We are very excited to see East Yorkshire play a big part in the Tour of Britain, with Stage 3 ending in Beverley on 5th September.
As the town prepares for the big event, we are delighted to be able to support East Riding of Yorkshire Council in helping Beverley look its very best. Our organic PAS 100 compost will be used for the floral displays and planters lining the route in the town centre.
Stage 3 is from Goole to Beverley and covers 154.7km and we wish all competitors the very best.
During the last 3 years the use of compost derived from organic waste by gardeners has increased considerably in the UK. The main reason is that the extraction of natural peat deposits, previously used as garden and potting compost, has been banned by the end of 2023 to save the peatland ecology and protect the wildlife of dwindling natural peat bogs.
Composted organic waste has thus become an increasingly significant source of commercial compost products bagged and sold in garden centres and supermarkets and a great alternative source of plant growing media for a nation of gardeners.
Biodegradable waste is big business. Some 60% of all waste generated by households in the UK can be composted. * This can and should be treated to produce a product grade compost that serves both amateur gardener and agricultural business – as well as reducing the amount of waste to landfill where is would create hugely environmentally harmful methane gas.
But how green is organic waste?
The use of this recycled compost, created from residential organic waste helps improve soil fertility but if not managed properly in the treatment process can also be a source of microplastics that are present after the composting process.
Microplastics are tiny plastic particles that result from the breakdown of larger plastics and as a pollutant can be harmful to the environment and animal health. Generally, microplastics are plastic debris less than five millimetres in length, or about the size of a sesame seed.
The problem, however, starts at the very beginning of the waste journey where the plastic waste goes in the wrong bin.
To reduce microplastics the whole supply chain needs to contribute to ensuring that the compost produced, which is then spread onto the land, is clean and free of plastics.
This clearly starts with the householder doing their bit and continues with the local authority tightly regulating the collections. The waste operator then must play an important role in removing the unwanted plastics and other materials still present in the waste, prior to and during the composting process.
It is both time consuming and costly to remove the contamination from the waste once it gets this far down its journey. Contamination often enters the treatment site in the form of plastic bags, plant pots, plastic ties, labels, bulb nets, and other such items thrown in with kitchen waste, hedge, and grass cuttings. They are not always easy to spot and the composting process often causes disintegration of larger plastic items into smaller microplastics.
At Wastewise we use a range of methods that involve trommels and screens as well as hand-picking to reduce plastic contamination. Despite these interventions, it is not possible to capture and remove every scrap of plastic.
The ideal solution is a comprehensive approach that must start with Educating the householder and reminding them to be vigilant with organic waste content. Next this approach involves improved waste collection practices and increased efforts to reduce plastic waste at its source. As waste processors the final piece of the puzzle is continued improvements in plastic removal and clean up technology on site and continued vigilance. We hope that on-going and improved collaboration will help reduce the microplastic content further.
* Severn Waste Services
We are delighted to advise that we have secured a 10-year contract with North Lincolnshire Council to treat 17,500 tonnes of green waste per year.
The unitary authority is part of the Yorkshire and Humber region and has a population of over 169k* including the towns of Scunthorpe, Brigg, Haxey, Crowle, Epworth, Bottesford, Kirton in Lindsey and Barton-upon-Humber.
This is the 11th municipal contract to add to the our portfolio, valued at circa. £4.5m and will cover the treatment of around 17,500 tonnes of green waste per year. The waste will be collected from the kerbside and directly delivered by roadside collection vehicles to a site within the council area. This processing site will be run in partnership between Biowise, Down to Earth Recycling Ltd and Brier Hills Recycling Ltd.
A spokesperson for North Lincolnshire Council commented: “Biowise are providing us with an efficient and proven solution for the treatment of our green waste, the end product of which is high grade compost that promotes the circular economy.”
Over 95% of the waste will be recycled into PAS100 quality compost for horticultural and agricultural use. The majority will serve the local agricultural community thus helping reduce the carbon footprint of the area. The remaining process outputs are recycled or sent for energy and heat recovery.
“We look forward to working with North Lincolnshire Council in helping them achieve their waste management goals. The long-term contract will ensure that, together, we create clear, efficient processes to ensure an effective waste service for residents where as little as possible is wasted,” said Bob Wilkes, Managing Director, Biowise.
Our Cheshire East Council’s state of the art IVC and composting facility is getting ready for renewable energy in the form of solar panels.
