The journey your rubbish takes before becoming renewable fuel

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 18 Apr 2019

Have you ever wondered what happens to household waste after your bins are emptied?

Ellgia is an innovative waste and recycling organisation with a defined process for all rubbish from general waste to mixed recycling, food and glass.

The company gave The Telegraph a tour of its Winterton Road premises and demonstrated how it transfers our waste into valuable resources and usable fuels - such as renewable energy for heat and electricity.

Collections from Ellgia’s customers are organised from its IT platforms, which enables it to reroute a fleet of more than 70 frontline vehicles. This gives the customers access to all the key data on their online portal - thus, giving them essential management information about how they can and are improving environmental performance.

Once the customers waste arrives at the site, staff allocate where to put the waste through a thorough description.

This allows them to determine which of their five processing lines are best suited to extract maximum value with the least amount of energy and wastage, turning waste into resource.

At the primary processing line, the waste is consolidated with other similar streams.

The bulkier items are hand separated. Remaining items are shredded to 300mm particle size.

Partner feature: Ellgia expands as it turns waste into a resource

Waste is then loaded on to a conveyor system where a series of magnets separate and collect valuable metals from within the waste. It is then put through a vibrating machine, which separates the smaller fractions from the heavier ones.

Then, the waste is checked by a group of trained employees on the processing line. They extract up to five different materials, which are stored for further processing and prepared for transport.

By this stage, Ellgia has reduced the volume of materials by approximately 50 per cent.

Recycled wood is used to fuel the on site Biomass boiler which heats the drying floor

After carefully further refining the materials, it is shredded again for further extractions. It will then enter a rotating drum, with a series of different size and screen filters.

Before being monitored once again by trained employees, the waste enters a separation process before going to the final shredder. The process produces 30mm solid recovered fuel (SRF), which is sampled and analysed to ensure it reaches the correct specifications prior to distribution.

Read more: Waste team praised for recycling vision as processing hub is officially launched

One essential specification requirement of SRF is the achievement of low moisture content. Therefore, Ellgia has invested in significant infrastructure via its biomass boiler and drying floors.

Ellgia has developed many partners both in the UK and across Europe. Materials within the UK are bulk delivered for nationwide energy recovery facilities.

Once the waste is properly wrapped and ready for shipping, the fuel is stored and loaded into shipping containers to energy recovery facilities at site across Europe - leaving the Ellgia premises in Scunthorpe after completing its journey from waste to fuel.

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