how we do it

How We Do It

arc21 and its constituent councils are committed to dealing with waste in accordance with the Waste Hierarchy i.e. Prevention, Reuse, Recycling, Other Recovery (e.g. energy) and Disposal.

arc21 and the councils continue to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place to deliver a municipal waste service consistent with the Waste Hierarchy. In particular in regard to post collection this entails engaging the private sector to develop and provide suitable facilities etc.

arc21 acts as the contracting authority, on behalf of its constituent councils, for the significant contracts to deal with waste after it has been collected.The main contracts are those associated with recycling, composting and landfill. arc21 also have other contracts associated with a municipal waste service.

Recycling

These contracts cover both the material collected at the kerbside in the recycling bins and those that residents take to dedicated ‘bring’ sites such as bottle banks.

The material collected at the kerbside in the recycling bins once collected as taken to facilities known as Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs). They are processed through these facilities using a combination of screens, magnets, eddy currents, optical sorters and manual picking to sort the material into the various streams e.g, different grades of paper/card, different types of plastics, aluminium cans and steel cans etc. Once sorted, the material is bulked and presented to the reprocessing market for recycling back into products.  

Further detail, around the types of items that should and should not be placed in the recycling bins, are available from each council including information outlined in their website.

Where appropriate, the material from the bring sites may also be sorted, bulked and presented to the reprocessing market.

Further detail, pertaining to bring sites, are available from each council including information outlined in their website.

Composting

This contract covers the treatment of organic waste collected by the councils. The organic material consists of food waste and green horticultural garden waste collected at the kerbside in the containers provided by the council for that purpose as well as green horticultural garden waste collected separately from council Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs).

The organic material collected at the kerbside is taken to a facility for treatment which utilises “ In-Vessel” technology. This entails a concrete tunnel system in which air flow and temperature are controlled to speed up a natural process using the principles of a bioreactor. The material collected from HWRCs is treated via Open Windrow Composting where the material is placed in long rows and allowed to degrade naturally under some controls in an open-air environment.

The output material is high quality BSI PAS 100 organic compost.

Further detail, pertaining to HWRCs, are available from each council including information outlined in their website.

Landfill

These contracts cover the disposal of municipal waste at landfill. The residual material which is not been separated for recycling or composting is collected by the councils and taken to a properly permitted site and landfilled. The landfill sites are equipped with appropriate pollution control measures such as lining and gas collection and control systems.

Other Contracts

arc21 also acts as the contracting authority in the following contracts:

  • Street Sweepings Treatment;
  • Collection and Processing of Waste Electric and Electrical Equipment (WEEE);
  • Collection and Processing of Waste Batteries and Accumulators;
  • Provision and Supply of Prescribed Waste Receptacles and Kitchen Caddy Liners.

arc21 also has contracts with a number of specialist professional advisers including legal, health and safety, technical, financial and public relations.