Weighing in on the 'Mind the gap' debate

Written by: RWW | Published:

With the UK predicted to have a waste infrastructure shortfall by 2025 and an urgent need for more data on waste collection, Claire Col speaks to weighing specialists who are going to play a significant role in helping to forecaste future trends.

By 2015, 17.8 million tonnes of residual waste will need to be landfilled or used as refuse derived fuel (RDF) abroad, because there is not enough infrastructure capacity in the UK to make use of it domestically, according to a new report from SITA UK. The report, Mind the Gap, analyses waste projections and says we need to invest an additional £25bn to avoid a capacity shortfall of 5.7m tonnes by 2025. 

According to SITA UK, one of the largest causes of this gap is a lack of accurate data on waste, which the report says is needed to underpin investment in new facilities. 

While data on local authority collected waste is reasonably well documented using Defra’s WasteDataFlow, this is not case for commercial and industrial waste, where estimates are often reliant on small scale surveys and landfill tax returns. However, since SITA UK introduced regular on-board weighing to its industrial and commercial customers, it says the collected data provides invaluable insight into the nature of waste generation, enabling it to forecast future trends and focused development and target delivery.

Red Forge

Vehicle overloading is a serious issue, leading to fines and penalties, as well as causing damage to a vehicle. 

Founded in 1976, Red Forge is a family-run business who reportedly developed the first UK-based axle load indicator system in response to requests from members of the Institute of Road Transport Engineers (IRTE) and has been providing weighing systems for waste removal ever since. 

“Every vehicle on the road has a plated weight, and it’s illegal to exceed this plated weight. On the continent, and in Eire, legislation exists that has forced the use of certified systems for waste removal, however, in the UK, the market for these systems is still very much in its infancy,” explains Phil Bridge, sales and service manager. 

Despite this, Red Forge have been involved in the design, manufacture and installation of loadcell-based weighing systems, pay-by-weight solutions and mobile vehicle weighpads for over 10 years.

“Our popular Axle Load Indication offers basic overload protection and are easily retrofitable,” adds Bridge. “Using spring deflection, it’s designed to give a warning of ‘approaching’ and ‘exceeded’ legal load limits on individual axles and gross vehicle weight. It’s usually not as accurate as a loadcell-based system, but still falls well within the guidelines for VOSA enforcement of overload prosecutions,” he explains.  

Red Forge also provides on-board weighing, which uses loadcells to measure the weight of the vehicle’s payload. These provide a linear output giving a measure of the weight that is far more accurate than spring deflection. 

Bridge again: “There are various forms of loadcell that can be used to measure the strain in any one given direction, for example under the body of a refuse truck or from a crane head. Fitted directly into the sub frame of the vehicle the Red Forge Omniweigh system uses temperature compensated loadcells to prevent drift due to very hot or cold weather, and has axle load prediction to prevent overloads.”


Weightron Bilanciai,

Providing optimal data management resources is said to be key to Derbyshire-based Weightron Bilanciai, who have been designing and supplying weighbridge equipment for waste management, recycling, waste to energy industries for over 30 years. “During this time we have built a strong reputation for accurate and reliable weighing equipment and software - ranging from floor scales to weighbridges,” says Emlyn Roberts, Weightron’s sales director.

Weightron design and build all key components in the weighbridge measuring chain, including the load cells and instrumentation, however it’s the software technology that is said to be the real advance. 

Roberts continues: “We feel our DD2050 driver terminal sets new standards for automatic weighbridge operation as it provides a robust touch-control interface with user-friendly colour pictograms and easy-to-follow operator procedures. This provides a highly versatile control and data management resource.” 

Winweigh software can provide control for a range of peripheral equipment as evidenced at a recent commission at Cory Environmental’s Riverside  Resource Recovery facility on the Thames.  

“Weightron supplied a five driver-operated 18 metre Eurodeck digital weighbridge with special marine anti-corrosive coatings, nine driver-operated terminals, card readers/swallowers, control barriers, traffic lights and Safeweigh radiation detection systems. The driver-operated terminals and card readers/swallowers are used to manage weighed and non-weighed vehicle entry and exit to the site,” says Roberts. 

At the heart of the overall weighbridge management system is Weightron’s WinweighIV software system, which according to Roberts offers unrivalled control, weight data management and future-proof flexibility. 

“The data is then used for both fiscal and legislative purposes,” he adds.

According to the sales director, Winweigh can be integrated seamlessly with standard management software solutions including SAP, Sage, Navision and proprietary waste management software systems and can be supplied in surface and pit-mount versions with capacities up to 120 tonnes.

Shering Weighing

Shering Weighing have been designing and manufacturing weighbridges since 1946 and, according to the company, its global client base has continued to expand as a result of maintaining high quality standards in what is recognised as a very price sensitive market.  

Shering specialises in software, hardware and traffic management not only for individual site requirements, but also for specialist projects such as waste transfer stations, energy from waste plants, materials recovery facilities (MRFs) and anaerobic digestion plants. 

“Our designs focus on strength, reliability, longevity, resilience and accuracy incorporating exclusive patented technologies which provide real additional benefits to our customers manifested in exceptional warranties on the deck and vital components such as the load cells,” explains director Sally Shering. 

“Our complete Shering package of quality, technology, service and warranties also provide our customers with exceptionally low cost of ownership and peace of mind.” 

Shering Weighing says its design includes technology-based patented design, simple foundation construction with no foundation bolts, standardisation of parts throughout the range along with unique impact damage eliminator (IDE), restraint post system and hermetically sealed stainless steel load cells among others.

Shering recently worked with The Daily Telegraph and Sky Television on films about Shering Weighing entitled Best Practice in Manufacturing.  

“Such recognition has significantly enhanced our global profile helping us to maintain our status of producing weighbridges which are built to last and offer world class innovation in their construction,” says Shering. All Shering’s weighbridges are British made and manufactured at its headquarters in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. 

RDS Technology

Established in the 1960s, Cotswolds-based RDS Technology offers a range of on-board weighing scales including their WEIGHLOG a10 system for telescopic handlers operating in waste and recycling applications.

“The WEIGHLOG a10 incorporates a 4.3” colour, high brightness resistive touch screen display and additional physical keys providing a user-friendly on-board weighing system that can be used for truck loading or check weighing,” explains Claire Mattiolo, marketing manager. 

Suitable for use with up to 10 different attachments, the system can be retrofitted on to telescopic handlers, compact wheeled loaders and skidsteers. “The system measures hydraulic pressure using sensors at a certain position on the lifting cycle compensating for pressure changes in the system,” continues Mattiolo. Moreover, enhanced stores capability comprising 30 products, 30 customers and up to five different recipes are said to enable accurate record keeping and traceability. The system is also said to provide communication and data storage via SD card reader and USB 2.0 host allowing quick, safe and efficient uploading and downloading of data.  


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