Energy recovery and recycling processes

The journey of waste

Please read below to learn more about what happens to your waste after we have collected it.

Residual general waste: energy recovery facility

Sending waste to landfill is expensive and has a negative impact on the environment. Any general waste, including plastics and other biodegradable materials, can be used as alternatives to fossil fuels in power plants to become a renewable source of electricity.

Prior to arrival at the energy recovery facility, waste is cleansed for further recycling and shredded. Upon arrival, waste is tipped into the feeding bay and mixed before being loaded onto conveyor belts. The shredded waste is methodically fed into the incineration chamber(s) to be burnt at high temperatures before being moved into the combustion chamber where oxygen is introduced. The resulting heat creates steam which is then used to generate electricity that is sent to the national grid.

Residual general waste: gasification

Gasification is a relatively newer technology which generates electricity and energy from residual waste.

Waste is shredded then moved onto fuel conveyors which feed 2 parallel gasifiers, where under intense heat and with limited oxygen present, waste is converted into syngas.

Converting waste into synthetic gas through thermochemical gasification is a clean and eco-friendly way to produce high quality products such as electricity, chemicals, or synthetic fuels.

Food waste: anaerobic digestion

We always recommend that we collect food separately. The food waste we collect from our customers is never sent to landfill, instead we send it to a facility where it is used to generate renewable energy and organic fertiliser.

The anaerobic digestion process involves breaking down organic matter within an oxygen free environment. Food waste is first turned into liquid form and pumped into the anaerobic digestion plant, where bacteria feed on the waste to produce a methane rich biogas. The gas is then captured and sent to the gas grid or combusted to generate electricity. The residual material is used as a high nutrient bio-fertiliser used in agriculture, or as a low calorific digestate for use in energy recovery facilities.

There only a few anaerobic digestion plants in the UK which can accept biodegradeable compostable packaging which means in certain parts of the country, we are able to collect your compostable packaging alongside your food waste! Get in touch to learn more.

Glass: glass plant processing

The glass waste we collect from our clients is sorted and packed at our Materials Recycling Facility for transport to a glass treatment plant.

At the plant, the waste glass is cleaned and segregated into its respective colours before being crushed, melted and extruded and remoulded into new bottles and jars. As glass is the only recyclate which is infinitely recyclable, this process can be repeated time and again with no loss of glass quality.

Cardboard: paper mill recycling

Waste papers and cardboard are amassed at our Materials Recovery Facility where it is sorted, weighed and baled for onward transportation to a processing mill.

The material is shredded and pulped using water and chemicals to create a slurry that is then mixed with new pulp to create a more solid substance. The pulp is filtered, screened and de-inked to remove any impurities and the resultant material is dried and made into new cardboard. Paper consists of long fibres that become shorter and shorter every time it is recycled. The shorter the fibres become, the harder it is to recycle the paper, so this material can usually only be recycled about five to seven times.

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