The Waste Protocols Project, officially launched by Sir John Harman, chairman of the Environment Agency, is designed to play a major role in reducing many common types of commercial waste which have traditionally ended up in landfill.
Sir John Harman said "Nationally the amount of waste we are generating is increasing year on year, and for every tonne of household waste produced, business and industry generates another six, with most of it destined for landfill sites around the country.”
Faithful+Gould was appointed to work with the Environment Agency in November 2005 to produce the business case for the project, which was subsequently successful in attracting £1m funding under Defra’s Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) Programme.
Since the submission of the business case the consultancy has been acting in the capacity of 'pre-project manager', with delegated responsibility for devising the organisational structure, communication activity, team recruitment and facilities management.
Adam Jones, Faithful+Gould project manager based in Exeter, stated that from day one of his involvement the client had stressed the national and international importance of the project.
"This project is a trailblazer, and one which is being closely observed by the European Commission," he said. "The expectation created by the project is immense, and this is reflected by the scrutiny it is under from all sides of the political spectrum and industry."
The Waste Protocols project will provide a step by step guide on how it can turn up to 10 types of waste into profit. The developed protocols will provide guidance to business that will:
- Define the point of recovery from a waste back into a product or material that can be either reused by the business or industry or sold into other markets; or
- Define when wastes are recovered to a state where the Environment Agency considers that their use is acceptable in accordance with their Low Risk regulatory principles; or
- Confirm to the business community what legal obligations remain to control the re-use of the treated waste material.
"The potential success of the project is directly linked to the engagement and adoption of the protocols by industry," added Adam.
"Within four weeks of being appointed to the project, we had established an advisory board consisting of 15 organisations including the Confederation of British Industry and the Institute of Directors. They have been instrumental in formulating the strategy and identifying the 10 waste streams which have been selected to form the project."
The protocols for the ten waste streams, which include plastics, flat glass and tyre shred will be developed and published over the next year.