The Purpose of a Quality Protocol
The Quality Protocol Project is a joint project between WRAP, the Environment Agency, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. They are looking at a number of waste products with the view to producing a Quality Protocol. The purpose of a Quality Protocol is to provide a uniform control process for producers, from which they can reasonably state and demonstrate that their product has been fully recovered and is no longer a waste. It also provides purchasers with a quality-managed product to common standards, which increases confidence in performance. Also, the framework created by the Protocol provides a clear audit trail for those responsible for ensuring compliance with Waste Management Legislation.
Aggregate Quality Protocols
The Quality Protocol for the Production of Aggregates from Inert Waste was published in 2004. It deals with the production of aggregates from inert construction, demolition and excavation waste. It is currently under review to ensure it is up-to-date with changes in standards. Quality Protocols have been developed for other materials that can be used as aggregates . The Quality Protocol for the use of Pulverised Fuel Ash and Furnace Bottom Ash in bound applications was published in October 2010 and a Quality Protocol for use in unbound applications is being developed. The Quality Protocol for tyre-derived rubber materials has been published and work is taking place on Protocols for Incinerator Bottom Ash and Steel Slag. Blast Furnace Slag (BFS) is classifed as a by-product and can be used as an aggregate without any waste management control.
The Environment Agency website provides information on the progress of the Quality Protocols and a dedicated website for the Waste Protocols Project was set up as a facility for those who want to take part in the consultations on the draft quality protocols.
Checklists and Guidance
To complement the Quality Protocol on the Production of Aggregates from Inert Waste, WRAP has published two sets of checklists and guidance documents. These documents help those producing and procuring recycled aggregates to ensure compliance with the existing Quality Protocol for Aggregates.
The Quality Protocol for the Production of Aggregates from Inert waste - produced by WRAP in conjunction with the Quarry Products Association, the Highways Agency and the Environment Agency - set an industry benchmark for recycled aggregate production and for demonstrating the point at which a product may cease to be considered waste.
The compliance checklists provide further guidance that addresses in more detail the requirements of those producing and specifying sustainable aggregates. The documents provide a roadmap that enables producers to demonstrate their material has been produced in a way that complies with the Quality Protocol for Aggregates. They also provide guidance which will allow end-users to differentiate between suppliers, ensuring the quality of the materials they are purchasing and subsequently determine their own compliance with Waste Management Regulations.
Zero Waste Scotland Directory
Zero Waste Scotland have produced a directory of recycled aggregate producers which comply with the Quality Protocol for Aggregates. Producers are evaluated using the checklists before being accepted into the directory.