Flame UK are key workers

Amid the ever-developing Coronavirus situation and following Boris Johnson’s announcement on the Monday 23rd March 2020, Flame UK reassure you that we are all taking responsible actions during this time to support our key working industry. As the waste sector is included in the ‘key worker’ status, this means us here at Flame UK are classed as key workers.

The health of our partners, customers and our team members is our highest priority. As a business, we are closely following the government guidelines, as well as following the advice of Public Health England and the World Health Organisation by introducing a variety of measures to minimise the impact to public health. Please see our continuity statement for more information.

Recycling and waste sector employees have been granted ‘key worker’ status by the government during the crisis, meaning they will continue to provide you with your usual service. If you would like your services to be paused, please let us know by calling 0115 896 5460.

Why will we continue?

Collecting material is key for our future markets. We must continue to produce packaging for vital medical supplies and food, meaning we must continue to collect and convert materials in the most environmentally safe and economical way during such uncertain times.

If your business operation has been affected by the most recent government announcement, please contact our team as we are available and ready to help you and your business.

 

   

Flame UK Coronavirus Business Continuity Statement

Situated within a key working industry, our priority is to ensure all our customers continue to receive a high-quality service with minimal disruption, and to take practical measures to keep our employees, customers and the wider community safe. We are closely monitoring the potential impact of COVID-19 on our business operations and supply chains.  We continue to monitor advice issued by the UK Government via Public Health England (“PHE”), the Department of Health and Social Care (“DHSC”) and the current recommendations from the World Health Organisation (“WHO”).

Currently the impact on day to day operations is increasing, we continue to operate business as usual but with the following additional precautions and planning in place:

  • We have provided information to all employees in relation to hygiene and the importance of regular and thorough hand washing and use of hand sanitisers. Hand sanitisers have been distributed throughout the business and are readily accessible throughout our building. Advice from PHE has been circulated to all employees regarding good hygiene and precautions to take should you develop the symptoms.
  • Additionally, we are monitoring and recording employee travel plans with anyone returning from Category 1 high risk areas being advised to self-isolate and contact NHS services for further advice. Those returning from Category 2 areas are advised to self-isolate in the event they develop symptoms and contact NHS services.  This advice will be updated in line with government guidance.
  • We are ensuring employees work from home until further advice is issued by the government and the current restrictions are lifted.
  • Non-essential travel and meetings will be postponed or carried out remotely (skype etc).
  • Drivers will no longer obtain signatures via pda, to reduce person to person contact. Signed tickets may not be available during this time.
  • As part of the UK’S key workers amid the Covid 19 crisis, we are working closely with our partners and are doing everything we can to ensure that your Recycling and Waste Collections will continue as normal. We will endeavour to update you as soon as possible if there are any changes and ask that if your business is effected by the Governments closure advice, please do let us know. We will also continue to support Keyworkers nationally, with any additional requirements that may arise during this period.

The evolving situation is being closely monitored on an ongoing basis here at Flame UK and we will implement and distribute the appropriate advice and protocols recommended by the UK Government where applicable.  This includes amending our Continuity Plan on an ongoing basis to reflect the business needs and those of our customers should the impact become more severe.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or require further details.

Thank you for your help and cooperation at this time.

Pam Knight

Managing Director

   

Image of litter in bin

School Waste: Where does it all go?

It’s estimated that on average 4.2 million tonnes of good food produced by schools is wasted each year. That isn’t including any other types of waste, which we’re going to discuss in this blog. If you’d like to find out more about where food waste goes head over to our blog Food Waste: What happens when it’s collected. Schools produce such a wide variety of waste types, and we’re going to look into all of them.

Paper and Card

Paper and card can both be recycled (as long as it doesn’t have any sort of glitter, foil etc on that you would usually find with Christmas or Birthday cards, so make sure you try to pull any off before recycling). When they have been collected, they’re taken to a recycling plant where they get separated by type and grade. It then gets washed with soapy water to remove ink, plastic film, staples and glue. This then is put into a large holder and mixed with water to create “slurry” and by adding different materials, different paper products can be created from newspaper to cardboard. The slurry then gets spread into large thin sheets using large rollers. Once the paper is dry it is ready to be cut and sent back to shops. However, the paper is made up of long fibres meaning, each time it is recycled, those fibres are shortened so, therefore, paper cannot be recycled indefinitely.

