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Fell highlights steel progress at Donington CARS Expo

  Thursday, 25 August 2016

Robert Fell, the chief executive for the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) spoke at a recent Metals Recycling Event and CARS Expo at Donington Park, a yearly event that is one of the standout days in the recycling industry’s calendar.

Mr Fell used his speech to highlight the performance of the metals industry within the last couple of years, noting that the sector was playing a key part in helping to deliver a ‘sustainable planet for future generations’. He also argued that, in fact, the industry as a whole could even be more vocal in promoting its own success.

Fell’s speech was a key part of a session titled ‘Metals Recycling: The State of the Industry’, which was chaired by Roy Hathaway, European policy adviser for the Environmental Services Association.

Mr Fell, who took charge of the BMRA at the beginning of this year, also called for action from the government in addressing the continued payment in cash for scrap metal. Though this has been illegal in the UK since 2013, some operators continue to accept cash payments: a practise that presents issues for credible businesses doing things the right way.

Mr Fell said: “I joined the BMRA from the metals packing industry, where we sat back doing little to promote sustainability, assuming, wrongly as it turned out, that everyone knew metal is one of two permanent materials and therefore fully recyclable.

“Then the phone started ringing with journalists, asking what we the metal packing industry, was doing about sustainability compared to other industries like paper.

“I think the metals recycling industry should learn from this experience and to start shouting a lot more just what an amazing job we are doing.”

Commenting on cashless payments, Fell added: “We as an industry are operating in an uneven playing field. The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 has not prevented cash, which is illegally being handed over on some sites, which is harming traders.”

The CARS Expo has been running at Donington since 2013 and has focused on every aspect of end-of-life vehicle recycling. This was the first year in which the metal recycling event ran alongside the festival.

In addition to Mr Fell, the event also saw talks from Nicky Cunningham, the deputy director of site-based regulation at the Environment Agency, and Roger Morton from Axion Recycling. There were also a number of speakers covering ELVs, including Paul Fernee, the team leader for hazardous waste transfer and treatment at the Environment Agency and Kathryn Byng, senior manager at CarTakeBack.

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