Any waste that can’t be recycled or composted goes into your general waste bin. In Cambridgeshire, all waste destined for landfill goes through a Mechanical Biological Treatment plant (MBT) to try and reduce its impact on the environment and cost to the tax payer as much as possible.
This process removes some materials that should have been recycled but weren’t, such as metal tins and cans. It’s important to note that this is not an alternative to recycling, as only some materials can be recovered at this stage and the quality is very low, meaning that it is still essential to recycle everything you can.
What’s left goes through a final waste reduction process in an enormous enclosed hall measuring 70 metres in width and 200 metres in length. Water is added to the waste and giant mechanical turning wheels keep the material aerated for a seven week process. This speeds up the decomposition of the waste, capturing greenhouse gases and reducing the volume that is sent to landfill by half, meaning that it is both better for the environment and saves public money as less landfill tax will be paid.
For a detailed description of the process visit the Amey website.
In Peterborough, the residual waste is processed at an Energy Recovery Facility which burns the waste at high temperatures and produces an inert ash for recycling. This reduces its weight by around 94% and the heat generated by the process is turned into renewable electricity.
For more information on the process visit https://viridor.co.uk/our-developments/peterborough-erf/.