What we do with your general rubbish
We view waste as a resource to be used. Our aim is to remove as much material with value as possible. This means that your rubbish goes though a range of sorting processes that take out plastics, paper, cardboard and metals. It is still better to recycle in the first instance, but many things that have been put into the general waste bin by mistake are recovered during the sorting process.
The main resource we are looking for in your rubbish is the biodegradable element, for example, food. An important part of the technology used at the WRPs is the production of biogas. During the sorting process, food is removed and sent for percolation where the food is mixed with water. Anything that dissolves in the water is sent to bio-digesters, where micro-organisms break down the organic content into methane. This process is known as Anaerobic Digestion. We harness this methane and use it to produce energy, meaning that the waste treatment is far less environmentally damaging than the alternative, which is simply to landfill your rubbish.
Once all the waste that we can use again has been taken out, we don't stop there. There is still some rubbish left over. This is shredded and sent to be composted. The process produces a compost-like soil improver called Organic Growth Media or OGM. Although the end product has been made from your rubbish, it still has its uses. The OGM can be used to cover landfill sites, or to improve the soil quality on brown field sites. It can also be used to plant trees.