BUSINESS ZONES WILL TAKE SCOTTISH
RECYCLERS ‘BACK TO SQUARE ONE’
Hamilton Waste & Recycling has joined the Recycling
Association in expressing serious concerns over the Scottish
Government’s plans for Business Waste Collection Zones.
In May, the government said it wanted to pilot contractors com-
peting to undertake all commercial collections within a particu-
lar area, managed by local authorities. A consultation is under
‘Introducing Business Waste Collection Zones have the ability
to kill competitive commercial waste collection services in
Scotland resulting in hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs being
lost,’ says Hamilton’s managing director Robin Stevenson.
‘It will also mean that all the investment being made by busi-
nesses such as ours to process these valuable resources will no
longer be viable.’ He argues this innovation is the foundation of
the circular economy and losing it will see the industry take a
‘huge step’ backwards.
‘Competition between service providers is the single most
important factor in ensuring we provide value for money for
Scottish businesses and means we must continue to develop
and improve our services to seek competitive advantage and
add value. To claim BWCZ could save businesses up to 40% is,
quite frankly, ludicrous.’
The entrepreneur argues the government and industry have
been trying to help businesses recognise environmental and
social value for many years but the proposals ‘seem to take us
back to square one’.
‘We will, of course, engage with the consultation but I would
also welcome immediate and direct communication with the
Scottish Government to discuss the plans in more detail and to
help find an alternative route to the continued development of
commercial waste management in Scotland.
‘In doing so, I am confident we can find a workable solution
that will save jobs, protect investment and help achieve their
ambition of a zero waste society with a circular economy’.’
NEW YORK BILL SIGNALS REPAIR-FRIENDLY
ECOSYSTEM FOR ELECTRONICS
New York has passed legislation that supports the right to
repair end-of-life electronics, the first US state to do so. E-scrap
recyclers and repair experts have reacted with relief and enthu-
When the law changes in mid-2023, manufacturers who sell digital
electronic products in New York will have to make parts, tools,
information, and software available to consumers and independent
‘One giant leap for repair,’ exclaims Kyle Wiens, founder of online
repair community iFixit. ‘Repair is a joint responsibility and for the
last few decades manufacturers have been shirking theirs. They
stopped selling parts.
‘We need to shift to a society where fixing and maintaining things is
the default, not the exception. I’m confident we can make that hap-
The New York legislation represents a ‘landmark victory’ for the
recycling industry across the entire US, underlines Kevin O’Reilly,
director of the Right to Repair Campaign at the United States
Public Interest Research Group.
‘There’s still a lot of work to do to make sure people in the medical
industry can fix medical equipment and farmers can fix their trac-
tors,’ he says. ‘But holy smokes—we took on the world’s biggest
companies and won. Now let’s keep pushing until people in every
state can fix all of their devices.’
BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS
Wiens complains that leading brands like Apple have skirted around
the right to repair topic for many years. The company finally
announced it would be providing spare parts, tools and manuals for
consumers, starting with the iPhone 12, at the end of 2021.
‘In the past three years, we have nearly doubled the number of ser-
vice locations with access to Apple genuine parts, tools, and train-
ing, and now we’re providing an option for those who wish to com-
plete their own repairs,’ comments company ceo Jeff Williams.
‘Apple was the first electronics manufacturer with open source,
Creative Commons licensed manuals for every product they sold –
because I did it for them,’ Wiens recalls. ‘Since 2003, iFixit has sys-
tematically, painstakingly disassembled every new gadget. Every
iPod. Every MacBook. Every iPhone.
‘We have sweated and cursed and bled, reverse engineering the
often-opaque repair process,’ the entrepreneur laments. ‘We prob-
ably put tens of thousands of hours of work into creating a repair
ecosystem to extend the life of Apple’s products.’
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GEN 2 CARBON TACKLES AEROSPACE AND
AUTOMOTIVE WASTE DOWN UNDER
UK recycler Gen 2 Carbon has
joined forces with Deakin
University to promote the
development of carbon fibre
recycling in Australia.
The new partnership is part of
Deakin’s multi-million ‘Recycling
and Renewable Energy
Commercialisation Hub’ (REACH)
and builds on its end-to-end
manufacturing capabilities in
renewable energy and recycling.
Gen 2 Carbon’s will share its
expertise in carbon fibre recovery and the conversion into high quality, non-
woven recycled mats.
This work will be undertaken at Deakin’s carbon fibre and composite research
facility in Geelong, Victoria, where feedstock will be processed from a variety of
waste streams throughout Australia. These include a major aerospace manufac-
turer and automotive suppliers.
‘This is a significant development for us; this joint venture with our partners at
Deakin allows us to drive forward the reuse of manufacturing waste to support a
truly circular economy,’ comments Frazer Barnes, chairman and chief technical
officer of Gen 2 Carbon.
‘It will also assist in our expansion of our conversion capabilities and extend our
sales reach in new regions. We anticipate the recycled carbon fibre converted at
Deakin’s Geelong facility will be used predominately for clean energy applica-
Barnes observes that demand for carbon fibres exceeds 100 000 tonnes per
year, driven mostly by growth in commercial aerospace, wind energy and indus-
trial applications such as pressure vessels. He laments that around 30% of mate-
rial is wasted during the manufacturing process.
Meanwhile, the amount of carbon fibre in end-of-life components is expected to
exceed 40 000 tonnes per year within a decade.
REACH is one of eight R&D projects sharing government funds of EUR 230 mil-
‘We are the latest university to be included in this influential programme that
will address Australia’s manufacturing priorities around recycling, clean energy
and greener supply chains,’ adds Julie Owens, deputy vice chancellor at Deakin.
‘We are excited to welcome Gen 2 Carbon on board to be part of the journey.’
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