Recently fourteen of us travelled, by Mini Bus from Bramcote, to see the Veolia Re-cycling Centre in Mansfield. The trip was made following the talk by Jane Hutchinson (Broxtowe BC Waste & Re-cycling Assistant) to the Bramcote CAT Meeting on 2 September 2013. It was suggested then that we might learn more from a visit to the Re-cycling Centre.
Once arrived, we were ushered into the Visitors and Training Centre. We learnt that the Centre is run by Veolia in a Partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council.
We viewed a short film which described the process of sorting the contents of our Green Bins. The waste is placed upon a conveyor belt and sorted by various methods. For example by a tumbler, magnets and a blast of air at appropriate stages during the process and with minimal manual sorting. The ferrous metal and non-ferrous metal were either attracted to or were repelled by the magnets.
Paper, cardboard, plastic and metal are all sorted so that they may be disposed of to the re-cycling trade. It appears to be a very effective system. However not all plastics are acceptable as there is no market for the thinner plastics (with the re-cycle logo and number within). Bottle tops are also not able to be re-cycled through this facility.
We now understand that the sorting is not 100% precise but within the tolerances the industry allows. Contaminants within the process are allowed. Margarine containers are accepted if as clean as reasonably possible. They do not need to be thoroughly washed but could be wiped clean with a tissue. The plastic windows in window envelopes are not wanted so it would be better if the plastic window was removed by us before we placed the envelope in the green bin. However the complete window envelope is acceptable within the tolerances.
We were left with the thought that the old phrase ‘Where there is muck there is money’ is very true.