Clean Sweep: UBU Environmental Targets 100% Landfill Diversion with CDE Plant

PAS 115 sets out case for recovering growing media from sweepings and gully waste.

 Manchester-based UBU Environmental has outlined its plans to achieve 100% landfill diversion from its incoming road sweepings and inert gully waste with the support of CDE technology. It recently sponsored PAS 115, a BSI specification which seeks to utilise non-hazardous material recovered from its business operations as a suitable substrate for the future use in soils or soil amendments.

Growing media is a rich material other than soil that can be used to support the healthy growth of trees, shrubs and other plants. In 2016, UBU partnered with CDE to commission a turnkey recycling plant to process up to 50,000 tonnes of road sweeper and gully waste annually. With a capacity of 250 tonnes per day, the plant can recycle roadsweeper waste to recover a variety of sand and aggregate products with significant commercial value. The CDE plant is enabling UBU to recover up to 50 tonnes per day of washed aggregates of various sizes and up to 125 tonnes per day of washed sand which are being supplied to the local construction industry as a high-quality alternative to virgin quarried sand and aggregate. CDE technology is currently supporting UBU to divert 85% of its customers’ road sweepings and gully waste from landfill and the business is now targeting total utilisation of incoming material by sponsoring PAS 115.

As well as in-spec sand and aggregates, the CDE plant produces an additional dried filter cake product. Part of a new and innovative recycling initiative designed to enhance sustainability in the north west, UBU is advocating for the use of the filter cake from its treatment process as a suitable alternative to virgin soil in the growing media sector. Boasting the same essential properties as soil, including nutrition, irrigation and an optimum environment for the physical stability of roots, organic material recovered from UBU’s plant has the potential to be repurposed and returned to the ecosystem to support future biodiversity and plant life.

Rebecca Murphy – Peers, Group Manager at UBU, says its sponsorship of PAS 115 demonstrates the company’s ambition to identify new and novel ways to create a more sustainable future. “For our business, this is a perfect circular economy solution in action. What we’re proposing is recovering growing media and soil amendments from our street sweepings and inert gully waste for use in areas such as urban tree planting. This material is often swept from these very environments in the first place. The dried filter cake has all the characteristics required for use as a growing media to reduce the decline of natural soils through erosion and contamination and support efforts to increase biodiversity and green spaces in urban settings.” Rebecca adds that taking action to address environmental impacts can also have a positive effect on the bottom line of a business. “What UBU provides is an attractive solution for the disposal of road sweepings and inert gully waste. Not only are we able to process this material in an environmentally responsible manner, demonstrating best practice and recovering valuable materials during the process, but we’re also providing an alternative to costly landfill disposal and passing on major cost savings to our customers.”

Fergal Campbell, Business Development Manager at CDE, says its partnership with UBU and the development of PAS 115 has the potential to contribute in a major way to the advancement of the circular economy. “UBU’s drive and ambition to accelerate the rate of change within the industry in pursuit of a more sustainable future is evident in its sponsorship of PAS 115. We are very proud to partner with a business that shares our passion for finding solutions to the environmental challenges that face us all. “Its pioneering solution for recovering and utilising growing media from road sweepings and gully waste is a significant endorsement of the efficiency and engineering excellence of CDE technology. It demonstrates what is possible with the right technology and the motivation to adapt to more sustainable ways of working.” Established in 1998, UBU, a family-owned and operated company, is the largest road sweeper hire company in the North West, managing a fleet of over 120 Johnston Roadsweepers, high pressure road jetters, jet vac whale tankers and Precinct sweepers.

PAS115 was published on 31st October 2021 and can be purchased digitally here.

For more information about UBU and PAS 115, visit To learn more about CDE and its solutions, see

Source: CDE Global (UK, February 09, 2022)