RECYCLE WEEK – PRESSING QUESTIONS FROM RWM 2023
Recycle Week, hosted by Recycle Now, is the one week of the year in which organisations from all sectors across the UK get together to encourage and inspire the public to recycle more of the right things, more frequently.
This Recycle Week, we’re taking a trip back in time to the Resource & Waste Management Expo (RWM) to discuss the most pressing issues faced by those in the waste sector.
SINGLE-USE PLASTICS – WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Right across the UK, local authorities are struggling with single-use plastics in their waste streams. We were approached by a number of waste officers at RWM 2023, all wondering how they can reduce the amount of single-use plastics within their waste streams.
Single-use plastics pose several issues to councils. Not only do these persistent materials pollute our water bodies, parks and streets, but authorities are also bound by national and regional regulatory obligations aimed at reducing the amount of plastic waste sent to landfill.
Alfred H Knight offers a complete suite of waste sampling and analytical services, designed to present clients with a comprehensive understanding of their waste streams. By building an accurate and reliable profile of municipal waste, local authorities can make informed improvements to their waste-handling operations, helping remove and recover single-use plastics from their waste streams.
Through research conducted by our waste experts, local authorities can also build recycling campaigns aimed at encouraging residents to recycle and educate how to do so in a way that will lessen the impact on waste management companies down the line.
CLEARING THE AIR ON VAPES AND E-CIGARETTES
Disposable vapes and e-cigarettes are becoming a huge issue for the waste management sector. Just last month, Material Focus reported that the number of disposable single-use vapes thrown away had quadrupled to 5 million per week.
Vapes are not only tough to recycle, but they also contain hazardous liquids and can cause dangerous bin fires due to the lithium-ion batteries inside. Therefore, it is no surprise that local authorities are looking to assess the amount of disposable vapes found within their waste streams in order to plan how to handle this issue.
As an industry leader in waste composition analysis, Alfred H Knight is constantly moving with the times. We are therefore able to tailor our services to meet the current needs of clients, categorising disposable vapes and other e-waste in our reports. This gives clients a clear understanding of the scale of the problem they are facing and will allow them to build campaigns to help solve the issue.
EXTENDING THE LIFE OF LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES
Whilst reducing the number of vapes being disposed of should be the number one priority of local authorities, waste management companies could find further value in these discarded products.
The lithium-ion batteries found in e-cigarettes are composed of critical materials such as lithium and cobalt. By reprocessing (shredding and crushing) these end-of-life batteries, a material known as ‘black mass’ is produced.
From this, battery recyclers can extract levels of these critical materials that are sought-after feedstock for smelters, enabling organisations to find further value in their waste products and support a circular economy.
As experts in metals and minerals, Alfred H Knight is conducting innovative experimental research into the phase characteristics of black mass. By doing so, we are helping to improve sampling and analysis techniques which support a full understanding of the metal content. Therefore, allowing clients to better understand the composition of, and extract maximum value from their material.
DO YOU HAVE AN ISSUE YOU WANT TO DISCUSS WITH AN EXPERT?
Whether you would like to discuss single-use plastics, how to determine the amount of vapes in your local authorities’ waste streams, or anything else, Alfred H Knight can help.
Head to our contact page today and get in touch with one of our experts today to see how we can support your organisation.