The Added Value of Waste Data

Jane Turrell is the Technical Director of our Waste & Resources team

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Datasets on the composition and characteristics of processed wastes have been collected for many years. Defra commissioned a large study on waste characteristics, published in 2009. What could trend analysis show us about the nature of changing waste arisings on processed waste in response to societal and regulatory changes since then? Some examples include…

  • Incinerator bottom ash – robust data sampled and tested under the ESA IBA protocol – trends in levels of bromine linked to use of flame retardants in textiles and waste electronics and battery-related contaminants like nickel, lithium and cobalt.
  • Air pollution control residues – decreasing pH with increased lime recycling as part of the flue gas treatment process, but how is the lime use optimised while still meeting ever-reducing emissions compliance limits, including for carbon?
  • MBT / MRF residue inputs and outputs – changes in intrinsic biodegradability in response to increased recycling of food and paper/card.
  • Feedstock for energy from waste – changing CV, biogenic carbon and contaminant levels as waste wood inputs increase, paper-based commercial waste is down and covid related wastes have settled down.
  • Leaching of organic compounds from wastes applied to land – we were previously concerned about metals and dissolved organic carbon, but now there is a wide range of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to collect evidence on too, such as PFAS and microplastics.

What other nuggets could we find in large anonymised datasets held by WRc and the waste sector on treated wastes?

How do they help us continue to manage wastes sustainably and safely in an evolving circular economy?

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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Jane Turrell

Technical Director (Waste & Resources)

Jane has extensive experience in technical consultancy relating to sampling plan design to provide representative samples and test data to inform waste characterisation, waste minimisation, waste recycling and resource efficiency studies. She has undertaken technical waste projects for a wide spectrum of environmental regulators, industrial waste producers, waste management companies and their trade bodies all aimed at providing robust and accurate evidence to support policy and business decisions. Jane is also heavily involved in the design and completion of environmental impact and risk assessments for the recycling of wastes to land.

2023-07-18 09:00:00