Green methods we use to dispose of our waste

At BCOP, we do our best to follow best practice when disposing of our waste so that none of it ends up in landfill. Our waste is managed by Circom national waste and recycling services.  We recycle as much material as possible and the remaining waste doesn’t go to landfill but is instead used in energy recovery within the UK. Any food waste is used in anaerobic digestors and converted into green electricity and fertiliser.

1. General waste

All our contractors we work with are 100% landfill diversion.  The contractor servicing BCOP has been carbon neutral since 2011 and diverts all waste from landfill.

Any recyclables in the general waste are recycled and all residual waste is sent for energy recovery within the UK.

2. Dry Mixed Recycling

All  the mixed recycling is separated into their respective fractions at the Materials Recycling Facility (or MRF). The mixed recycling is sorted and separated into different types of materials by hand or machine (or both) before being sent to manufacturers who make it into new products.  The waste bags are opened, and the waste is put onto a conveyor belt and moved into a processing area. First, the waste will go into a pre-sort area, where any items that can’t be recycled are removed, and then the materials move into an area where they can be sorted automatically by machines, or manually by workers.

3. Food Waste

All food waste collections from BCOP go to Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants in the UK, alongside waste from restaurants, coffee shops, canteens, catering facilities and some other care homes.

An AD plant is like a large mechanical cow’s stomach, and works in a similar way.  It consumes the foodwaste, and  digests it to release methane and carbon dioxide gases and a by-product that can be used as fertiliser.   The carbon is captured using carbon filtration systems and methane is used to power a gas engine which works like a large car engine. You can read more about AD plants here but we’d like to share some statistics here:

  • The average food waste anaerobic digestion plant creates around 2 megawatts of electricity per hour.  i.e. 2MW/h or (2,000 kilo watts per hour)
  • They operate for around 7,000 hours p.a. to produce 14,000 megawatts of green electricity every year!
  • The AD plant will need around 45,000 tonnes per year of food waste to create that amount of power.
  • An average food waste bin weight is 80kg, so each food waste bin creates around 25kw of electricity!

Diagram showing how anaerobic digestion of food waste works