Zero to Landfill: how it works

The Enviro hub: material recycling facility (MRF)

Our Enviro hub is the only one of its kind in the South West and can process 150,000 tonnes of waste per year, making a big impact in diverting waste from landfill in the region and providing the only Zero to Landfill service. How do we do it? Read on …

The Zero to Landfill process

Mixed general non-food waste arrives at the Enviro hub and is shredded through our very powerful shredding unit. This gives the waste a maximum uniform size of 300mm and opens up any sacks. It is then sent to the trammel, which removes any fines such as dirt and very small items. The fines materials are re-processed at our Sowton MRF, where they are cleaned up in order to be re-used as ground cover or infill on new construction sites.

The material then goes on to the ballistic separator where it is sorted into 2D and 3D. The 3D goes in one direction through magnets and laser optics to separate all metals and plastics, and the 2D goes through two lasers, which remove all paper, card and soft plastics.

Following these processes we are left with around 10-15% of the original waste in the form of small residual items, which forms our waste to energy product as it’s simply too small to recover successfully. We are then able to re-process the separated recycling by sending it back through the ballistic separator to further categorise the materials, for example separating clear from coloured plastics and paper from card.

All recycling is then baled and sent for re-processing at appropriate mills across the UK wherever possible, although we also work with partners in Europe and Asia depending on the best onwards recycling solution for the materials.

Nothing is sent to landfill.

That’s how it all works, in a nutshell. Interested in more detail about this amazing technology and want to see it in action? Take a look at our film.

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