Waste stories 21/3/2016


OmarOmar Fernandez Sanfranciso

1. Joint Healthcare Waste and Resources Research Group and ISWA International conference (sponsored by Grundon Waste Management)

In conjunction with the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), the Group will be hosting an international conference on April 14 and 15, 2016. It will be held at St Thomas’ Hospital in London.

One of the speakers will be Omar Fernandez Sanfranciso. Omar began his career in the Research and Innovation Unit of a Regional Hospital (Hospital de Poniente, Almería), and then moved on to the Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology Department of the Medicine Faculty (University of Granada).

He began working for ATHISA Group in 2009 as member of the R&D Department, focusing development of the MIMO System Project. The project included the preparation and follow up of projects, technical design and development of essays. In 2013, The ATHISA R&D team was awarded with the Eureka Innovation Award for the MIMO System Project.

The full programme can be found here: Programme – March 2016

Sponsors include: Daniels, Econix, GV Health, Frontier Medical Group, Newster, Sharpsmart, Cloud Sustainability, SRCL and ISS Ltd.

Booking details can be found at: healthcare waste 2016 conference

2. California clarifies RCRA hazardous pharmaceutical requirements

In a response to a question the State of California has indicated the following as shared by the California Hospital Association:
” DTSC states that California’s regulations on the definition of empty containers are currently more stringent than those of the federal EPA. The letter advises California health care facilities to include the total weight (of the container and the residue) on the hazardous waste manifest and states that this weight will count toward the monthly total to determine if the health care facility meets the one kilogram per month threshold for acute hazardous waste. The letter further advises health care facilities to be aware that DTSC will use the weight of the container and residue to calculate tonnages and collect annual generator fees”.
While the extent of this is not yet determined, I’d like to point out that including the weight of the container could move some hospitals out of the small generator category. It being California, this may have broader implications in other parts of the country or internationally.

(N.B. the extract above is taken from the Lindedin page of the the group ‘Pharmaceutical Waste’ coordinated by Bob Spurgin)

3. UK signs international secondary resources trade deal

An international voluntary agreement that aims to make better use of secondary resources was signed by representatives from France, Flanders, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in early March.

Led by the Dutch Government, the North Sea Resources Roundabout (NSRR), in the first instance, will aim to stimulate trade of incinerator bottom ash (IBA), which can contain plastics and ultra-fine non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, lead, zinc, silver and gold. Other materials, including PVC and compost, will be addressed later as part of the agreement.

Read the story here

4. London urged to work towards standardised collections

The London Assembly Environment Committee has launched a new report in which recommends putting long-term sustainability at the heart of all Mayoral strategies and that London should work towards standardised domestic waste.

The report, “Growing, growing, gone: Long-term sustainable growth for London” today identifies the key challenges to accommodate London’s growth, stating that “without good planning, London could suffer unreliable energy supplies and excessive carbon emissions; a shortage of drinkable water; contaminated flooding caused by sewage overflow; and habitat destruction resulting in fewer green spaces for Londoners.”

A copy of the report can be downloaded here

5. Wales passes Tax Collection & Management (Wales) Bill

Welsh minister for Finance and Government Business, Jane Hutt AM (pictured), announced at the CIWM Resources Conference Cymru in Cardiff earlier this month, that the Tax Collection & Management (Wales) Bill has been passed by AMs.

Landfill Tax and Stamp Duty Land Tax will be devolved to Wales from April 2018 and will be replaced with Landfill Disposals Tax and Land Transactions Tax.

Being the first Welsh taxes in 800 years, Hutt told delegates they presents an opportunity for Wales to develop them in a way that reflects the needs of the communities and businesses. To govern these Wales will establish its own tax authority, the Welsh Revenue Authority.

It was also announced that a portion of the Landfill Diversion Tax would go towards community initiatives with an environmental focus. Hutt said these initiatives would help move the country forward towards a circular economy and towards zero waste.