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The Waste Place
useful waste solutions

How is Green (Garden) Waste Recycled?

How Is Green Waste Recycled?

When you throw your hedge cuttings out or cut the grass, what happens to this waste? Where does it go?

Green waste/garden waste processing is a well-managed system of recycling and one with a bit of care you can manage in your garden at home, with a compost bin.

On a larger commercial scale it’s similar to home, just a lot bigger! Large scale specialist recyclers are able to handle upwards of 200 tonne per day and it’s an impressively organised system.

On arrival to site green waste is visually inspected for obvious contamination (any material not green waste).  Following which the material will be fed into a hopper (large funnel which feeds into a shredder) where it is shredded and screened to ensure a consistent size (think of a screen like a colander or sieve, just with varying sized holes depending on grade required). Any oversized pieces will be put back through the shredder, until they are the required size. Uniformity of size ensures all material breaks down at a similar rate.

The green waste material is placed together in a giant “compost”, sometimes in poly tunnels. In the same way as a home compost, bacteria breaks down the material matter into smaller, decomposed parts. Monitoring occurs through the process with the material being turned and moved regularly. One of the by-products is heat, aiding the break down. The heat inside the pile can reach a temperature of 77 degrees centigrade.

After at least 6-12 weeks the material is screened, removing the new fresh soil/compost. Any not broken down enough, or is to large, will go back through the process all over again.

Dan: 29th Nov 2017 13:38:00

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