The UKs first compostables specific sorting line - Blog

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Monday 15th February 2021

We are very excited to announce the grand opening of the UK’s first compostables specific sorting line – built at our very own Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Essex! 

A first-of-its-kind, our new sorting line will help us to increase the tonnage of Vegware Compostables diverted from landfill and/or incineration in London and the South East, as we scale up our service launched in May 2020. It will provide our service partner, enVar with an even higher quality material, free from contamination - this is key in meeting quality standards. Read more about our complete start-to-finish solution here

The new sorting line has been part funded by Vegware and WRAP, following a successful bid to the Small-Scale Non-Household Municipal Business Waste Grant.  

Why did we commission this? 


Conventional MRFs cannot effectively sort compostables. Optical sorters cannot distinguish between compostable packaging and plastic packaging for example. So compostables are generally collected and sent to the re-processors without any further sorting, relying solely on the customer to provide contaminant free materials.  

Why is this an issue?
  

The composting process is heavily reliant on clean materials to meet quality standards, as compost is used in agriculture. This is why it’s so important that contamination is minimised, otherwise compostables may be rejected and sent for incineration – meaning they are unable to achieve their full potential.

New machinery includes:

  • A brand-new sorting conveyor belt
  • Picking platforms
  • Bin lifts
  • Static compactor

Benefits of the new sorting line

  • Our trained sorting staff will be able to easily identify contamination such as plastics or cans, which will then be recovered for recycling at our site using existing sorting processes. 
  • Uniquely we will be able to identify customers quickly and effectively with high levels of contamination and help them with staff engagement. 
  • The sorting line will also have a secondary use for better sorting coffee cups, another problematic item to recycle. 


To find out more about our Vegware Compostables service head to our webpage or contact our friendly team who will be able to tell you more about our complete solution.

Jessica Parrilla

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