Enhancing Resource Recovery through Supply Chain Collaboration – the ‘ProBlend’ Approach

Firth, W. and Hylands, K.N.1, Dawson, P.

1Sustainable Resource Solutions Ltd, 2Rolawn Ltd


Sustainable Resource Solutions Ltd (SRS) and Rolawn Ltd are collaborating in the development of a new and innovative soil improver material (ProBlend), using a patented process to transform clean water residues into high quality horticultural products. This technology enables the recovery of Clean Water Residues (a by product of the drinking water clarification process) into peat free materials, which can be used as a soil improver and to manufacture quality topsoil for horticultural applications. In developing this product, it has been essential to navigate EU and UK law on waste and industrial process residues. Working with Semple Fraser LLP, leading specialists in waste law, SRS and Rolawn have been able to deliver a new product to the market, which negates the production of a significant waste stream from the drinking water sector, whilst at the same time reducing the need to extract natural peat from ever diminishing ecological havens for horticultural uses. In this case, a successful submission was delivered to the Environment Agency demonstrating that, through characterisation as ‘by-products’, the Clean Water Residues never become a waste and had successfully achieved by-product status, enabling full commercialisation of the product, free of any regulatory controls associated with waste or other industrial process residues.


ProBlend, End of Waste, By-product, Waste Framework Directive, Peat Free, Waste, Clean Water Residues


Society is placing an ever greater demand and value upon products and resources which have a lower impact upon their environment than existing materials. The commercial world is being forced by its customer base to change the way that it plans, manufactures and deploys its products so that it can reduce its burden upon the environment by reducing waste, minimising resource use and reducing its carbon footprint. As a direct consequence, this is driving the development of opportunities for the development of products and services which both reduce the production of waste and limit the call upon ever depleting natural resources.

This paper outlines a case whereby collaboration between both the water sector and horticultural products sector, (via the application of novel technology and the adoption of a new approach to the classification of materials), has provided a mechanism whereby both sides have been able to gain a step change in the environmental impact of their activities and a reduction in their operational costs through direct collaboration. The key to the success of the project has been the reclassification of the Clean Water Residues (as the primary input material) or the final product as having reached an End of Waste status, thereby limiting the additional burdens associated with a ‘waste’ classification.

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