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Turning waste into value: The journey of Incinerator Bottom Ash

Commercial Waste Services Westminster
Commercial Waste Services Westminster

At Commercial Waste Services, we are committed to promoting a circular economy and minimising our environmental impact. The general waste we collect is sent to SELCHP, a waste-to-energy facility that plays a crucial role in managing waste sustainably. Not only does it generate electricity and heat by incinerating non-recyclable waste, but it also recovers valuable metals from the ash produced during the incineration process as well as sending the remaining ash for recycling, contributing to a circular economy. By implementing this system, we ensure that none of the waste we collect in Westminster ends up in landfills, significantly reducing waste and our carbon footprint.

The Journey Begins at SELCHP

SELCHP is a state-of-the-art facility that incinerates general waste, generating electricity and heat in the process. This electricity is sent to the national grid to power around 48,000 homes, and now we even use some of this power to charge our electric vehicle fleet at our Landmann Way depot. During incineration, some materials, such as metals, cannot be burned and remain in the resulting incinerator bottom ash (IBA). The larger ferrous metals are extracted from the IBA using a large magnet at SELCHP and the remaining IBA is then transported to Days Group in Greenwich, where a further metal recovery process takes place for the small ferrous and non-ferrous fractions of metal that remains in the ash. 

Cooling, sorting and creating a sustainable product

Before the process can begin, the IBA must cool down to a safe temperature. Once cooled, the material undergoes a screening process to remove any remaining plastic or other contaminants by tipping everything onto a conveyor. 

Next, an overband magnet removes all the ferrous metals and then an Eddy current separator takes out all of the non-ferrous metals like aluminium from the IBA. This process mirrors the one used at Veolia Southwark’s Reuse and Recycling Centre, ensuring maximum resource recovery.

After the metals have been recovered, the remaining material is separated into 8 different size grades of aggregate. Each type of aggregate has a specific use in various construction processes. 

IBA is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option compared to traditional construction materials. It can be used in things such as road construction, concrete production, and landscaping, among others. By making use of IBAA, we are able to divert waste from landfills and contribute to a more sustainable future.

At Commercial Waste Services, we prioritise sustainability and contribute to the circular economy through our partnership with SELCHP and Days Group. By recovering metals and recycling ash, we ensure that valuable resources are not wasted and are instead repurposed for new uses.

Your business can benefit from our zero waste to landfill approach simply by using one of our services. Together, we can make a positive impact on the environment and pave the way for a more circular economy. Get in touch now to see which service is right for you. 

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