If you have ever wondered what happens to the materials that you place in your green waste and blue recycle bins once they are collected then read on.
First off all materials collected in green and blue bins in Bassetlaw head for the Waste Transfer Station in Worksop. The waste materials (green bin contents and contamination from blue bin collections) are bulked and sent to the Energy Recovery Facility in Sheffield where as the title suggests heat is recovered from the process and used in waste heat boilers generating steam for the generation of electricity and exported to the National Grid and heat for District Heating.
The materials collected from blue bins with any obvious contamination removed at the Waste Transfer Station is bulked up and sent to the Materials Recovery Facility at Mansfield. It turns out that nowadays only 5% of all materials collected across Nottinghamshire are sent to landfill and that is the material that cannot currently be recycled or incinerated.
So why am I writing about this, you might already be aware of how BDC/NCC deals with the materials from household bin collections across Bassetlaw. Well I had a very limited understanding of what happens after the bins are returned to me empty and this week took time out to visit the Materials Recovery Facility at Mansfield. The £14 million facility built in 2008 is run by Veolia under contract to NCC and is capable of handling 85,000 tonnes of recyclable waste per year. Now I could go on and try to describe the process, you could look at the images in the gallery, I could try and describe what I have seen, but fortunately an explanation has already been prepared for us in the form of a rather good piece of video and here it is…
If you get the chance to visit the facility then I’d recommend you do so, its a great opportunity to see how Nottinghamshire is treating our household waste. We can all do our bit to increase the recyclables in household collections from around 42% of collected materials as current to a target of 45% for 2020. A sobering last thought was that we were told that some authorities are striving now to meet a 60% target, so much for all of us to do.
And as for Tetra Paks, well I now know that I should be putting those in the green bin!