At Cawleys we are continually investing in the latest technology to help our clients achieve the best possible recycling rates. Our most recent investment has been in a RDF baler machine, happily working away now in tandem with our Materials Recycling Facility.
In order to deliver a closed loop economy, where resources are used and re-used over and over again, it is essential that waste materials are collected and sorted into their component parts for recycling.
Role of the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF)
This is the role of our MRF, to separate waste into the key recyclable component parts, such as different metals, plastics, wood, glass and paper. Once collected and stored as separate resources the waste can be treated using the appropriate technology, to reuse and transform it again, capturing the value from that resource so that it is not lost.
Food waste for example, collected separately, can be turned into liquid conditioner for soil and methane gas for the national grid, if put through a process of anaerobic digestion. Cooking oil can be treated and then re-used as a biofuel in vehicles. Plastic, card and wood can be recycled or upcycled, and metal can be recycled infinitely so is especially important to capture and reuse.
How is Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) created?
However even after careful segregation through the MRF there will always be some elements which are too small or in a particular compound formula which cannot be recycled, and in the past this material would have been sent to landfill. To avoid this and ‘capture’ the value of this material it is now being used to create Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).
Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) is the term used to describe the combustible components of solid waste matter, often called municipal solid waste (MSW) which remain after all recyclable components have been removed.
How is RDF used?
In Europe RDF is often used in the cement industry, where following the strict standards of the Waste Incineration Directive it is used as a fuel to create the high temperatures needed to make hydraulic cement. Its main use though is as a fuel to generate electricity. It can be used as an alternative to coal in traditional coal fired power plants but is also used in the newer plants where using plasma arc gasification modules or pyrolysis it is burnt cleanly in compliance with the Kyoto Protocol to generate electricity.
Adding value to customers
Our investment in an RDF baler allows us to divert 100% of waste from landfill for our clients. The baling process sounds simple, involving wrapping the waste stream in a cling film-like substance in cube shapes, but like many simple-looking ideas is based on sophisticated machinery which requires specific skills to manage and maintain.
We are pleased to provide this as part our ongoing investment in technological solutions to ensure a green, sustainable future for us all.