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Veolia outlines carbon savings with technology innovations

Veolia Environmental Services (VES) has announced a £500m investment drive to tackle the company’s carbon footprint and make recycling easier for householders.

The UK’s largest waste management firm has outlined a move into anaerobic digestion (AD) technology, which will see its current in-vessel composting (IVC) facilities converted to AD to produce energy from the organic treatment process.

VES has also revealed a more specific, targeted way of sorting within its MRFs which will allow householders to put additional materials in their existing recycling bins, without the concern for contamination.  

Speaking at a media event, VES head of technology Richard Kirkman said: “Recycling gives the biggest carbon saving. Over the last 15 years in England we have moved from 5% to 40% recycling. We’re now thinking about going forward and achieving 40% to 60% recycling in the next 10 years. But how can we achieve that without asking more of our customers?”

VES believes its new AD innovation will mean customers can combine green and food waste rather than separating them to ensure AD has the right feedstock mix. VES plans to install an irrigation system in its IVC facilities, which will flush water through concrete tunnels built for the IVC process. The liquid part is separated from the solid organic waste and put through the digestion process, while the solid part is composted.

  • More on Veolia’s vision in this week’s of MRW

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