Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Contractors face clamp down on 'sham recovery'

Rogue contractors who mix contaminated materials into recycled aggregate products will be targeted in a major clamp down, the Environment Agency promised this week.

Agency head of environmental protection external programmes Martin Brocklehurst told NCE's Waste Summit that the Agency was going to come down heavily against "sham recovery" of recycled aggregate.

Brocklehurst said the Agency was preparing two prosecutions against rogue contractors. They had been mixing materials such as asbestos into recycled aggregate products.

"We are finding sham recovery to be a big problem at the moment," said Brocklehurst, The quality of recycled aggregate is strictly regulated under the Environment Agency's Aggregate Protocol but industry experts told NCE the protocol had not been widely enforced by the Agency.

The drive was welcomed by Tarmac recycling director Alan Sheppard.

"The Agency has said that it wants to start taking some action on this issue and we would endorse that," he said.

"We don't know what the scale of the problem is but I think it is potentially a big problem because people are not carrying out the full testing and screening required.

"As a result of that, waste is sometimes being sold as recycled aggregate and that is giving the product a bad name."

Recycling experts also urged the Agency to crack down on contractors mixing "inert waste" with plasterboard and gypsum so they can landfill it cheaply.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.