Meet the team – Liva Tilena

Posted on: 22 Sep 2017

We talk to Liva Tilena our Weighbridge Document Controller based in Barking about her first year with McGrath and life in London.

Liva joined McGrath in December 2016, having moved to London from Manchester where she had been working in recycling since 2010.  With her move to McGrath her career has taken a slight change in direction: she now manages the export documentation for Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) transported to the continent.  (RDF is the fuel produced by the Waste to Energy process.) She is, however, determined that her future lies in the waste industry.

Do you have a standard procedure that is used for all fuel exports?

I look after all the export documents for RDF that goes to Germany, Sweden and Holland.  Procedures must be followed in order that the waste can get across the borders safely and legally.  Each country, however, has slightly different requirements.

McGrath has two sources of residue waste:  Some of our waste management customers bring their residues to us for RDF processing because they do not have the facilities to do so themselves.  Otherwise waste residues come from materials left after all reuse and recycling processes have been applied to the waste streams at our MRFs.  Our MRFs (Materials Recycling Facilities) are based in Hackney, in London, and Barking, just east of London. We process all the residues ready for export, this material is subject to regular testing to ascertain its calorific value and its potential to cause pollution during the combustion process.  To obtain the Environment Agency operating permits it is essential that we work within its parameters. The tests usually reveal that we produce a high-quality fuel.

Can this lead to a delay?

Before the waste can leave McGrath’s MRF we make sure consents are in place from the various authorities involved, including that our financial guarantee bond is approved and valid. We create the documentation and send copies to the relevant authorities and the destination waste facilities. These documents must go with the waste and stay with it throughout the journey.

Because our systems are so robust we will usually have all the documentation ready and so we can avoid unnecessary delays.

What do the documents detail?

Basically, the Material Analysis Breakdown, the treatment process it has been through, where it originated in the UK, where the RDF is going and its weight (different countries have different weight limits). I complete an ANNEX VII form which is the contract between McGrath and the destination country, ensuring its compliance with the European Waste Shipment Regulations.  It also identifies the carrier as they must hold a valid Waste Carriers Licence.

This must be the one area that isn’t paperless at the weighbridge

Although the weighbridges are all automated and much of the documentation is online, we still need to put pen to paper for some parts of the job.  A few customers require that we scan and send them the forms for EA compliance and this is easily done.

How do you find life in London after Manchester (and after Latvia)?

When I first arrived, I was overwhelmed by the traffic and the people – even after Manchester!  However, I quickly got used to it and now I enjoy the atmosphere and the buzz. That said, I do need to escape when I can and I love the mountains.  That was fine when I was living in Latvia but in London mountains are not to be found so instead I am exploring the coastline and this summer I have been working my way around the south coast of England.