We are proud to support the waste hierarchy – evaluating the different options for managing waste in terms of what is best for the environment.
The reality however, is that not everything can be recovered, re-used or recycled and this is classed as general waste, also known as residual waste or non-recyclable waste.
Typically, products might include kitchen roll, crisp packets, plastic bags, some types of plastic, laminated foil packaging (such as baby food pouches), cutlery, photo paper and greasy takeaway boxes.
The most cost effective and sustainable method for dealing with general waste is to treat it at Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities. This allows you to boost your environmental goals by diverting waste away from landfill, and also reduces disposal costs because you avoid incurring rising Landfill Tax fees.
Energy from Waste facilities also provide a boost to the UK’s energy supplies by generating renewable electricity which is exported to the National Grid. In turn, this helps to reduce the UK’s reliability on fossil fuels.
Using advanced technology, our Lakeside EfW facility at Colnbrook, a joint venture with Viridor, processes around 450,000 tonnes of general waste a year. This generates 37MW of electricity – enough to power around 56,000 homes, a town roughly the size of Slough.
We go to great lengths to ensure our valued customers benefit from our expertise and industry knowledge. Our commitment is such that we guarantee your collections will be 100% compliant with all waste and environmental regulations – literally taking the weight off your mind.
We also help in other areas too. For example, we know how challenging it can be to spread messages about the correct segregation of waste and promote best practice.
Many of our customers have already benefited from our specialist events, such as Tenant Waste Engagement Days and Employee Waste Awareness days, complete with talks, interactive games and plenty of literature to help spread the word about recycling.
We can advise on setting up Green Teams and appointing Waste Champions to keep the momentum going, and we also work closely with other parties, such as cleaning partners or facilities management providers to help ensure recycling excellence.
We’ll even find you the right size bins and containers to suit your individual premises and provide the signage and posters to demonstrate which items go into which bins, making it as easy as possible for you and your employees to cut waste contamination.
Our bespoke service means we arrange collections around your requirements. Depending on the amount of waste you generate, these might be daily, weekly or fortnightly, so by putting your needs first, we can reduce unnecessary collections and excess journeys. Our flexibility also means we can increase or decrease collections as required, for example, to meet seasonal times of the year.
And when we do visit your premises to collect your waste, you can rest assured that we won’t be adding to your carbon footprint because all our waste collection vehicles are certified CarbonNeutral®, meaning every journey is carbon free.
We’re very proud of this commitment to the environment and, because it applies to our entire fleet of collection vehicles, you can benefit from using our services for all types of waste.
We’ll work closely with your in-house teams to identify your different waste streams and help you understand how you can achieve the most benefits. These can range from accruing rebates on your waste account to reaching waste management targets and even winning awards.
Once the waste has been collected and processed, we will also make sure you have all the data you need to manage your waste performance.
We can show you figures which enable you to review how much general waste has been sent to Energy from Waste and demonstrate how much energy has been generated from your chosen option.
And if you have a full range of waste management solutions from us, then we can show you exactly how your different waste streams compare with each other, enabling you to continue making the right decisions.
Anything that can’t be recycled should go into a general waste bin. Everyday items will include baby and pet food pouches made out of mixed materials, bottles which have shrink-wrapped polymer sleeves, waxed paper, kitchen roll, and many things which contain different plastics or components. For example, children’s toys and domestic tools are often made of plastics which are difficult to separate into recoverable elements. Pringles tubes have a metal base, a plastic cap, a metal tear-off lid and are foil-lined, so they cannot be recycled.
The Recycling Association’s advice is ‘If in doubt, throw it out’, ie: to dispose of it in general waste and not in the recycling bin. This helps to avoid contamination, which is one of the biggest problems for recycling companies as a small proportion of the ‘wrong’ type of waste can render a whole lorryload of recycling completely useless.
Our general waste collection vehicles – which are all certified CarbonNeutral® – take your waste for treatment at Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities. We have our own modern EfW facility, a joint venture with Viridor, at Colnbrook, near Slough, which is perfectly placed to service our customers across London and the South East. We also have agreements to utilise capacity at a network of facilities, such as Viridor’s Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at Ardley, in Oxfordshire. This enables us to meet rising demand for an alternative to disposal via landfill throughout our service area.
Our EfW facility operates under strict Environment Agency controls, incinerating all general waste at high temperature. The heat that is produced is then used to power a steam turbine, which in turn generates electricity for export to the National Grid.
The Incinerator Bottom Ash (IBA) is recovered and recycled for use as a substitute for natural aggregate, while the Air Pollution Control residues (APCr), ash which is left behind as the plant turns residual waste into sustainable energy, is recycled into a high quality lightweight aggregate called C8Aggregate (C8Agg).
Together, these technologies mean that our EfW has itself achieved zero waste to landfill.
Energy from Waste plants are highly-regulated and there are very strict emissions limits, which are monitored on a continuous basis by the Environment Agency. Emissions comply with the most stringent UK and European pollution control standards.
Landfill Tax was introduced on 1 October 1996 as a way of discouraging the use of landfill to dispose of waste and to promote more sustainable alternatives to waste management.
Any business which still uses landfill as a disposal option has to pay Landfill Tax for the privilege of doing so, usually this is managed via a licensed waste management operator, such as ourselves, by including the charge in our fees. Prices have been steadily increasing and by April 2020, it will cost £94.15 per tonne for a business to send its waste to landfill.
To help benefit local communities around landfill sites, the government set up the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF), which allows landfill operators to use part of their landfill tax liability to benefit local community and environmental organisations. We have been very pleased to contribute to a raft of projects throughout our region for the benefit of local people through the LCF.
We match the bins and containers to your requirements, there’s no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ approach. We’ll talk to you and identify the best solutions.
We can supply a range of containers from 240 litre wheeled bins through to larger containers, such as front end loader and rolonofs, as well as a range of static and mobile compactors.
What often works very well are bins which have separate slots for different types of waste, for example, mixed recycling, general waste and food waste. All the different sections are clearly marked to ensure everyone knows exactly which items go where.
Yes, we regularly provide bespoke posters and signage for all our bins. Experience shows that pictures and illustrations work well because they are simple to follow, but equally we can design anything that will help achieve the desired result. We can even produce signage in different languages.
Absolutely, flexibility is what we do best. We work on the volume of waste to be collected, we see little point in sending a weekly collection vehicle if bins are only full every fortnight. We’ll talk to you and your team and work out the type of collections that will suit you, whether it’s daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly – or indeed more than that. We can also change collection days as we progress, so if you find you need more or less collections at certain times of year, just let us know.