Road sweepings are no longer a waste: as our Quality Protocol for the Production of Aggregates gains approval

April 16, 2015 11:33 am Published by

We’re thrilled to report the Environment Agency has approved our ‘quality protocol’ for the production of aggregates from our road sweepings/gully waste recycling plant. This means all the waste materials we pick up by our own fleet and process can be reused rather than sent to landfill as we ensure they lose the criteria which class them as ‘waste’.

This is such a win-win-win situation for everyone. To name but three benefits, materials are put to good use instead of being landfilled; they’re cheaper for onward users to buy than ‘virgin’ aggregates; and it helps our clients to meet their sustainability targets.

We’re among the first companies ever to achieve this quality protocol and, we believe, the first business of our kind to do so.

Waste recycling facility

Some readers will already know that we’ve invested heavily in our on-site waste recycling facility in St Philips, Bristol, which we opened in 2012. Road sweeper waste enters the plant and is put through a process to separate, sand (0-5mm diameter) and gravel/stone (5-25mm diameter). The aggregates go on to be reused by quarrying companies, groundworkers, construction companies and highways contractors – at a much cheaper cost than they pay for new materials. Meanwhile, we send all the water to the Sewage Treatment Works in Avonmouth, Bristol, for onward treatment and reuse.

It’s not just the sweepings which PMG collects which are treated in this way – we process many tonnes a week on behalf of other companies. We’re currently producing around 200 tonnes of each aggregate every week. That’s going some!

The quality protocol

It took us seven months to gain approval for this quality protocol, working closely with the Environment Agency. They examined each output stream to establish if it could lose its stigma of ‘waste’. Waste management regulations, which mainly fall under the EU Waste Framework Directive, protect human health and the environment but they can hinder the development of potentially large recycling opportunities.

The quality protocol clearly sets out what we must do to produce fully-recovered, non-waste, quality aggregates and we have a rigid testing regime in place for all outputs. By following the quality protocol we can create sustainable resources in which end users can have total confidence.

Another benefit to the local community is that we’ve taken on two new staff to manage the quality protocol work – a yard foreman for the plant and an administrator.

This really does feel good. What do you think?


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This post was written by Danny Liddeatt

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