Posted: 25 October, 2023. Written by Emma
REAL created the role of operators’ representative in 2014 to enable all scheme participants to be represented at the BCS Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The producers’ representative would become the link between the BCS operator’s forum and BCS TAC.
The aim of this role is to make sure that the voice of operators is heard at the CCS and BCS TAC, as well as REAL-led working groups, and to make sure operators have a spokesperson to whom they can raise any issues that they would like to be brought to operators’ forums if they cannot attend.
The role of BCS Operators’ Representative is shared between Jo Chapman, Compliance Co-ordinator at A.C. Shropshire Ltd, and Tom Brown, Compliance Manager at Andigestion Ltd. Jo and Tom have both been in the industry for over 15 years, we asked them some questions about their time in the role and in the industry:
How did you get involved in AD?
Jo: I worked as an environment officer for the EA and regulated composting facilities and pig and poultry facilities when they first came into permitting. I left the EA in 2011 and went to work for a pig farm operator (who I had previously been the EA inspector for) who was building an AD plant on the back of the pig unit. I then became the compliance manager for the AD.
Tom: After graduating from university, I worked in the technical team of a company operating open air windrow and in-vessel composting sites as well as AD Plants. I later joined Andigestion who operate two AD Plants, including the first one in the UK to run only on food waste.
Why were you interested in becoming an Operators’ Representative?
Jo: I was looking for a way to make a contribution to the wider professional networks and the role came up. Nobody else wanted to do it so I agreed to take it on.
Tom: I had been attending BCS Operator meetings for some time before being a representative, I have found them very useful in keeping up with developments and discussing any issues.
What issues and challenges in the industry have you been able to contribute to overcoming through your role and work with REAL?
Jo: RBP non-responses which happened at Shropshire’s in 2020 in the middle of Covid lockdown! We found a way to achieve the analyses needed to maintain certification in partnership with REAL and the labs and to develop a pathway should the same thing happen to other operators.
Tom: One issue previously raised by operators was the concern about different testing laboratories producing inconsistent PAS110 analysis results. A Laboratory Approval Scheme was recently developed by REAL, which gives confidence in the selected laboratories.
Is there anything else you’d like to comment on?
Tom: The upcoming changes to the AD Quality Protocol will affect all operators on the BCS scheme and I think it is important for everyone to be involved and have their say.