Low Carbon Europe’s Managing Director, Darren Jones, visited the Hollingdean materials recovery facility (MRF) in Brighton recently to learn more about Veolia’s environmental services in the area.

The Materials Recovery Facility was constructed as part of a partnership to provide an integrated waste service established between Veolia and Brighton & Hove City Council along with East Sussex County Council to tackle waste management.

Brighton & Hove alone produces 120,000 tonnes of waste per year, the majority of which passes through the MRF. Before the waste reaches the MRF, it’s collected at Waste Transfer Stations, and 5 are strategically placed in the local area to receive unloaded waste from collection vehicles.Darren at Hollingdean

The facility receives the co-mingled commodity, or unsorted waste, which is then passed through an automated separation process to sort the waste into its different types. Operatives work alongside the automated machinery to remove any contamination from the waste streams. The MRF is designed to sort paper, cardboard, aluminium, steel, mixed plastics, totalling around 1,300 tonnes of waste per month.

Once the waste is sorted by type, it’s bulked and transported to recycling and recovery facilities elsewhere. The transfer station and MRF have a combined throughput of 160,000 tonnes per year. Biodegradable green waste from the area is sent to the Woodlands In-Vessel Composting facility where it’s shredded and heated to kill any bacteria. 46,000 tonnes of biodegradable waste is composted at this facility per year, and the final product pro-grow compost is available to buy online or at household waste sites.

All waste produced can be reused in some way, whether it’s recycled into a new product or used to generate energy. These closed loop processes ensure nothing is wasted.