One of TOMRA´s AUTOSORT units will separate and recover the plastics by material size and colour as required by Amey for its end customers. Firstly the PET and HDPE will be targeted and recovered at an exceptionally high 94% purity rate. A further AUTOSORT unit will target the remaining mixed plastics. More than 90% of all plastics in the infeed stream will be captured. These high purity recovered materials will be sold or reprocessed into new products.
Once the plastics have been recovered, any remaining waste that is neither recyclable nor compostable will be used as a fuel for the Park’s advanced thermal treatment (ATT) plant. The gasification process used in the ATT plant will create renewable electricity, with around 5.8MW of electricity due to be exported to the National Grid annually – when coupled with the electrical output from the anaerobic treatment process – will be enough energy to power the equivalent of around 11,000 homes.
Andy Hudson, Head of Environment and Waste at Milton Keynes Council, comments: “Our aim at the Milton Keynes Recovery Park is to take a holistic approach to the management and treatment of waste. Instead of landfilling vast amounts of the black sack waste produced by Milton Keynes’ households, we want to divert this material from landfill and use it to create energy. Also, with high costs associated with incineration and high gate fees for landfill, it makes commercial sense to recover as much material from the waste stream as possible prior to landfill or incineration. Ultimately, thanks to the new plant, we will be able to reduce our landfill to around just 3% and significantly reduce our waste management bills over the coming years.”
Steve Almond, Sales Engineer at TOMRA Sorting Recycling, adds: “Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park is a prime example of the approach that the UK’s waste industry should be taking if we are to meet the European Commission’s revised Circular Economy package 65% recycling target set for household by 2030. Amey has recognised the value of extracting as much recyclate as possible for its clients, both on the Milton Keynes project and on other projects we are working on with Amey and Stadler.
“Milton Keynes Council is certainly leading the way in the UK in terms of its treatment of MSW, but the opportunities for material recovery using sensor-based sorting technology are even greater. Using a combination of sensor-based sorting technology, TOMRA’s equipment can be programmed to identify and separate each individual fraction, extracting maximum value from MSW, diverting material from landfill and increasing recovery of materials for re-sale. We’re already working with customers worldwide who are recovering metals, plastics, paper, ferrous and non-ferrous packaging, films, paper, board and glass from MSW at exceptionally high recovery and purity rates.”