National Grid Metering has been successful in securing an Environmental Permit for its new Meter Assessment and Recycling Centre (“MARC”) in Birmingham, following a rigorous assessment process.
The MARC facility is where displaced gas meters are returned and sorted for refurbishment or recycling.
A Permit from the Environment Agency is required due to the proportion of meters containing a tilt switch. Each tilt switch holds a small amount of mercury encased in a steel pod, classed as hazardous waste.
The process for treating these meters is to cut the front from the meter body, which ensures the encased mercury remains in place, with the front of the meter being collected so it can be treated at a further waste facility.
This operation has recently moved premises as part of a move to consolidate National Grid Metering’s warehousing, laboratories, and recycling operations under one roof.
The Environmental Agencies strict regulations meant that it wasn’t possible to transfer the existing permit to the new site and a new permit was needed.
Regulations for waste treatment are particularly detailed, so securing the new permit wasn’t an easy task. The team worked closely with assessors from the Environment Agency to help them understand its operation – from the principles of how a meter works to the construction of the meter units, to demonstrate that its process is low risk and that there are robust procedures in place.
Aidan Hearfield, Site Logistics Lead for National Grid Metering, who oversaw the work said: “Securing the new Environment Permit is a great result, we were able to transition operations to our new site with minimum disruption to both our supply chain and our customers.”