EQual was an EU LIFE+ funded programme that supported businesses to reuse and recycle waste materials into new products while protecting human health and the environment.
EQual was a partnership programme part-funded by the EU’s LIFE+ environment programme. It provided online tools for waste producers, waste management companies and recycled materials users and regulators, to help them determine if their new products meet regulatory standards.
The EQual programme began in September 2011 and finished in March 2015.
Who was involved
The Environment Agency led the programme with 6 partners:
- Rijkswaterstaat (the Netherlands’ Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment)
- The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management
- Organics Recycling Group (part of the Renewable Energy Association)
- Environmental Services Association
- Northern Ireland Environment Agency
- Energy UK
EQual has given businesses the tools and techniques to help them decide if their recycled waste meets the regulatory standards when made into new products. It’s also provided technical guidance to regulatory specialists to help them regulate waste sites.
IsItWaste online tool
IsItWaste, an end of waste decision tool, was launched in November 2014. The tool helps businesses decide when a material is no longer waste. It can also be used to submit an application to the Environment Agency Definition of Waste Panel.
Quality protocol checker tool
The quality protocol checker tool was launched in March 2014. The tool enables businesses to self-assess their compliance with quality protocols. It is currently available for aggregates and compost users.
Incinerator bottom ash aggregate (IBAA)
The partnership characterised IBAA to help businesses understand the behaviour and risks associated with using it.
The partnership completed field trials to assess the environmental and human health risks of:
- poultry litter ash and paper sludge applied to arable soils
- pulverised fuel ash (PFA) and (IBAA) used as secondary aggregates in construction
Communicating the findings
The partnership is sharing and promoting their findings throughout the UK and Europe.