Uckfield business Acquascience has applied to the Environment Agency for an environmental permit which controls the storage, handling and treatment of waste.
The company, which is based on the Bellbrook Estate, has provided detailed information about the products it produces and recycles including reagents, which are substances for use in chemical analysis.
Acquascience supplies histology prefilled biopsy pots, produces and supplies reagents and stains and collects and reprocesses reagents.
Waste produced and received includes plastic pots and bottles, plastic labels, cardboard, kitchen waste and reagents.
Waste recycled includes plastics, cardboard and reagents Xylene and Industrial Denatured Alcohol (IDA).
Documents submitted to the Environment agency explain that waste Xylene originates from public and private histology laboratories.
The original xylene varies from the batch supplied by the contamination of small amounts of IDA. Xylene is returned to Acquascience for the removal of IDA.
The xylene is distilled removing any excess IDA content so returning the xylene back to its original specification for reuse in the histology processes.
The IDA content is stored and reprocessed into a biofuel or removed by a hazardous disposal company for solvent recycling.
The distilled xylene is sold back to NHS or private histology laboratories for the study of microscopic anatomy of cells and tissue samples.
Acquascience says it stores all reagents within the confines of the building protected within a bunded area to prevent leakage to the surface and foul water drains.
Procedures are in place for the delivery and handling of reagents outside the building to ensure safe loading and unloading or reagents along with procedures to deal with spillages and major incidents.
Full details of the waste operation, potential hazards – such as odours, spillage hazards and noise – are given in the application along with risk management procedures.
The Environment Agency says it is currently assessing the application and has asked the operator to provide further information as part of its standard application process.
It is expecting a response by early March and in following ‘Penfold Review’ guidelines, the permit would be issued by early April.
The agency said an environmental permit controls the storage, handling and treatment of waste, as listed in the application.
“We ask the operator to provide information in their management system as to what measures they will be using to protect people and the environment – this would include information like a fire plan and how they would control emissions to land, air and water. This management system and the issued permit will be inspected by us.”