Cutting red tape will make it easier to turn millions of tonnes of industrial and commercial waste into usable materials, according to the Environment Agency and Government-funded recycling champion WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme). The initiative, the Waste Protocols Project, follows in the footsteps of a successful trial in this area which redefined composted waste that met certain standards as a Non-waste product.
The second round of the project will focus on five major waste streams:
- Steel slag from steel manufacture, which can be reused in construction and building materials and as an agricultural fertiliser.
- Gypsum from waste plasterboard which can be used to make new plasterboard and in cement products.
- Incinerator bottom ash which is made up from glass, porcelain, brick, gravel, sand, slag and ash from household waste that is burnt in incinerators, and can be used as aggregate in construction materials.
- Paper mill ash which is produced when sludge from paper making is burnt for energy recovery and the ash can be used as an aggregate.
- Uncontaminated top soil from greenfields and development sites can be reused on a wide range of horticultural and leisure sites such as parks, golf courses and football pitches.
In addition the protocol will also look at the status of the by-products of anaerobic digestion, the technique of disposing of food waste favoured in the recently published Waste Strategy.
The project will set standards that the by-products must meet and, should they do so, will do away with the need for costly licensing to dispose of or transport waste.