Residual waste is what remains after the separation of recyclable materials. Before the development of modern energy-from-waste technologies, most residual waste was sent to landfill.
Now the same waste can be delivered to energy recovery facilities. Upon arrival at the facility. the waste is weighed, inspected and tipped into a waste storage bunker.
The waste is then delivered into combustion chambers and heated to above 850°C. The combustion process reduces the waste to approximately 20% of its original volume, turning it into non-hazardous bottom ash (IBA). The process also heats up water in steel tubes within the boiler. The water is converted to superheated steam and delivered to a steam turbine that continuously generates electricity for onward transmission to the National Grid.
Emissions are filtered and cleaned before being released via tall flue stacks. The ash from the furnace is collected separately and taken away for recycling and metal recovery.
The circular economy aims to maximise the utility of products, components and materials at all times. In this way, waste does not have to be wasted.
Waste to Energy is accepted as a less harmful waste management solution than landfill and is widely deployed across Europe.