Where does my black bag waste go?

Green Consumer, Info

Once collected by Biffa from your green top bin it is taken to the Brookhurst Wood Mechanical and Biological Treatment facility north of Horsham to retrieve any value.

Rubbish is delivered in the black bags to the facility where it is shredded and mechanically sorted using 120 conveyors and other sorting equipment to remove metal, paper and plastic.

The remaining fraction is heated to kill pathogens and then biologically treated (anaerobic digestion) to produce:

• Biogas – used to generate enough energy to power 10,000 homes. The energy produced is used to power the facility and neighbouring industry and has the potential to export to the National Grid.
• Digestate – This compost like output replaces the use of soil as daily cover for the Brookhurst Wood landfill site. In the future, the digestate could also be used for land remediation or could be dried to create a fossil fuel alternative.

Some of the small bits of paper metal and plastic will still be in the digestate so through a process of floating off the buoyant material and letting metal, stones, grit settle out the material is then dried to make the final clean product.

image from Shanks Waste of similar MBT process

Metals are sent for recycling.

The paper and plastic is too mingled to separate out further, so is pressed into blocks to produce Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) for burning in an energy from waste plant.

There are some rejects and residues of waste that cannot be used as a resource or recycled and these are landfilled at Brookhurst Wood.

The MBT will reduce by 80% the need to landfill the black bag waste collected. Great, as the more we recycle the less rejects at the MBT. How do I recycle ‘the hard to recycle’