State of the Art Recycling Plant in East London Runs Widest Range of Collection Systems Possible

6th December 2016

A case study detailing how the Bywaters plant in East London optimises output quality using different line speeds and equipment settings depending on the mix of the feedstock material.

Key points
Output material fetches higher prices because of improved quality
Facility boasts a 91.5% recovery rate overall and 99% recovery rate on plastics
Directors are investing in sorting lines that will drastically reduce their 8.5% residual percentage



The majority of material from both sources is co-mingled. Paper and cardboard together represent over 75% by weight of the material processed, with paper alone accounting for some 65% of throughput.

Up to one-third of all material is received in recyclable plastic bags. The mix of material entering the MRF varies considerably by source.

The municipal waste has more News and PAMS, glass and metal cans, whereas the commercial waste tends to be rich in cardboard and white or coloured office paper.

Even within the municipal stream there are differences in the mix: Inner London delivers lower quality papers than do Outer London, Essex and Kent.

As for the commercial stream, the site is just 2.5 miles from Canary Wharf and, as Project Manager David Rumble points out:

“Because we’re located close to London’s major business centres, we find that there is more used white office paper in the mix from local customers than from those further afield.”

The state-of-the-art screening technology in the MRF (including three near infra-red (NIR) optical sorters and a drum separator) is very good at dealing with the differing feedstocks.

However, optimum output quality requires different line speeds and equipment settings, depending on the mix of the feedstock material.

How did Bywaters optimise this process? Find out more using the following link:

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