Landfill Targets: Are MRFs the answer?
Following concern over meeting 2020 landfill targets, leading industry bosses and trade representatives have this week called for a full review of national waste management practices.
The call to action, which was put forward by representatives from the Environmental Services Association (ESA), Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM), Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Local Government Technical Advisers Group (TAG), and Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT), challenges the use of ‘dated’ figures and criticises progression towards meeting waste policy targets.
Although the statement was rejected by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), who is confident of industry development and satisfied with current reuse figures, it seems as though more needs to be done to ease pressure and ensure environmental targets are met.
With this in mind, Gavin Barnes, Recycling Manager at Tong Engineering, discusses the importance of driving forward waste practices, adopting effective strategies and embracing the latest technologies to reduce bulk landfill discard volume.
From industry developments and initiatives to recognised waste management strategies, Gavin takes us through the latest processes, techniques and custom solutions.
“Although significant headway has been made towards reducing landfill volume, reacting to the latest trends, maintaining momentum and finding new and improved ways to increase reclaim percentage is becoming a key priority for waste professionals,” comments Gavin.
“If we are to meet 2020 targets, we must drive forward practices to not only maintain current rates, but take recycling to the next step. I believe the answer lies in efficiencies. Efficiencies of reclaim, efficiencies of output and efficiencies of reuse.
“Over the last decade, waste management companies have switched from a focus on maximising collection volumes to a reclaim and reuse approach. As such, a high percentage of facilities utilise MRF systems to separate waste from recoverable and resellable equipment.
“MRFs not only help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, but also increase profitability of reclaim and provide a labour-efficient process to elevate recycling figures.
“However, as waste requirements change and systems become dated, updating equipment and specifying the perfect solution for your exact needs is essential. What’s more, by embracing the latest solutions, increasing quality and improving profitability can be achieved.
Waste not, want not
“MRFs need to be designed to meet specific individual requirements. The best way to get the best quality waste is to look at your MRF and ensure you are working with the correct system for the job in hand.
“Depending on the type and throughput of materials processed, complexity and design can fluctuate significantly. What’s more, flexibility to manage a wide variety of input will impact on size, automation, throughput and logistics.
“MRFs can even be developed into complete custom lines. From trommels, optical sorters and overband magnets to eddy current separators, ballistic separators and bag openers, there is a solution available for every waste management and reclaim process.
Providing the complete recycling solution
“Tong Engineering has been manufacturing in the UK for more than 80 years and has a great deal of experience in developing custom-built equipment for materials handling industries.
“As specialists in the design, manufacture and installation of a wide range of robust and reliable handling machinery, our systems are custom-built and based on the specific requirements of their use. Typically, they include bulk handling infeed hoppers with waste materials transferred to trommel screens, picking stations and materials recovery bays, but our bespoke design service allows full customisation.
“From single conveyors, elevators, balers and shredders to full bespoke conveying systems, Tong Engineering manufactures the complete package. We have already helped hundreds of companies across the UK to improve waste management efficiencies and effectively utilise both labour and space, while increasing productivity and profitability.
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