Go straight to main content
12 December 2017
print this page

About Residual Waste

While arc21’s focus is on ‘Reducing, Re-using and Recycling’, it’s not possible yet to do that for all types of waste. That material which can’t be recycled or composted is known as ‘residual waste’.


At present residual waste is sent to landfill, but due to new EU legislation the amount of waste going to landfill must be reduced to just 35% of its 1995 levels. Failure to do so could lead to large fines for local councils, which will ultimately be paid for by ratepayers.

arc21’s strategy for dealing with residual waste is set out in its Waste Management Plan, which details proposals to use Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) and Energy from Waste (EfW) – technologies which are already widely used in Great Britain and Europe.

How does the process work?

Residual waste (the contents of your black bin) will be forwarded to an MBT facility where recyclable and re-usable material is recovered mechanically. The remaining material can then be used as a ‘fuel’ for the EfW facility to produce heat or electricity.

The technology will enable arc21 to manage waste from the region in an efficient and environmentally-friendly manner, providing something useful from waste which was previously just thrown into the ground.

Click on the questions (left) for more detailed information about MBT and EfW, and keep an eye on the News section for updates on how the Residual Waste Project is progressing.