material and then someone else reaps the rewards of landfill diversion,’ says Adrian. ‘Any third parties involved in dealing with the collected material must be carefully vetted. Unfortunately, there are still a few unscrupulous operators who are willing to flout the law and mix or dispose of the material in an illegal way, damaging the environment and transferring the costs back to taxpayers.’ However, the good news is that these disposal issues are not insurmountable. Technology is now available that can process the mixed material, meaning it can be diverted from landfill and create a lucrative revenue stream in place of a cost. ‘These wet processing systems screen, classify and dewater waste streams, diverting over 70% of the input from landfill,’ says Adrian. ‘They also remove contaminants and oversized matter and maximise recycled water levels.’ With this new equipment, Adrian says that guaranteed repeatable results are achievable and contamination levels in outputs are reduced, regardless of feed contamination levels. The washed grit is suitable as a non-structural fill or secondary aggregate. Sand, grit and gravel offer significant potential for recovery and can be used in line with country regulations. The remaining oversize grit/gravel can be recovered for use as recycled aggregates while recovered organics/ rag can be used in composting or alternatively go to landfill at reduced volumes. ‘An added advantage is that the systems are available in turnkey options, or set up in modules so that they can be used on a variety of sites and locations.’
Like many, if not all of the environmental issues facing councils today, there is no easy fix for littering or a way to ensure that council budgets will be sufficient to deal with this demanding service. However, by combining a reduction in waste crime through behaviour change initiatives and legislation with landfill diversion initiatives – such as proper processing of road sweepings – councils and waste management companies have the opportunity to ensure that the road to tackling litter is as free from obstacles as possible. With landfill taxes set to rise and budgets falling, councils can’t afford not to take the problem on.
Above: clean, recycled roadwaste can be a valuable resource for councils.
Thursday 21st June 2018