Plastic Waste

Some plastics can also be recycled, once collected it gets taken to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and plastics are sorted into polymer types, because not all plastic items are made from the same form of plastic, some are also mixed. Once the materials have been separated they get transported to reprocessing facilities to be recycled by plastic-type. The plastic will either be shredded into flakes or melt-processed to form pellets, which can then be moulded into new products such as water bottles.

Unfortunately, a lot of UK plastic recycling is exported abroad due to the labour cost and infrastructure in the UK waste industry, and while some of it is still recycled into new products it’s hard to track exactly what happens to it once it has left our borders.

Garden Waste

Garden waste gets taken to a composting site where it then gets turned into a nutritious soil conditioner. Once it arrives at the composting site any material that isn’t compostable gets removed, usually by hand, and the remaining waste is shredded, and then left to decompose. The last part of the recycling process is to screen the compost to remove any remaining contaminants and grade the material for various end uses. This process can take between 8 and 16 weeks.

Another process that is available is in-vessel composting, this is the same however is under pressure and microbes are added to the material to speed the process up.

General Waste

General waste is waste which can’t be recycled such as non-recyclable plastics, polythene, some packaging, etc. 10 years ago, This waste would have been disposed of in landfill sites but with the advances in technology and space in the landfills decreasing rapidly, it means that there are different ways that we can deal with general waste, such as recovering energy from waste. Non-recyclable products are taken to an incinerator which burns the waste and collects the gasses, the gasses produced are then treated and converted into Gas and Electric that powers your home/business.

Metals

Waste metal is segregated down into types and is sent to a furnace to get melted down into ingots, a mass of metal shaped suitably for further processing, and can be sent to manufacturers and production companies. These ingots can be shaped and moulded into a variety of products, one of the most common uses for recycled metals is packaging such as cans or even computer components.

Glass

Once glass waste has been collected and taken to be reprocessed it gets crushed, and contaminants are removed at this stage. The glass then gets melted in a furnace and moulded or blown into new bottles or jars. Glass is 100% recyclable and can be endlessly reprocessed with no loss of quality.

We can provide services for any of these waste types and will work with you to find the best sustainable solution for you.

 

   

Gas Cylinder

Empty Gas Cylinders: What to do with them?

Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Industrial Gas cylinders are the property of the company named on the cylinder. If you receive gas cylinders to your site then they can be returned. You can contact us to arrange for UKLPG and BCGA members’ reusable cylinders to be collected.

What do you need to do?

The cylinders need to be stored securely and safely in an appropriate cage, and in an area that is safe for vehicles to park and the operator to load. The area should have hard standing, no build-up of slurry or mud and no overhead working taking place during collection.

Get in touch with us today and we will arrange for the relevant company or authorised agent to collect their cylinders.

 

   

Waste disposal costs are rising – here’s why

The waste industry in the UK is having a difficult time, global markets have driven recycling revenues down, tax increases and levies threaten disposal routes, and the uncertainty of the market post-Brexit has all added to an already struggling market.

It has been well publicised how the world’s doors have closed to UK exported waste and recyclable materials, being at the forefront of sustainable solutions has been harder to keep up with than ever for UK businesses over the past 12 months.

Many businesses have been exposed to cost increases for the disposal and handling of its waste, as well as tumbling recycling rebates. In some areas of the UK, businesses have reportedly had no option but to pay for the disposal of their cardboard and paper recycling.

Government Taxes over the past 10 years have increased the strain on disposal costs, and a serious shortfall of infrastructure capacity of UK based waste to energy facilities are being blamed. The UK government are licensing more power plants than ever before, but ultimately, is it too little, too late? I guess we will have to find out.

The changing situation in the UK and the EU

A large percentage of the UK’s 32 million-plus tonnes of waste produced each year is sent for recovery through energy from waste plants. The UK has a small number of plants however, plants in Northern Europe are used to process waste into energy. Some countries in Northern Europe have now implemented additional taxes for plants turning waste into energy, these incineration taxes have impacted on UK disposal routes gate fees.

Cardboard and Paper

Recycling rates for the UK’s cardboard and paper have dropped by as much as 70% in 2019, as demand for our recycled material dried up, without new licenses being issued and recyclers opening their doors to the UK product, we can expect yet more reductions. Some parts of the UK have already seen rebates totally dry up, and some businesses are being charged for the removal of cardboard. Specification for recyclable cardboard has also increased during the last 12 months, putting pressure on recycling facilities to improve the grades of material they accept and process.

