Metal Recycling Facility

Our air quality team measured deposited dust and airborne particle concentrations to demonstrate our client’s compliance with the Environment Agency’s requirements.

Specialising in recycling ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal in the Northeast, our client acquired their site in 2018. As global traders in the secure and sustainable management of resources on behalf of the industry, organisations, and the wider community, they process over 140,000 tonnes of metal each month.

The facility is regulated by the Environment Agency and a condition of the permit requires our client to monitor ambient air quality annually.

Key details

Project name

Metal Recycling Facility




Northeast England


Services provided:

  • Air quality (Suspended Particulate Matter and Dust Deposition Monitoring)


Deposited dust can cause nuisance for neighbours by its sheer prevalence or its capacity to soil surfaces (e.g., a car, windowsill, laundry, buildings). Suspended particles are small enough to be breathed in and so can potentially impact people’s health. A particular concern for this site is the neighbouring motorcycle driving test centre where deposition of particulate matter on its motorcycle test course can lead to potential slip hazards.

Over the last four years, we have assisted our client to comply with the permit by measuring:

  • Dust deposition (dustfall) rates, sampled using three Frisbee gauges
  • Airborne concentrations of Total Suspended Particulates (TSP), PM10, and PM2.5 using a light-scattering monitor


A driving test centre is located to the south of the site, so we positioned the light-scattering particle monitor and two Frisbee gauges between the metal processing facility and the test centre over a three-month period. We also used a third frisbee on the west site boundary as a comparison and installed a weather sensor to measure wind speed and direction.

With the data collected, we were able to produce wind roses and polar plots to determine the concentrations of dust and particles and the directions from which it came, giving an indication of the likely sources of dust.


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