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UK's first autoclave treatment plant to be based in Rotherham

A London-based waste management company has chosen a site in Rotherham, Yorkshire to build the UKs first autoclave treatment plant. Sterecycle has built the recycling plant off site and has commenced installation at the six acre facility. The £10 million plant will be open for business early next year and will initially have an annual capacity of 100,000 tonnes of household waste. The autoclave system is unique in that it uses steam and pressure within large vessels to essentially cook the waste, said chief executive Duncan Grierson. The Sterecycle system receives household black bag and commercial waste, loaded unsorted into 50 foot vessels. The autoclaves then cook the waste at low temperature, similar to a kitchen pressure cooker. We use steam and pressure to break down the food waste, which then makes it very easy to separate it from the metals and glass. At the end of the steaming process the organic waste is much more easily separated since it has been broken down into smaller pieces. In this way we divert the organics from landfill and so assure local authorities of meeting their Landfill Allowance diversion targets. The process can also steam clean the non-organics such as the metals and plastics which are then recycled. Development director Rod Brennan said: UK councils are under significant pressure to reduce the amount of technology they send to landfill. Our autoclave technology means that much of the waste that is traditionally landfilled can be recycled cleanly and safely. We have secured a fantastic site and have space to increase the capacity of the facility. Image: Autoclave

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