How waste to energy (WtE) plants are reducing dependence on landfill sites
When you throw rubbish away, you rarely give it a second thought, but at ReGen, our Waste to Energy (WTE) operation is one of the biggest areas of our business. This is the process of recovering energy from waste which is normally thrown away, and when we do this, we can reduce the need for landfill sites. Waste to energy plants are not here to replace recycling – they are here to work in conjunction with it. Find out more about how plants like ours are reducing the need for landfill sites.
How we harness energy from waste
Refuse Derived Fuel is prepared waste which is produced from normal rubbish, or municipal solid waste. We recover everything we can, and then the waste is dried and baled – ready to be shipped to energy plants across Europe to burn, and produce electricity to power local homes. All this is created from rubbish that was thrown away, so this energy recovery not only does good for the homes and businesses which rely on the power it generates, but it means so much less material is sent to landfill. It is also possible to tailor the content of the RDF, depending on the end user’s requirements, and at ReGen we have the capabilities to satisfy this demand easily.
Why is RDF a good thing?
Refuse Derived Fuel is energy recovered from materials that would otherwise be thrown away, but using it also reduces the reliance on fossil fuels for producing heat and electricity. There are also cost benefits - the export of refuse derived fuel is price-competitive, and a less expensive alternative than landfilling. It’s also likely to grow in importance and have continued demand from other European countries who look to us to satisfy this – for example, Sweden’s recycling has evolved to a point where the country relies on RDF from other sources to meet winter heat demand.
How we make our waste management collection process more environmentally friendly
At ReGen, we know that we can’t do our job properly if we’re having a negative impact on the environment and our community, which is why we put certain steps in place to ensure we limit any negative consequences we could potentially have:
- Delivery of RDF by truck is taken to Warrenpoint, just 11 km from our production facility, reducing our potential carbon footprint
- Bulk vessels capable of handling up to 4500 tonnes deliver this material to the quay in the nearest post to the WTE plant to reduce any unnecessary transport and keep the carbon footprint from logistics minimal
- We handle loading and transportation outside normal working hours to minimise disruption and inconvenience to our local community.
Part of a sustainable future for waste management will be to continue to find ways to reduce our reliance on landfill and finding new and innovative ways to process and reduce waste. We will be actively involved in this process, and we continually make improvements in our technologies, machinery and equipment through our dedicated engineering department to ensure we’re at the forefront of waste management best practices.