18 October 2019 LRA
Cllrs Chris Pond and David Wixley recently had a trip round the plant
at Angel Road Edmonton where all your kerbside dry recycling is taken.
is a most impressive and huge depot with much state of the art
machinery as well as hand pickers so as to produce very high standard
materials for resale and thus reuse.
The plant operates 24 hours
a day throughout the year except for closing on Christmas and Boxing
Days, and employs 350 staff in total with 120 working during our visit.
Staff work 10 hour shifts 4 days of days and 4 of nights then have 4
Most in demand are aluminium cans and containers,
steel tins, newspapers, clean paper of a reasonable size (A5 or
bigger). Cardboard is plentiful with the growth of online ordering and
the relative demise of the High Street. The different types of plastic
are sorted by state of the art technology but can be sold
advantageously; plastic film has no market at present (as wasn't the
case a year or so back).
A few tips:
no circumstances put textiles in the dry recycling. These foul up the
machinery. Put these out on TOP of your bins in a carrier bag, ditto
small waste electrical goods. Both of these are sent to specialist
On very rare occasions,
and especially in narrow roads, glass bottles from your blue box may be
put in the same compartment in the lorry as paper etc. The plant is
equipped to deal with this, and the glass is still recycled. Most glass
goes into a separate compartment.
Very small pieces of paper (bus ticket size) often also end up as Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).
machinery cannot detect items such as brown mushroom punnets or black
meat trays. These may as well go with residual waste in your black bin.
the way, residual waste in your black bin is taken to Harlow and
compressed and then transferred to the County Council mega-plant at
Basildon, where approximately 10% more recyclable material is
extracted. The rest is destined to form aggregates or, after
composting, RDF. In normal times, none of the waste collected by the
District Council will go to landfill.
The emphasis is now on the
quality of the recycled material and not the quantity, now that China
and other countries are no longer accepting waste from the West.