Home Manufacturing & Industry Standards-making committee calls for Solid Recovered Fuels evidence in UK

Standards-making committee calls for Solid Recovered Fuels evidence in UK

Standards committee

The International Standards Organisation (ISO) TC300 Solid Recovered Fuels is embarking on a new investigation into the desire and demand for standards, for the recovery of wastes for re-purposing.

Currently, the TC300 only covers non-hazardous wastes as inputs into energy conversion. However, the adhoc committee writing the report – and convened by the UK – believes this move may support the flexibility, economic value and re-use of materials currently considered purely for energy conversion.

The Committee is therefore appealing to waste operators and innovators, to come forward with the evidence they believe will help shape fresh understanding and potentially the formation of new standards in the recovered non-hazardous waste marketplace.

As part of their deliberations, industry leaders from across the world gathered in Florence last Autumn and commenced an exploratory project, which seeks to add value to the utilisation of non-hazardous waste for societal benefit. TC300 believes that newly-devised standards could provide harmonised and holistic methodologies, greater confidence and trust in these resources, worldwide.

Groups in countries ranging from China to Canada are now working hard to uncover the data needed to take the assignment forward, but deeper insight into the UK’s (and other countries’) approaches to waste transformation is required.

Chair of the UK’s BSI mirror committee PTI/17 Gideon Richards and committee member Marcus Brew, managing director of UNTHA UK, are therefore urging industry professionals to share their voice and help make this programme happen.

A plethora of data is being sought including:

  • Market uses of recovered waste materials (whether turning Commercial & Industrial materials into a <30mm flock, plastics into oils, or anything in between);
  • Global reach of these markets;
  • Details of varying output specifications for converted waste;
  • The volume of input materials available, output materials required and a gap analysis of UK capacity;
  • Evidence of ‘near-production’ recovered waste innovations that are yet to be commercialised;
  • The varying terminology being given to these converted wastes and the processes involved;
  • Examples of quality-driven best-practice.

The findings will be used to deliver a draft paper to the TC300 Secretariat in April, with a view to discussing with global TC300 colleagues in September 2019. When all of the data has been assimilated, the objective is to provide a number of pragmatic evidence-based options, which could then be taken to ISO for development.

Gideon Richards from the standards-making committee elaborated: “We strongly feel that there is a significant need for guidance, clarity and consistency, at a time when the resource agenda is pressing, yet the economic climate is turbulent. We hope that new standards will add depth, coherence and robustness between different parts of the ‘waste’ industry – especially those in their infancy – but we need help to uncover all of the data we require.

“There may be others who have already begun this work – in which case I encourage them to get in touch so that we can share knowledge and collaborate, rather than duplicating effort. This isn’t about infringing on anyone’s intellectual property – it’s about setting out the parameters of best practice when it comes to quality, safety and the supply chain.”

Explaining why he chose to get involved, Marcus Brew of UNTHA UK said: “We’ve seen first-hand the difference it can make when a quality focus is given to the manufacture and trade of Solid Recovered Fuels – and standardisation will undoubtedly add value to the marketability of SRFs moving forward.

“Yet recovered waste material isn’t just about energy conversion of course. So, we hope that by issuing a ‘call to arms’ to industry, we can share ideas, highlight frustrations and illustrate where opportunities are being missed, with a view to changing what’s possible in the resource world.

“We know there’s enough waste out there, but perhaps we need to shake the tree to instigate change when it comes to converting it.”