Helpful articles for you

We have done our research and put together a list of the articles we think will be the most helpful to you:

Cost of rubbish disposal to rise £1bn as landfill taxes increase

Landfill Tax: increase in rates

Dutch RDF import tax could see waste cost hike

Sweden introduces energy from waste tax on refuse derived fuel (RDF)

Dutch senate backs ‘RDF tax’ but court case looms

Sweden confirms EfW tax from April 2020

Quality push remains in falling cardboard market

Working through the worst of times (for cardboard recycling)

 

   

 

 

Brexit – How will it affect our waste charges?

The UK produces around 400 million tons of waste from domestic and commercial facilities every year. For every ton of household rubbish, commercial, industrial and construction businesses produce a further six. Currently, a large proportion of our non-recyclable waste is exported to EU countries. With the UK being set to leave the EU on 31st January 2020, it’s left us thinking…how will it affect our waste?

What are we predicting?

We know that incineration costs tend to move in line with landfill costs, and we don’t know for sure what will happen, but it’s expected that once we leave the EU there will be taxes or levies put in place when exporting waste to the EU. Some waste management companies are already starting to put in a price increase just in case this happens. Some Northern European countries have already applied additional Taxes on Energy From Waste plants, applying yet more pressure on disposal costs.

How can we help? 

We will get to know your operation, your objectives, and environmental policies and discuss potential solutions. We will discuss areas to the greatest effect so that a positive outcome is more influential. The solutions will always be sustainable aspects and ensure the business operates in a cradle to cradle manor.

Case Study

We’ve been able to provide alternative solutions for one of our customers who had a Roll On Roll Off for their general waste that was being emptied three times a week before we were able to provide a more sustainable solution. What did we do? We took out bulk sacks, polythene, and wood waste so that this material can be recycled. With bulk sacks and polythene being collected together and waste wood separately, they now empty once in 9 weeks.

Get in touch with us by clicking the button below for your free no-obligation quote to find out how you can save, and be more sustainable.

(source for statistics https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/where-does-all-our-rubbish-go-465773.html)

 

   

Inside Care Home Waste

If you follow us on social media, you may already be aware of who Dove Cottage Day Hospice is. If you don’t, then Dove Cottage Day Hospice offers high-quality palliative daycare to those with life-limiting illnesses. Flame UK has been supporting Dove Cottage by encouraging businesses and schools to collect plastic bottle tops which they send to be recycled and in return, get money.

We asked Jenny Hendry at Dove Cottage what kind of waste they produce inside their hospice, here is what she had to say:

“We have all sorts of waste to deal with at the hospice, some of which will be familiar to the regular homeowner, but also other types that present different challenges.

The bulk of our waste is the regular kind, which we split into general waste and recycling. There are separate bins in different rooms around the hospice, with signs on those in the common areas explaining what can and cannot be recycled. These bins then get emptied regularly and put into large outdoor receptacles.

The facilities that we have for our regular waste are generally okay, although we can struggle for space when we’ve hosted an event, and the bins are too full. This then has a knock-on effect as we must find somewhere to store any overflow until we have a collection. As with any organisation, you don’t want too much waste hanging around! The other thing we need to stay on top of, as an environmentally responsible organisation, is ensuring we’re recycling everything we can.

With a lot of volunteers on our books, some 250, this can sometimes mean the waste needs to be checked and sorted to ensure that everything is in the right bins, especially when things change or it’s not immediately obvious what can and cannot be recycled.

Our other type of waste, which is more specific to a care environment, is contaminated waste. This is put in yellow and black striped bags, known as ‘tiger bags’. All such waste must be disposed of correctly, which is why we need to have a clear bagging system and a storeroom for the bagged, contaminated waste. Only certain people from our nursing or cleaning team handle the contaminated waste so we can make sure everything is done correctly; we also need to ensure everyone who’s in contact with the contaminated waste wears the correct protective clothing. The hospice is a relatively big space, and we need to manage the waste efficiently and safely in and around the building. The contaminated waste then gets placed in our normal outside black bins, with the onus being on the binmen to ensure it’s correctly separated from other types.

As a hospice and a care environment, our challenge is to make sure we are always handling waste in both a safe and environmentally responsible manner.”

Our support structure and account management is very communication focused. We can provide larger waste bins, or skips on a temporary basis, increase waste bin collections frequencies, or event-specific waste services. Identifying opportunities to recycle is extremely important, and all of our customers, where possible in the country will receive zero waste to landfill options.  Some waste material must go to landfill, but limiting this is essential to the environment.  Energy from waste is our preferred method of treating non-recyclable materials. A customer that generates large volumes of waste can benefit from waste compaction, or baling of card and polythene.  This has two main benefits; reduced cost from haulage and transportation, and reduced CO2 to the atmosphere, making your site more efficient.

