What factors should be considered when seeking a solution for our waste?
People will have differing opinions on this but here are a fews things we think are important:
1. Does the process preserve the material resource in waste, particularly rare and valuable material?
2. Does it have the best impact on the environment, including carbon footprint?
3. Does it meet the needs of local people and communities?
4. Is it economically attractive and sustainable?
5. Is it flexible to changes and improvements in technology and recycling?
We believe the Community R4C fulfils these criteria.
Renewable Energy Production & Recyclate Recovery
Biocentre’s Advanced MBHT technology is at the heart of the R4C. The technology is based on the underlying principle that waste is a resource. As with any resource, it makes sense that it should be processed in a way that extracts the maximum value from it. The MBHT technology uses a combination of advanced techniques to sort, clean, dry, and refine the majority of the contents of the black bin bag. Following the Waste Hierarchy guidelines, one of the main aims is to maximise both the quantity and quality of recyclate recovered. The bulk of the remaining material is biogenic and once processed, it can be used as a source of renewable energy in the form of fuel pellets.
The numbers speak for themselves. The R4C clearly gets much more value from the waste than is possible using an incinerator.
Gloucestershire has roughly 190 ktpa of waste to deal with and so it’s worth considering the annual carbon footprint which would occur depending on how the waste was processed:
Recycled Biomass vs. Virgin Biomass
In terms of sustainability, a bonus of the Community R4C solution is how the production of high quality biogenic fuel pellets will reduce the need for fuels from virgin biomass sources. Environmentally, it is far superior not to grow trees for fuel, but to first use these to make paper, recycle the paper to lower grade uses, then when the pulp is uneconomic to resuse even for things like egg boxes, use this as a fuel.