A waste management company is being hailed as the first in England to convert waste on-site into solid recovered fuel (SRF) using biotechnology.
Max Recycle has entered into an eight-year contract with Advetec to use aerobic digester machines on its site in Houghton-Le-Spring, Sunderland, to convert contaminated and otherwise non-recyclable residual waste into SRF.
Advetec claims that for every two tonnes of residual waste that go through its XO22 model, 1.2 tonnes of CO2 will be saved as a result of its biotech digesting the organic fraction of the waste using blends of bacteria. What remains (called floc) will be sold on as a replacement for coal products by N+P, a company that specialises in the supply of waste-derived alternative fuels to various industries. Advetec says that every tonne of floc used as SRF replaces half a tonne of coal.
Max Recycle’s customer base ranges from the high street to regional industrial estates, including offices, retail, and hospitality. Once installed at the company’s Houghton-Le-Spring site, the aerobic digester will process up to 10 tonnes of commercial residual waste a day.
Managing director Scott Hawthorne commented: “Increased fuel costs, companies striving to improve green credentials, and government targets – these are all putting huge pressure on the waste sector’s infrastructure, and this demands a different approach. Our contract with Advetec affords businesses within the North East an opportunity to accelerate their journey to Net Zero and contribute towards the circular economy.”
With the government’s plan to halve the amount of residual waste sent to landfill or incineration by 2042, Advetec says that waste companies need to be open-minded about the solutions available to them.
From a client perspective, Durham County Cricket Club – a current Max Recycle customer – sees advantages in the new process. Commercial director Tom Seymour commented: “We’ve been working hard to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill, but until now thought the only alternative was incineration. Max Recycle’s ability to offer a more sustainable treatment option will have a hugely positive impact on our internal ESG goals.”
Find out more
How waste is managed on and off-site – and the emerging potential for on-site waste processing – was the subject of a Facilitate webinar earlier this year.
Advetec’s Stephen Wise was joined in the discussion by Lucy Jeynes of Larch Consulting, Sodexo UK & Ireland’s head of waste management Catherine Burrows, and Crown Workspace’s head of sustainable development, Ann Beavis. Click here to listen on demand.