Flame UK can offer any advice and services to the care industry, contact us on 0115 896 5460 to discuss your waste.

 

 

How to save money on energy for your care facility

Energy usage can’t be avoided for those in care facilities, but the costs can be reduced, and here is how:

Tariffs and contracts

Selecting the appropriate tariffs is vital to ensure that you’re paying for what is suited best to your business. They’re many tariffs to choose from such as standard, fixed energy, dual fuel and pre-payment, to name a few.

It’s also essential that you don’t end up on out of contract rates which are rates you have to pay when you haven’t signed a contract with your energy supplier. This can happen when you have told your supplier that you wish to terminate your contract but haven’t arranged another supplier for when the current deal ends. It can also happen if you’re trying to switch supplier and it takes longer than you had expected, meaning that your contract ends before you’ve been able to move over to a new supplier.

Heating your care facility

Making a switch to central gas heating from electric heaters can save you a lot. An electric heater can cost two-three times more per unit of heat than just one unit of heat from one of your radiators. Thermostatic radiator valves are devices which are fitted to the radiators and reduce the amount of water which passes through the radiator, enabling you to choose what temperature you want for each room.

Maintaining your care facility building

Keeping up on the maintenance of your care facility building such as ensuring the roof is well insulated. An uninsulated roof can lose a quarter of heat, by keeping on top of it can save you over £100 a year. Included in the maintenance of your care facility is taps. By having just one dripping cold tap fixed can save you as much as £100 on your water bill, and even more for a hot tap.

Also, ensuring the windows are closed, leaving open a window overnight can waste as much energy as a small car driving 35 miles.

Lighting around your care facility

Switch to LED lights. LED lights have a long lifespan, are energy-efficient, operate at full brightness the minute they’re turned on and have many more advantages. Changing to motion sensor lights will save money as it avoids the possibility of lights being left on when people have left a room.

Solar panels

Another option which can save you money is solar panels. Flame UK is in partnership with Amelio Solar Energy which means we can provide you with solar panels to help reduce your electricity bill. A reduction in your electricity bill isn’t the only advantage to solar panels; they are a renewable energy source and have low maintenance costs.

For any help and advice on the information in the blog, contact a helpful member of our team on 0115896 5460 or visit our website flameuk.co.uk

 

 

London, Leading from the front. What is ULEZ?

London Leading From the Front | What is ULEZ

From 8th of April Londoners will experience the onset of the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone). This new addition to the emission reduction strategy in London is aimed at improving the air quality for all Londoners. In this short article, we will go through what the ULEZ is, how it may affect you and your company and what companies like FYSLA are doing to avoid it.

WHAT IS ULEZ?

ULEZ is a new scheme by the DfT (Department for Transport), the basic principle of this new charge scheme is to reduce exhaust gas emissions of diesel-powered commercial vehicles in London. This, of course, will affect a wide range of vehicles that operate within the zone, something we will get more into later in the article. This comes into effect from 8th April 2019 with plans to extend dramatically by 2021.

SO WHERE IS THE ZONE?

Below you will see a map provided by the TFL that states the location and range of the charge scheme. It also shows the plans for the ULEZ in the coming years.

WHAT THE ULEZ MEANS FOR LONDONERS

If you are a Londoner or travel a lot throughout London, especially the central region you will soon face charges if your vehicle does not adhere to the roles. There are plenty of tools online to help you find out if your vehicle is exempt from the charge, such as TFL checker here https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone/check-your-vehicle.

WHAT ULEZ MEANS FOR TAXI’S

London Taxi Cabs and specifically Hackney Cabs are exempt from the charges. These taxi’s are subject to a 15-year age limit and new emissions standards have already been introduced for them. Check out this article by the TFL on how they plan to have the cleanest taxi fleet in the world. https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/taxis-and-private-hire/emissions-standards-for-taxis.

ULEZ FOR PRIVATE HIRE

Private Hire vehicles are different from taxi cabs as these are pre-booked vehicles that don’t adhere to a Hackney Cab License, basically restricting how they can carry their customers. All PHV operators will face the charge unless their vehicles meet the restriction. Only Wheelchair Accessible vehicles will have some exemptions, they will not be subject to the charge if they are carrying passages. At all other times, they will be set with the same standards as other PHV’s.

So how much will none ULEZ PHV operators have to pay?

