On Friday 18th November, the BMRA held their Annual dinner at the Royal Lancaster Hotel near Hyde Park in London. Susie Burrage, President of BMRA and MD of Recycled Products Ltd, opened the BMRA Annual Dinner with a review of the past 12 months.
Ms Burrage opened her speech by saying how thrilled she was that ‘the BMRA has more members now than it has had for many years. She then went on to recap on which charity they supported at last year’s event, which was the Royal British Legion, where they raised £20,000. This year’s charity was the British Heart Foundation as the BMRA Charity for 2022.
Regarding BMRA’s role within the industry over the past 12 months, Ms Burrage said:
“The BMRA continue their role as Secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Metal, Stone & Heritage crime. We are delighted that Co-Chair Lord Faulkner of Worcester is here with us tonight and took time out from his busy schedule to meet with Antonia, new BMRA Secretariat team member, Cameron Leitch and I at BMRA HQ in the summer. We held positive discussions on how we can work with Government and enforcement agencies to help reduce metal theft across rail infrastructure, places of heritage and member’s sites.
Nigel O’Gorman shall be presenting evidence, detailing how metal theft affects the metal recycling industry as part of a series of evidence sessions in Westminster next week. We be in a session alongside the Church of England and Historic England. Finally, we are being taken seriously as victims and not the perpetrators. Hopefully the information and data gathered will enable us to petition the Home Office to introduce better recording of metal theft and pressure local authorities and police services to enforce the Scrap Metal Dealers Act.
We all know the biggest facilitator to metal theft is lack of enforcement, but when challenged the authorities blame lack of funds.
BMRA CEO, James Kelly and BMRA’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Antonia Grey and myself had our 10 minutes of TV fame when the programme ‘The Pathway to Net Zero’ was broadcast in October. Within the programme we discussed the benefits of Metal Recycling and our role in helping the UK reach its net zero targets. Huge thanks to S Nortons for permitting the programme to be filmed at their site in Liverpool.
John Norton has also been a very proactive chairman of the BMRA Fire Prevention Committee, igniting, excuse the pun, our campaign to raise awareness of fires being caused by lithium-ion batteries in the metals and wider waste industry.
We have written directly to local authorities asking them to do more, including taking steps to ensure waste electrical and electronic equipment and lithium-ion batteries are disposed of in the correct bins and not placed in the general scrap bins at household waste and recycling centres.
We have managed to get several articles published, including one in Skip Hire Magazine though I was a bit disappointed having donned my hi-vis and best smile not to have been considered for skip chick of the month!
Seriously though, please continue to spread the word as we need to take action to solve this issue and stop fires in our shedders and yards and please display the BMRAs latest Health & Safety poster, which stresses the risks posed by lithium-ion batteries and the electrical items containing them.
Our newly launched Carbon Action Committee will also be sending out a poster and stickers shortly to encourage machine operators to turn off their machines when not in use to help reduce CO2 emissions.
We are all going to have to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint so if you would like to be part of this group, please let me know. Remember we are part of the climate action solution as over the past 10 years, we have saved British Steel makers 30 million metric tonnes of CO2 Equivalent.
This year saw the BMRA launch in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Waste Management a Metal Recycling Contractor Competency Card Scheme, aimed at making it easier to validate the health and safety competency of individuals coming on your site.
As you all will have seen in the technical updates in Scrapbook, written by our technical director, Howard Bluck, we are having ongoing discussions with the UK’s environmental agencies regarding the classification of non-WEEE cables and shredder residue. As things stand, both are expected to be deemed hazardous wastes in the coming weeks and months. Decisions over possible POPS classifications will resume in the Spring after international discussions at the UN have taken place.
For sites handling or producing these wastes, difficult decisions undoubtedly lay ahead, but we are working hard to minimise the impacts a ‘hazardous’ classification might have on your businesses. We are discussing options that could limit the number of cable processing sites that would fall under the controls set out in the Industrial Emissions Directive, and simultaneously lobbying Government for a derogation from the requirement to pay the hazardous waste consignment note fee for small loads of cable.
Regarding shredder residues and downstream residues, our conversations with officials will continue to highlight that due to the nature of this material, and a lack of downstream capacity at landfill and energy-from-waste plants, great care needs to be taken to ensure these materials can continue to be processed cost-effectively and can still find a home.”