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Soapbox: "Nitrous Oxide? It's no laughing matter," says Veolia
Richard Hulland, chief risk and assurance officer, Veolia UK, comments on UK Government's recent ban on nitrous oxide:
"We welcome the recent change in the law as pressurised laughing gas canisters presents a serious environmental and safety risk if incorrectly disposed of costing us up to £1.4 million in just the last year.
The waste treatment industry has suffered directly, as the explosive nature of the canisters means that collection vehicles, recycling and waste facilities are all at risk of damage if they are disposed of in household or in on street litter bins. Veolia has experienced around 25 serious incidents of explosions in damages at energy recovery facilities since January 2023 due to discarded canisters.
We encourage all residents where possible to dispose of these metals at your local recycling centre to be recycled.
In addition to the risk they pose to staff's health, these canisters also represent a real environmental risk, as nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas almost 300 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. In addition to the financial damage, the explosions also prevented the production of 380 MWh of electricity for the National Grid due to the shutdown of the plant, the equivalent of 21,000 homes being without power for two days."
To learn more about the background to the use of nitrous oxide canisters, the ban and what it involves, visit:
16th November 2023