DCC Environmental is a market leader in non hazardous waste management in both Scotland and the East Midlands. In Scotland, operating under the William Tracey brand, DCC operates a comprehensive recycling infrastructure across the central belt, including one of the largest material recycling facilities in Britain in Linwood, close to Glasgow airport. During the year, DCC Environmental strengthened its position in the Edinburgh market through the acquisition of Oran, a waste collection business. In the East Midlands, operating under the Wastecycle brand, DCC Environmental operates three material recycling facilities in Nottingham and Leicester along with a civic amenity site on behalf of Nottingham City Council. The facilities process waste collected by both company owned and third party vehicles into valuable commodities which can be used as a substitute for virgin materials. In addition, in the East Midlands, DCC Environmental has the added capacity to process waste not suitable for recycling into a fuel which is used by the cement industry.
In hazardous waste management, also operating under the William Tracey brand, DCC Environmental is a market leader in Scotland and the north of England with three dedicated facilities providing a wide range of treatment solutions for hazardous waste. During the year the range of services offered was broadened by entering the sludge treatment sector. In addition, operating under the Oakwood Fuels brand DCC Environmental is a leading national collector of waste oils, which are brought back to its facility in Nottingham where they are converted into a fuel which can be used as a substitute for heavy fuel oil.
Waste management businesses are at the heart of the burgeoning circular economy and DCC Environmental have pioneered such development. One such example is its relationship with British Gypsum whereby waste gypsum is collected nationally and brought back to DCC Environmental's Nottingham site where it is processed and then sent back to British Gypsum’s facilities to be used to manufacture new gypsum.
DCC Environmental is constantly looking to reduce the proportion of waste that cannot be recycled or utilised for its energy content. In this regard, as highlighted in the case study, DCC Environmental has recently commenced the export of processed material to Sweden for energy recovery.
Overall, the British business handles 1.3 million tonnes of material, the majority of which is collected by its own fleet of 231 vehicles, and 71% of all waste volumes are diverted from landfill. Recovery percentages depend on the mix of material with the highest percentage achieved from construction material.
The pickup in economic activity, particularly in the construction sector, has translated into an improved market backdrop in the non hazardous sector with increased activity particularly evident in the East Midlands. Recyclate prices however remain relatively low compared to historic highs. The hazardous market remains challenging with excess capacity evident.
DCC is fortunate that Scotland is such an important market noting the country’s continuous focus on developing and improving waste management through its Zero Waste agenda. From 1 January 2014, all businesses in Scotland had to present metals, plastics, glass and card for separate collection. In addition, businesses in non-rural areas which produce over 50kg of food waste per week must also present this for separate collection. This will broaden to include all businesses producing 5kg of food waste per week from January 2016.
In October 2013 plans were published to reduce all waste in Scotland by 7% by 2017 and 15% by 2025. Also, Scotland recently passed legislation for the introduction of its own landfill tax which will replace the current UK system from 2015 and is expected to provide further impetus to the development of the Scottish waste industry.
At the recent Awards for Excellence in Waste Management and Recycling, a highly respected British ceremony, William Tracey won Recycling Business of the Year for its promotion of the new regulations.
Operating under the Enva brand, DCC Environmental’s Irish business is recognised as Ireland’s leading hazardous waste treatment company. Enva operates from six EPA/NIEA licensed sites in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, offering technically innovative solutions to a wide range of waste streams for both multinational and indigenous clients. It has an in-house infrastructure to treat a broad range of materials including waste oil, contaminated soils, bulk chemicals and contaminated packaging. In cases where it is unable to treat the waste itself, it has relationships with a network of European based companies to provide a range of solutions for hazardous waste which are not available in Ireland. Enva’s water treatment division provides specialised chemicals, equipment and professional services to the drinking, industrial and waste water sectors. The division operates an in-house manufacturing facility as well as an INAB accredited laboratory to support these services.
Enva works closely with Oakwood in developing new treatment processes for hazardous waste and also with DCC Energy who provide a route to market for the Processed Fuel Oil produced from waste oil.
The Irish waste market is valued at approximately €1 billion. The sector was severely impacted by the economic recession, in particular the collapse in the construction sector which hit the non hazardous waste sector particularly hard. Whilst DCC Environmental’s Irish business was somewhat protected through its focus on the niche hazardous sector and through developing innovative solutions for hazardous waste, it is intent on ensuring that it fully benefits from the improving economic backdrop.