The development of a solar farm to supply power to the facility at Leighton Grange is the culmination of a detailed, 3-year vision in partnership with Cheshire East Council. The 4.1 megawatt solar farm will not only help to provide renewable energy to power the composting plant operated by Biowise but will also put green energy back into the national grid, helping to offset a significant amount of the council’s carbon emissions.
The council is set to begin work on the large-scale solar farm, which will generate enough power for about 1,200 houses, on land adjacent to the composting plant to provide renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions.
“To add a carbon neutral source of power to the process by which Cheshire East Council recycles its kitchen and garden waste into PAS100 compost should be congratulated,” commented our Managing Director, Bob Wilkes. “It provides residents with a model of best practice on how to manage local waste and we are delighted to have been able to play our part in that process.”
Cheshire East Council has committed to becoming carbon neutral in its operations by 2025, and in supporting the wider borough to understand and reduce their carbon footprint. The target is based on an assessment of the council’s carbon footprint and covers the emissions that the council has direct control over, including streetlighting, gas and electricity from council-owned buildings, fleet vehicles and business travel.
Councillor Mick Warren, chair of the council’s environment and communities committee, said: “Cheshire East Council is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2025, and that means reducing emissions that the council has direct control over.”
The facility at Leighton Grange, which became fully operational in June 2020, has the capacity to process up to 75,000 tonnes per annum of food and garden waste. Over 95% of the waste inputs are recycled into quality BSI PAS 100 certified compost for use in horticultural, agricultural and landscaping markets. The remaining, small percentage of process outputs are recycled or sent for energy recovery.
We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as part of Phase 1 of the Hydrogen BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture & Storage) Innovation Programme.
The Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme supports technologies which can produce hydrogen from biogenic feedstocks and be combined with carbon capture. It forms part of the BEIS £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s.
The programme will run in 2 phases. Phase 1, total budget £5 million, will support multiple projects to scope and develop a feasible prototype demonstration project to be run in Phase 2.
Biowise is one of 22 organisations selected from across the UK to participate in the new programme, each receiving up to £250,000 of the Phase 1 funding. We plan to scope and develop the feasibility of processing waste compost oversize into a biogenic feedstock source for hydrogen gasifiers.
Currently the firm processes some 200,000 tonnes per annum of garden and food wastes through three composting facilities. Outputs include a range of quality compost grades, and an ‘over-size’ fraction of which comprises biomass materials (such as twigs, sticks and branches) which do not decompose within the composting process.
Accessing stable high value outlets for the compost over-size (COS) fraction is a challenge for the composting sector. Compared to other sources of waste wood, the material is generally unsuitable for direct combustion in energy from waste applications with the outcome being that the material is supplied into low value markets or sent for disposal.
The present absence of established and stable high value fuel markets creates little incentive for compost site operators to invest in innovative processes to produce a higher quality fuel. With Hydrogen BECCs Innovation Programme funding, we aim to develop a project that can process COS to produce a biogenic feedstock source for hydrogen gasifiers, addressing the current challenges associated with COS, and providing a fully biogenic feedstock for hydrogen BECCs supply chains. It is a huge privilege to be part of this new scheme.
Energy Minister, Greg Hands, stated:
“Accelerating home-grown renewables like biomass is a key part of ending our dependency on expensive and volatile fossil fuels. This £37 million of government investment will support innovation across the UK, boosting jobs whilst ensuring greater energy security for years to come.”
Last month we were delighted to be able to supply the Greengates & Apperley Bridge Community group with some of our 100% organic peat-free compost for use in their memorial gardens.
It was great to have the group of volunteers visit our site at Esholt to collect the compost for this important community project. The hard-working bunch took away 50+ bags of compost to help the new garden flourish. It’s important when we work in a community that we also work for that community and participate where we can. Glad we could be part of this.
Stacey Allen takes on the new role of Compliance Supervisor.
Stacey joined Wastewise five years ago in an accounting role which has since developed to include other aspects of the business. In this new role Stacey will provide a dedicated resource covering areas of health and safety, the environment and quality compliance. She will be responsible for promoting and driving a positive culture, ensuring all policies, procedures and training are up to date and providing guidance where necessary.
“I am excited about this new role,” states Stacey, “it will allow me to be involved across the whole business, taking an active part in ensuring our sites run safely and effectively. Working for a local firm with family values and one that is doing good things for the environment is important to me.”
