BIR appoints Donald Ward as UK Representative for Shredder Committee

Operations Director, Donald Ward from metal recycling and waste management specialist, Ward, has been appointed as the UK Representative for the Shredder Committee at the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR). The appointment follows a nomination by BIR President Susie Burrage OBE that its members unanimously supported.

The BIR is the only global recycling industry federation and represents more than 30,000 companies from 70 countries. Donald has been an active member for the past 10 years and was approached about the role during his attendance at the BIR’s bi-annual conference in Abu Dhabi in 2023.

The appointment comes at a crucial time, as new Auto Shredder Residue (ASR) legislation is due to be put in place in the UK for metal and vehicle recyclers that will set a precedent across the globe. The new regulations, which the UK Environment Agency is expected to implement in the next two years, will have a significant impact on vehicle recycling waste processing.

The BIR has invested in ground-breaking research, including the most detailed analysis of waste types ever undertaken in the UK, that will inform the decision-making process and position the UK as a global leader in end-of-life vehicle waste management.

As part of the new measures, waste from shredders is being reclassified from non-hazardous to hazardous waste. This will put an onus on recyclers to leverage new technology to analyse vehicle waste in more detail, ensuring all component parts are categorised and recycled accordingly, minimising waste to landfill.

Donald’s sector expertise will provide invaluable input into the BIR shredder committee. He has been invited to present to the committee on the UK’s ASR proposals at the next BIR conference in Copenhagen in May 2024, during the Shredder Committee plenary session.

Donald said: “It’s an exciting time to be joining the BIR in this advisory role, as here in the UK we are the first country tasked with getting to grips with major changes to ASR waste legislation that will set the precedent for the rest of the world.

“The aim is to minimise waste to landfill and take out all the component parts of vehicle including metals, plastics, glass, rubber and textiles. This has been traditionally classed as non-hazardous waste, but now with advanced sorting technology waste analysis can uncover persistent organic pollutants or (POPs), which are found in the non-flammable protection applied to vehicles. To be able to extract all the smaller component parts the industry needs to invest in more advanced, and therefore more expensive, technology and we need time and detailed data to be able to progress with this.”

“As one of the first countries tasked with the new regulations the industry will be looking to the UK to see how the changes are implemented while making the recycling sector more efficient and sustainable. I’m looking forward to playing a part in bringing these changes into effect.”

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