OIB was interested in where our rubbish goes and visited the Leeds RERF (Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility ) at Cross Green. The RERF takes all the waste from our black wheely bins. The building is based in a heavily industrialised part of Leeds and towers 7 stories above the locality. After the waste is delivered (6 days a week) it is shreaded and they take out the ferrous and non ferrous metals along with a range of plastics letting the remaining mixture of cardboard, paper, waste food, plastic film and companion-animal poo flow into a massive chamber which then is burnt to feed a steam turbine generating enough electricity to power 22,000 homes.
This means that nothing goes to landfill, the waste only sits around for less than a week in the massive chamber so does not generate smells. The output from the chimney is washed to remove the nasties apart from CO2. The building has a massive green wall all down one side which softens the site. It has an interesting mixture of plants including Berberis, Harts tongue fern, common Hazel. There are three planting layer areas with a mix of native, wildlife friendly and ornamental species of shrubs perennials, grasses and bulbs. In total there are 110,000 plants used to create this green wall. Plus the odd bee box, bird nest and yes a gardener with a cherry picker.
The RERF is relatively new and can be visited (see website) and they also offer education support for schools/colleges etc.