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Scott Bros has helped to revolutionise a recycling industry accreditation process by being the first business in the UK to be certificated via video call.

The family-run business based in Stockton trialled the virtual methodology at the beginning of lockdown to ensure it kept its PAS100 British Standard approval.

The Compost Certification Scheme (CCS) for quality composts is a widely recognised standard within the recycling sector and independently verifies that the waste criteria has achieved product status and is no longer subject to waste regulatory controls.

Each year a PAS100 assessor attends the company’s premises, inspects the facilities and goes through a stringent assessment of the procedures and policies in place.

Scott Bros has extensive composting capabilities on its site at Norton Bottoms, successfully producing 10,000tonnes a year, which is transformed into topsoil improver.

The organic green waste, sourced from local councils and waste companies, is put through an eight-week process which involves heating at 65 degrees and includes shredding, wind rows, stabilisation and sanitisation, to kill any bacteria such as e-coli or salmonella.

The coronavirus pandemic meant that the usual on-site assessment could not take place this year and Scott Bros became the first in the country to connect remotely with an assessor. The assessment took place via video call where the CCS assessor was taken on a virtual tour of the facilities by Scott Bros’ Director David Scott Jr.

David said: “It is essential as a business to comply with BSI Standards and to renew the accreditation every year, as it provides assurances to all our customers that the quality product that we create from composting is safe for human, animal and plant health.

“We were eager to trial the virtual assessment to ensure the certification was in place for the coming year and have also been pleased with the time saving element that this produced, as it took around four hours on video call rather than a full day with an assessor on site.

“Demand is still very high for our topsoil, not only from gardeners, farmers and councils but also house builders who find that it is an excellent soil improver for turning sandy clay into a good topsoil.”

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