Redmore Environmental was commissioned to undertake Bioaerosol Monitoring to ensure Environmental Permit Compliance at the Allium Organics In-Vessel Composting (IVC) plant at Alne Material Recycling facility, Forest Lane, York.
The plant processes up to 75,000 tonnes of biodegradable material per year. Operations at the facility include reception and preliminary processing of organic feedstocks, followed by sanitisation and stabilisation in order to produce a Compost Like Output (CLO). The CLO produced at the plant is transferred off-site for use as part of land reclamation and restoration.
Why is Bioaerosol Monitoring Required at Alne Material Recycling?
Bioaerosol is a general term for microorganisms suspended in the air. These include fungi and bacteria, as well as their components such as mycotoxins, endotoxins and glucans. Bioaerosols are generally less than 100μm in size and are not filtered out by hairs and specialised cells that line the nose. Due to their airborne nature and small size, many bioaerosols can penetrate the human respiratory system, resulting in inflammatory and allergic responses.
Although bioaerosols are ubiquitous, waste and waste management operations provide environments that are conducive to their growth. Bioaerosols are therefore likely to be associated with IVC feedstocks and products, and in particular, handling activities, which release the micro-organisms into the air.
The Alne Material Recycling facility operates in accordance with an Environmental Permit issued by the Environment Agency. This requires Bioaerosol Monitoring to be undertaken quarterly at the site in order to quantify potential impacts at sensitive locations in the vicinity of the plant and determine compliance with specified limit values.
Sampling Methods and Pollutants Tested
A programme of Bioaerosol Monitoring was undertaken at the facility by our team of Consultants in support of compliance with the Environmental Permit for the site. This included air sampling using Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) samplers in accordance with the requirements of EA guidance ‘M9: Environmental Monitoring of Bioaerosols at Regulated Facilities‘.
During each visit to the facility, monitoring was undertaken upwind and downwind of the site using a fan-type sampling arrangement in order to quantify process contributions from operations and ensure that measurements were made within the emission plume.
Following completion of each session, detailed analysis of the sampling results was undertaken in order to provide an appraisal of potential impacts at sensitive locations in the vicinity of the site and determine compliance with the requirements of the Environmental Permit.
Bioaerosol Monitoring Outcomes
The Bioaerosol Monitoring helped Allium Organics to develop a comprehensive understanding of emissions from the Alne Material Recycling facility and demonstrate compliance with the Environmental Permit for the site.
How Can We Help?
A full range of our testing capabilities can be found on our Air Quality Monitoring services page. If you require bioaerosol monitoring or risk assessment services in support of Environmental Permit compliance or a Planning Application, then please get in touch with a member of our team today to find out more about how we can help you.