ULEZ COSTS

With the new London ULEZ Charge Scheme in place if your vehicle doesn’t meet the regulations you will face the following charges:

“Daily ULEZ charge: £12.50

Penalty charge: £160 (reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days)

The daily charge will run from midnight to midnight, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

These are in addition to any Congestion Charge that applies. (Cars are not subject to the Low Emission Zone (LEZ).”

One Company that is avoiding these charges and providing their customers with a low emission service is FYSLA.

WHO ARE FYSLA?

Driving for excellence and improvements, FYSLA Luxury Travel was set up to be mindful of offering the very best in convenience, luxury and above all, its impact on the road. As we are aware many private high companies command miles of our roads on a day to day basis. You can often see a convoy of High-end saloon cars stampeding up and down the M1 with a solitary Director or CEO occupying a seat in the rear. Often, you might not realise, but these vehicles come with a heavy tax and emission bracket, along with the price tag.

FYSLA VS ULEZ

With this in mind and always keeping an eye on current trends and plans, FYSLA luxury Travel made sure they got the right vehicle for the job. In October 2017 they set out to offer a single type vehicle choice. The introduction of the Mercedes V Class was brought to the market. Offering up to 7 passengers at a time and with the inventive implementation of WIFI, TV along with a pull-out desk. FYSLA reimagined how you commute without losing downtime on business and how you can travel along conscious that your environmental impact is kept low. Fully loaded, this vehicle can achieve 45mpg on motorways. Its use of ADblue, fuel along with the diesel engine keeps its emissions at 160g/km vs the Mercedes S Class running at 247g/km and only offering half the passenger load.

In our recent chat with the owner of the business, he was able to give us an insight into his plans in the future. He also informed us of what he does to keep ahead of the trends.

“It is really important to us to make sure we created a business conscious that we move with our countries vision for greener forms of transport. We keep in constant contact without local Mercedes provider, keen to be able to offer the next generation of vehicle” Ross Lethbridge.

FYSLA HISTORY

The owner of FYSLA Luxury Travel came from an aviation background where fuel consumption counts for almost half of the airline’s overheads. Because of this Ross has always had an understanding of environmental impact. He added “we know that fuel is the major player in our business. Being able to offer the most efficient vehicle on the roads will help us and make our customers feel more comfortable. Helping them make the right choice for commuting, travelling or whatever their use for our services might be. We intend to be at the edge of that curve in changes to the way we travel”. Ross’ has an option with his Mercedes dealership on the first hybrid Mercedes V Class, which is due to the marketplace in early 2020.

Keep an eye out for ULEZ and consider Chauffeurs with an environmental focus such as FYSLA for your next business transportation needs.

Our thanks to Ross from FYSLA for his help and support in making ULEZ a little clearer for us all.

 

 

R & D and how you can can benefit

There’s money hiding in the work that you do.

You would be surprised at what qualifies for R&D tax relief. It’s not just for people in white lab coats.

R&D tax relief is the government’s way of rewarding companies that are developing new or improving existing products, processes, services, devices and materials or advancing the knowledge in their sector.

R&D tax legislation is complex, but our friends over at CATAX are experts and will do all the hard work for you.

Here are some examples of R&D from our industry.

Example 1:

A very specialised aluminium recycling company, with several unique processes:

1) Reducing the amount of recycled aluminium going overseas,

2) Keeping higher quality material in the UK

3) Reducing material going to landfill with a ‘0% to Landfill’ policy

4) Setting new highs in the separation of recyclable material, increasing quality

Example 2:

The company is a media platform that reaches consumers like never before. Advertisers can choose who carries their campaigns, when they carry it and where it gets carried to, with adverts on the side of the paper bags.

  1. a) bags are made from stone paper, not plastic.
  2. b) An App has been developed for advertisers.
  3. c) An algorithm, with patent pending, has also been created.
Example 3:

Recycle mixed building and demolition site waste.

The objective was to build a bespoke recycling line, which would double production from 25 tonnes to 50 tonnes per day, and provide 3 different categories, similar to the current machine, but with an additional category 20-50 mm.

Example 4:

Recycling company required bespoke CRM and order management solution needed to reduce inaccuracies across the various functions/ steps in linking sellers of recyclable waste and thousands of clients, who wanted to buy the material.

The money you get back could help fund your next project:

  • Software development
  • Automation
  • Failed and successful projects
  • Development of new materials
  • Improved processes
  • Development of new and improved products
  • Development of environmental products
  • Development of innovative formulas
  • Plus many more…

Thanks to Sue Armstrong from CATAX for these wonderful insights