Monthly Archives: January 2016


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    In November 2013, Environcom England based in Grantham has been awarded membership of the British Safety Counciland is now recognised as a company "committed and dedicated to keeping our people safe and healthy at work.”

    The British Safety Council is a registered charity that provides health, safety and environmental training, support and advice to members.

    To be awarded membership, Environcom needed to prove its commitment to working safely, including best working practices, which go beyond that of legal compliance with regards to standardised health and safety procedures.,

    Free training, which is also provided as part of the membership, ensures continued improvement for the future of Environcom employees. Environcom as members are also committed to the British Safety Council’s Five Star audit process, and as such aim to reach the highest possible standards ranked by the award of stars, thereby setting the benchmark in order to attain the prestigious and highest scoring 5 star award within the first two years of full membership.

    At Environcom, employee safety and high standards training remains our number one priority, and has been paramount in a programme of revitalising how Environcom has progressed and operated with regards to safety within the Re-use and Recycling Industry.

    Environcom is committed throughout the group to improve safety within the organisation, and the company remains on course and aims and aspires to be, the very best and safest in the Recycling industry by continuing its future partnership with the British Safety Council.

  • Nick Boles' Visit to Environcom

    PRESS RELEASE: Friday 10th October 2014

    BUSINESS & EDUCATION Minister Nick Boles MP


    Environcom announces major investment with Cranfield School of Management and creates 100 new jobs


    "Driving innovation, managing resources and creating skilled jobs within the circular economy is the key to green growth,” said Business & Education Minister Nick Boles MP during a visit to Grantham-based Environcom today (Friday 10th October).

    The minister was at the home of the UK’s biggest independent recycler of WEEE (waste electronic & electrical equipment) to launch a £100,000 joint initiative between Environcom and Cranfield School of Management, a training and development programme which is the first of a number of initiatives by Environcom to drive innovation in green manufacturing and support the growth of the circular economy.

    The first stage of the investment will see Environcom and Cranfield School of Management developing a post graduate programme to look at the various drivers and behaviour change needed to grow the circular economy. The broad-ranging programme will support recycling, usage and sales of second life electrical items and include design, research and business development. The research is designed to support the whole of the green manufacturing sector.

    At the same time, Environcom, which is a major employer in Grantham, also announced the creation of 100 new jobs across its four UK sites, providing further opportunities for young and unemployed people to join the workplace, train and develop their skills in the growing UK recycling industry.

    Environcom now operates four WEEE sites across the UK including Grantham in Lincolnshire, West Midlands, North Wales and North London. Together, they process more than five million items of waste electrical and electronic equipment each year, either for reuse or recycling.

    Nick Boles MP commented: "Environcom is an important employer not only in Grantham but in all of the four areas it operates in. Its collaboration with Cranfield University is an important driver for green manufacturing. In addition, the creation of 100 new jobs across its business will massively help boost these local economies as well as Britain’s wider green economy.”

    Environcom CEO, explains: "Environcom is at the heart of a new manufacturing industry that will create millions of pounds of revenue for the UK economy. Through our reuse and recycling programme, we are re-manufacturing valuable resources such as copper, steel and plastic back into UK industry, as well as creating a new remade in Britain market for waste electrical items. Our announcement with Cranfield is the first step to build vital skills to drive the green economy forward.”

    Environcom is the UK’s biggest independent recycler of WEEE and leads the industry in the area of re-use - its team of expert engineers currently re-use more than 10% of all the electrical items it receives. The company has a number of contracts with leading retailers of electrical goods including John Lewis, Argos and Dixons as well as with key local authorities across the UK and is responsible for their electrical and electronic recycling and reuse requirements in the UK.

    Environcom’s ‘reuse’ and ‘recycling’ model is substantially more beneficial to both the environment and the community than traditional methods of handling WEEE waste. It takes twenty times more energy to mine aluminium than to recycle it and it takes twenty times more energy to turn a scrap machine into a new machine than it does to repair and re-use it.

  • WEEE businesses concerned over ‘illegal’ fridge recycling

    19 February 2015 | By Chiara Francavilla

    Some specialist recyclers of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) are urging the Environment Agency (EA) to do more to enforce regulations mandating that fridges be recycled in dedicated plants. They complain of being undercut by "illegal” operators.

    MRW exclusive

    Grantham-based Environcom and Wolverhampton-based Aqua Force Recycling both operate advanced fridge recycling facilities, which were upgraded in light of EA rules from February 2013 which deemed pentane fridges to comprise hazardous materials.

    Compressors, the most valuable part of fridges for metal recovery, must be removed using ‘appro­priate equipment and by suitably trained staff at a permitted facility’. Fridges must also be stored and handled ‘appropriately’ to prevent damage to the cooling circuit or compressor.

    But chief executive at Environcom, told MRW that significant volumes of fridges are being dismantled in yards which do not follow EA guidance. He said that on a weekly basis his company is offered fridges with missing compressors.

    "It is having a massive impact on legitimate businesses because there is not enough volume to keep us at capacity. We are basically loss-making,” he added.

    Similar experiences have been reported by Tony Naik, sales director at Aqua Force, who said the number of requests to process such partially recycled fridges had increased at his company in the past 18 months.

    The EA told MRW that it had increased efforts to enforce the regulations and it encouraged firms to report suspect incidents.

    A spokesman said: "Waste companies have a duty of care to ensure this is managed properly. As part of an active programme of compliance, [we have officers who are] inspecting sites that manage waste metals and taking steps to ensure that operators comply with the law.

    "We have alerted our inspectors to be vigilant for signs of poor or illegal management and treatment of waste fridges, including the compressor components. This includes our inspections of metal recycling facilities.”

    Feeney has set up an informal organisation to be the voice of WEEE recyclers in the UK. The group is calling on Defra to clarify what is considered ‘appropriate handling’ of end-of-life fridges, and to classify compressors as hazardous materials unless they are drained under a vacuum.

    Many scrap yard operators in the UK are members of British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA), which Feeney said could be taking a more active role.

    But BMRA director general Ian Hetherington responded: "While we continue to take issue with the EA’s reclassification of the materials recovered from fridges containing pentane gas in the insulating foam as hazardous, the agency’s guidance must be followed.

    "We certainly do not encourage our members or anyone else to process fridges that have been depolluted in breach of their permit.”

    Scale of the problem

    Environcom has estimated that 75,000 tonnes of fridges are processed outside EA guidance. The figure is the difference between the 190,000 tonnes of fridges put on to the UK market in 2013 and the 114,000 accepted by Approved Authorised Treatment Facilities (AATFs), according to EA data.

    Some caveats apply. First, it is unlikely that one tonne of fridges put on to the UK market will generate one tonne of end-of-life fridges. For example, the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances told MRW that householders often buy new fridges but keep existing ones.

    The EA also pointed out the 114,000 figure does not include fridges reprocessed by legitimate operators that have not sought permission to issue WEEE evidence under the producer responsibility regime and are therefore not considered AATFs.

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