A north east waste management business has become one of only two sites on mainland Britain to achieve the coveted European WEEELABEX accreditation; a gold standard for the environmentally safe recycling of waste fridges and cooling equipment included within the Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive.
This achievement places Gap Group (NE) Limited in Gateshead at the forefront of the WEEE reprocessing and recycling sector and puts it in a strong commercial position well ahead of the Government’s more stringent new regulations around minimum gas capture rates which are coming into force in August 2022.
Peter Moody group managing director at Gap Group (NE) Limited said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive the WEEELABEX accreditation, especially as we come out of lockdown with all the challenges that has brought.
“This standard is often referred to as the jewel in the electrical waste crown because of its stringent demands around all aspects of the process including a thorough audit of all the suppliers to ensure that not one aspect is over looked or one percent lost into the atmosphere.
Graeme Milne, strategic business development director at Recycling Electrical Producers Industry Consortium (REPIC) the UK’s largest WEEE producer compliance scheme and member of the WEEELABEX Governing Council, said: “WEEELABEX certification is one of the highest accolades in fridge recycling and this quality approval is great news for the industry.
“To know one of our key recycling partners has been given the seal of approval from WEEELABEX reassures producers that WEEE is being dealt with effectively, efficiently and sustainably.”
Gap Group employs 110 people at its Gateshead facilities and has invested millions of pounds over the past five years; together with WEEE processing they provide food and organic waste processing and precious and rare earth metal recycling.
Mr Moody continued: “We are now poised to achieve our strategic objectives of developing a dynamic thriving business to address some huge and ever more pressing environmental impacts.
“We’ve put down a marker well ahead of any enforced regulatory changes and invested heavily to ensure we can offer exactly what is going to be needed as an ethical and ambitious waste management business.
“We believe the upgrading of regulatory standards in the UK is long over due. The gases and other dangerous materials involved in the processing and recycle of fridges and other electrical equipment are tremendously harmful to the environment and must be entirely contained.
“If these standards are not being maintained or enforced that means harmful gases will continue to be released into the the atmosphere and as we know this is causing terrible long term consequences for the environment; not least the continuing rise in carbon emissions leading to global warming with all its associated impacts on the future of the planet.”
WEEELABEX was established in 2011 by the European Association of Electrical and Electronic Waste Take Back Systems; it is a landmark certification that sets standards and closely monitors the processing and disposal of WEEE and is achieved only after many months of rigorous investigation and testing.