SCA Recycling has gained a permit to export refuse-derived fuel (RDF). As a result, the company’s Southampton MRF has become a ‘zero-waste’ facility.
According to the recycler, 95% of the materials brought to its Southampton facility are recovered, leaving 5% residue - or around 6,000 tonnes a year - that will be processed into RDF.
Business development director Simon Barnes said: “Our aim was to become a zero-waste facility, ensuring that no materials are sent to landfill. Everything is now either recycled or recovered.”
The RDF is exported to an energy-from-waste plant in Sundsvall, Sweden, where SCA has a major paper mill. The plant makes use of steam from the mill and incorporates a district heating scheme to more than 12,000 homes.
Barnes added: “Exporting this material is the best sustainable solution. Economically this material has a value for energy producers, environmentally the solution is higher up the waste hierarchy than landfill and socially it provides employment.
“Our role is to fully utilise residual materials, and we have devised the RDF programme to support the waste hierarchy and make the best use of SCA’s integrated logistics network. Currently we believe the UK needs a mixed portfolio of energy sources to address its climate change and energy strategy ambitions, and RDF can be part of this diverse strategy.”