Recycling roundup 12th November

Hartlepool council have given the go-ahead to plans to open a £6 million waste paper recycling facility that is set to create 50 jobs.

The planning agents for the company who own the plant say that it will be one of the most high-tech paper recycling facilities in the UK, if not the world, and it will be operational for 20 hours per day for 5 days per week.

The plant’s main job would be to remove packaging board and any contaminants from fibres so it can be turned into new paper products. The company has already secured a 10-year contract to supply 150,000 tonnes of recycled paper to a UK firm and they’ll be bringing IT, plumbing and electricians jobs to the areas as well as openings for facility staff. The council believes that this is a promising investment in Hartlepool, especially as it’s an area where more jobs are needed.

 

Many stories have come to light about cutbacks at recycling and waste centres and how they have stopped people recycling their waste, especially plastics. Now there’s another one, as the Summers Lane Reuse and Recycling Centre in North Finchley no longer accepts plastic. Residents say that they were aware that the facility did not accept some plastics previously, but now they won’t accept any.

One resident voiced his concern about plastic ending up in the sea and being ingested by birds and fish and couldn’t understand why the facility was no longer accepting it.

A big reason is that the cost of recycling plastic has risen considerably in the last few months, mainly due to a ban on waste imports in China and Malaysia.

The Summers Lane facility stopped accepting hard plastics back in March. Reusable hard plastic items are sent to a second hand shop at another recycling centre where they are sold. If plastic items aren’t reusable, they are bundled in with general waste.

A spokesperson for Barnet council said that the facility can accept plastic bottles but no hard plastics. He added that recycling facilities were removed from all of the recycling facilities operated by the North London Waste Authority earlier this year as there were a lack of viable markets to send them to.

 

A waste and recycling company in London has been fined and its director has been jailed after the death of a worker.

Gaskell’s (North West) Limited and it’s director, Jonathan Gaskell, were sentenced for their role in the death of a man back in 2010, and for continuing to operate the same machine in a dangerous manner for up to five years after the incident.

The machine was used to compress recyclable and waste materials into small bales and it had a defeated interlock system which meant that workers could go into the machine while it was in operation. The man had entered a chamber of the machine to clear some waste materials that had caused a blockage and the machine activated, causing traumatic injury to both of his legs. He was pronounced dead on his way to hospital.

When the HSE and Merseyside Police investigated, it was found that the machine’s safety interlock system had been malfunctioning for two months prior to the man’s death and it was poorly maintained.

HSE inspectors were informed that the company was still using the machine five years later despite further safety issues being present and operators being put at serious risk of injury.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined 700,000 plus almost 100,000 costs. Director Jonathan Gaskell of pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was sentenced to eight months in prison.