Waste to Energy in London

Waste to Energy (WtE) takes waste and through incineration turns it into a useable form of energy such as electricity, steam or heat. We produce fuel for this using the wastes that are too small or too contaminated to be recycled.  These are the residual wastes left after all our recycling processes have been applied.  The fuel produced is known as RDF: Refuse Derived Fuel.

We have been supplying RDF to recovery facilities since 2010 and the environmental benefits of the process make this a growing area of our business.

We create the best quality RDF because we continually invest in the latest technologies, and commission bespoke improvements in our systems for processing waste residues.

The Benefits of Waste to Energy

Our WtE processes support our compliance with the waste hierarchy by diverting waste from landfills. We were early adopters of this technology beacuse we understood that the process would divert more of the residual wastes from landfill and provide valuable low carbon energy. We have developed one of the UK’s most sophisticated facilities for producing a variety of RDF.  We have established channels to a number of waste to energy facilities in Europe.

Waste consignments tipped at our  MRF in Greater London are processed to extract any metallic or mineral items. The non-mineral residues are then bulked using bespoke, integrated cross wrap/baling plants into durable bales for safe and secure transportation to Waste to Energy facilities. Our system is fully compliant with all legal requirements (EA, TFS, Financial Bonds and Insurance).

The Waste to Energy Process

Our technology for processing waste residues ensures we create the best quality RDF fuel with high calorific value. The process is fully sustainable with high energy yields which in turn reduces the burden on natural resources.

The wastes we receive at our Barking based MRF in Greater London that are suitable for conversion into RDF fuel go through a pre-treatment process where any items that can be recycled are removed. We carry out ongoing chemical sampling tests to determine the quality of the fuel.  Exact information on the contents of the fuel is required by regulators for export purposes.  The tests have the added benefit of telling us where adjustments can be made to improve the quality of our product.

Each sample is subjected to a full analysis which gives the moisture content, ash content, net and gross calorific value plus other inorganic tests results.

Our thorough pre-treatment separation and processing systems ensure a superior high grade final RDF product.  The residues are baled, using the most reliable and up-to-date equipment, to ensure they remain intact during transportation to our partners.

Wharf Waste Facility

Our London wharf waste facility has two wharfs which can accommodate 100 metre vessels.  It is just 6 miles from central London.  We can deliver the fuel by this more sustainable method of transportation: each shipload is equivalent to 140 lorry journeys.  This takes a lot of traffic off London’s roads.

Waste awaiting processing into RDF: Waste to Energy in actionBalling RDF for a Waste to Energy plant

Established channels for RDF into Europe

Since McGrath started converting waste to energy we have developed established channels to a number of facilities in Europe where our regulatory compliance (EA, TFS, Financial Bonds and Insurance) is part of the necessary and stringent requirements.

At these plants the RDF is incinerated to produce energy for the local electricity grid and steam for local industry and  businesses.  The combustion gases are only released after being cleaned by flue gas cleaning systems. Ash residues are recycled while remaining material is used in road and cement production.

RDF Reducing Greenhouse Gases

Using Greenhouse Gas conversion data available from Defra we calculate that the waste to energy process saves over 500kg of CO2e for each tonne of RDF processed.

London’s Progress on Waste to Energy

The amount of London waste sent to incinerators or Waste to Energy plants has more than doubled in the last 10 years. In 2018 the London Assembly announced that half of London’s waste is used to create energy.  The North London Waste Authority is developing a new Waste to Energy facility in Edmonton.  It is expected to go live in 2025 and process 700,000 tonnes of waste a year.