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A decade of recycling ‘wastes’ to land and saving carbon has been celebrated by Knottingley-based 4R Group.
The company, founded in 2006, recycles ‘wastes’ to agricultural land and has also worked on major land restoration schemes all over the country, including Langton in Derbyshire and Imerys, Dubbers site in Cornwall, to restore barren ground to fertile soil.
In doing so the specialist firm calculates it has saved 810,000 tonnes of carbon – essential for helping combat climate change.
Managing director Mike Holt said:
We are a proud Yorkshire based company and have gone from strength to strength in our first decade.
We now employ 39 people and work all over the UK, and occasionally overseas, using the expertise of our soil scientists to ensure the only thing the earth will never have any more of – land – is able to be used to its full potential.
By recycling suitable organic and inorganic ‘wastes’ to land, instead of sending them to landfill, we have re-used 810,000 tonnes of carbon over the last ten years – and 61,000 tonnes in the last 7 months alone. That’s over 3 million tonnes of materials beneficially recycled.
The company prides itself on its innovation, using new and different materials to enrich soil so it can be put to good use again. Examples include using waste products from the water industry in Devon and Cornwall and compost made from household waste in South and West Yorkshire.
The benefits of restoring soil are easy to overlook if you don’t know anything about it:
- Good soil will absorb water, contributing to reducing flash flooding in certain areas
- Land enriched with organic matter can be turned into parks, woodland or grassy areas, for the benefit of the local community
- Areas of land where grass is grown are more “stable” meaning soil isn’t washed away into rivers and streams, potentially causing pollution and creating an unfriendly environment for fish and other river-life
- Bare quarries, landfill sites and former mining land can be turned into useful land once again by properly analysing and treating the soil
Two 4R employees recently joined a trade delegation to Panama, South America, having received a personal invitation from the UK’s Ambassador to Panama, Dr Ian Collard. 4R’s Director of Consultancy, Dr Paul Gibbs and environmental consultant Joaquim Messa joined a select group of British businesses on the trip.
Paul is a recognised expert in soil composition and contaminated land, often called as an expert witness, and Joaquim is an agricultural engineer, a qualified agricultural fertiliser advisor and expert in managing environmental projects.
The 4R team is currently working on projects nationwide, including south Wales, Devon and Cornwall, the Thames region, Yorkshire and northern Ireland, with no sign of things slowing down.