So much to see and learn.We were particularly interested to know what happens to our blue binned rubbish - co-mingled recyclables. Our presentation took a live camera peek at some of the 20 people dealing directly with our waste at any one time, in the MRF cabins. Workers stand at a fast moving conveyor belt removing particular materials into skips in 8 hour shifts. We were transfixed by the large plastic film removal area. Other cabins were looking for 3D, plastics etc. You can see the categories they remove in the picture below. 95% of the co mingled rubbish received is recycled.
|recyclable materials reclaimed|
Much of the facility is mechanised.
I think the plastic bag issue hit us the most. Not really any plan for them beyond baling them up for some, as yet, future use.
|plastic bag bales|
The drive round the facility created a lot of questions about landfill, methane gas and slurry and the relative merits of burning rubbish which some countries favour. We knew from earlier training that authorities are charged as much as £103 a ton for rubbish that goes to landfill and that there are big targets for recycling.
I think it is safe to say that we went away with a much better understanding of what happens to our waste, a little depressed at the sheer volume of it all and with more questions buzzing around in our heads!
Oh and did I mention the smell? How could I forget that!