CIWM North East Centre Profile

The North East Centre of the CIWM covers a huge area east of the Pennines from the Scottish Border in the north to the margins of Derbyshire south of Sheffield.  South of the Humber it also includes North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire Councils.

It covers two national economic regions - the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber and has four National Parks: Northumberland, North York Moor, Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District.

Within this diverse area there are a wide variety of local authorities from busy metropolitan towns and cities to heavily industrialised areas and rural districts.

Relevant Activity

Waste Production

The metropolitan urban areas with their large populations are, not surprisingly, significant producers of household and commercial wastes.

The legacy of the industrial revolution and successive economic developments means this region has a vibrant manufacturing base and is the UK's only net exporter.  Major regional industries include:

  • a concentration of petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and polymer plants along the east coast from Newcastle to Grimsby.
  • The historic dyestuffs industry in West Yorkshire, now producing agrochemicals, paints and coatings;
  • A major concentration of specialist steel manufacturers and heavy engineering works in the South Yorkshire and Humberside region.

Consequently the region remains a significant producer of industrial wastes at a time when the industrial waste stream is shrinking nationally. Demand for the treatment and disposal of the regions varied waste arisings is met inside and, in some cases, outside of the region.

Waste Treatment

Demand for waste treatment and disposal of the region's waste, along with significant imports from other regions, is met by a diverse portfolio of municipal and private operators across the NE centre region.

Within the region, energy from waste (EfW) forms a significant part of the treatment processes for household and other municipal wastes.  EfW plants are located at:

  • Sheffield
  • Huddersfield
  • Leeds
  • Middlesbrough
  • Ferrybridge

There are other waste treatment plants within the region including mechanical-biological treatment (MT) Plants for municipal wastes and specialised plants for the treatment of different industrial waste streams.

Recycling, Reclamation and Reprocessing

The region has a long history of handling and processing secondary (pre-used) materials from across the UK.  This is partly a result of its heritage as a manufacturing centre.  In particular, the reprocessing of the following materials is a significant contributor to regional economic activity:

  • Municipal wastes
  • Glass containers
  • Ferrous metals
  • Non-ferrous metals
  • Organic solvents
  • Silver from photographic waste
  • Textiles
  • Precious metal solutions from electronics manufacture
  • End of life vehicles
  • WEEE
  • Paper & board

NGO, Third Sector and Ad-hoc Waste Management Groups

There is significant NGO activity throughout the region with local and national groups of all types in anumber of reuse and recycling activities including clothing and textiles, household items, furniture and even paint.

Education, Training and Academia

Although specific waste-related teaching has declined in recent years with fewer courses on offer, there is a continuing tradition of waste-related research in the region.  Examples of activity in the region include:

Hull University which has a strong interest in waste and resource research, expecially in the context of the circular economy.  Projects include:

  • Development of gasification and pyrolysis technologies for the recovery of high-value components from residues (funders including EPSRC and others)
  • Exploring social and geographical aspects of the circular economy (funded by the EU)
  • Wide range of environmental science research into environmental impacts including marine mircoplastics
  • In addition, degree courses relevant to resource management include Chemical Engineering, Environmental Science, Georgraphy and MSc Environmental Change, Management and Monitoring.

University of Leeds which has a Waste Management and Resource Recovery Research Group within the Faculty of Engineering.

University of Sheffield which boasts an Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre and doctoral studies in recycling, resource efficiency and the circular economy.