’s Head of Production and Procurement adds, "By complying with Quality Protocols businesses can remove the stigma surrounding the "waste" label, making their waste-derived products more marketable and attractive to buyers. As well as cutting the cost of regulation, the Quality Protocols can help increase sales for businesses by building consumer confidence and value for waste-derived products in the market place. Having successfully delivered seven Quality Protocols to date, we’re delighted that European Pathway to Zero Waste is employing the Waste Protocols model to further benefit business in the South East."

To stay up to date on the development of the new quality protocols and to find out how you can contribute, please visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/EPOW

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