Commenting on the appointment, Bob Wilkes Managing Director Wastewise said, “This new job function is crucial as we continue our growth plans and Stacey will play a pivotal role in ensuring that all our own and our customer sites achieve the highest quality standards in all areas. Stacey is the perfect candidate for the job, able to communicate and engage at all levels.”
We are happy to be working with Hull City Council and Yarrow Aggregates in donating 200 bags of compost from Hull’s brown bin collection service to the Hull Veg Cities project.
The compost will be used to support young people in schools across Hull to grow their own food.
Urbaser Ltd, a Cheltenham based environmental services company and UK subsidiary of the Urbaser Group, is pleased to announce that it has acquired Biowise Ltd (part of Wastewise Holdings Ltd).
Urbaser Ltd provides municipal, waste treatment, and recovery services to residents throughout the UK, focusing its operations on conserving resources, carbon reduction, and delivering a circular economy. The acquisition supports Urbaser Ltd’s growth strategy to expand its portfolio of waste treatment and commercial services solutions within the region, building on the acquisition of five waste management contracts from Amey and J&B Recycling Ltd during 2021.
Founded by the Landau family, Biowise is proud to be a leading recycling and waste management firm with over 50-years’ experience within the industry. Delivering services across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire, the business operates three organic waste treatment facilities, (including two state-of-the-art in-vessel composting facilities) and offers a Total Waste Management service to a range of local authority and commercial customers, which together generated over £13 million during 2021 through the management of 260,000+ tonnes of waste.
Javier Peiro, Managing Director of Urbaser Ltd, said: “We are delighted to announce the integration of Biowise into the Urbaser Group as another important step along the path of growth and example of our continued ambition to expand the range of services we offer to our local authority and commercial customers across the country. We are committed to ensuring that Biowise continues to deliver the exemplary level of service established by the Biowise team over the many years of operation.
“The collection and treatment of organic waste is a critical element of the United Kingdom’s overall waste management strategy. Through the delivery of the organic waste treatment and Total Waste Management services, Urbaser Ltd is pleased to be able to provide additional support to maximise recycling within the UK.”
The senior management team at Wastewise will remain within the business, including Bob Wilkes as Managing Director, who joined the company in 2017.
Mr Wilkes added: “We are very excited to be joining Urbaser and supporting the Group in its ambitious growth strategy within the UK.
“Biowise is very fortunate to have found a company which possesses the same values in respect of the provision of innovative and environmentally responsible solutions across the waste management sector.”
Commenting on the sale of his company to Urbaser, James Landau added:
“It was extremely important to me to find the right organisation to take the business forward and I have every confidence that Urbaser will nurture and build upon Biowise’s existing relationships with its various local authority and commercial customers to take the company to the next level.
“I am very proud of what we have achieved, and I am thankful to the whole team for their loyalty and support. I wish them and Urbaser all the best for the future as they embark on the next chapter.”
The Urbaser Group has been delivering environmental services across the world since 1990. It plays a key role in the advancement of the circular economy, acting as a strategic partner in cities and industries all over the world, providing efficient and innovative environmental management solutions which it implements through its business areas.
We are delighted to have been awarded a 2-year contract for the treatment of organic waste from the district of Staffordshire Moorlands.
Our tenth municipal contract, this latest Staffordshire Moorlands deal commenced on April 1st and is valued at around £1,300,000 over the period of two years. The contract will be run by AES, Alliance Environmental Services Ltd, on behalf of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.
All the organic material from Staffordshire Moorlands is bulked up at a central location in Leek and this will be collected by Wastewise for transportation to our own Cheshire East plant. This state-of-the-art Gicom In-vessel Composting Facility (IVC) in Leighton Grange, near Crewe can process up to 90,000 tonnes of organic waste per annum.
Since opening in June 2020, the facility has exceeded expectations in efficiency and processing capabilities, allowing additional capacity to take this new consignment of organic waste.
Darren Wood, AES Ltd commented: “Wastewise are providing us with an efficient and proven solution for the treatment of our organic waste, the end product of which is high grade compost that promotes circular economy.”
Over 96% of the waste inputs at Crewe are recycled into quality compost for use in horticultural, agricultural, landscaping or land remediation sector. All other process outputs are recycled or sent for energy and heat recovery.
“We look forward to supporting Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and AES with their organic waste treatment and in helping them achieve their waste management goals. We are proud to support 10 local authorities across north and mid-England, using our purpose-built facilities to ensure as little as possible is wasted,” said Bob Wilkes, Managing Director of Wastewise.