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Machine could increase landfill capacity by 700%

A machine which increases landfill capacity by up to 700% has moved a step closer to full implementation in the UK.

The PowerMaster has been used successfully in the USA for 35 years and it could be the next revolutionising tool not just for waste management companies but for anyone involved in the recycling industry here.

It uses a nine-sided horizontal container which acts as a shredder, grinder and hammer mill, processing material to produce particles or compacting it.

Through Reffell Environmental Consultants (REC), the advanced recycling system has been installed at Pontypool, South Wales and will be used to demonstrate the process.

REC managing director Derek Reffell said: It was difficult to get people to see it in the USA where people treat it like its worth its weight in gold.

Now we can show here how it speeds up the natural degradation of compost from 90 days to nine, produces an aggregate from demolition waste, turns wood into a combustible product for renewable energy and produces rapeseed oil. But the biggest advantage is with Municipal Solid Waste (MSW).

It reduces the moisture by 50% and compacts the waste. This increases landfill capacity, with 700% being a hell of a long time. The cost of running it is around £7/tonne and depending on what you process, you could get a return on your capital within two years.

The Pontypool plant is the first of its kind in Europe and with REC now able to demonstrate the process here, it is confident of seeing the system implemented throughout the waste management sector in the UK.

Viridor Waste Management has already shown considerable interest, with officials suggesting to Reffell that it would save the company energy, improve its range and quality of aggregates and feed stocks and reduce landfill costs.

The system can process up to 100 tonnes per hour of glass and compost and while the largest of the machines is 400 horsepower, utilisation of technologies means it runs at a comparatively small energy cost.

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