North London Waste Authority Increases Polystyrene Recycling Efficiency With Greenbank

NLWA baler opening

North London Waste Authority Increases Polystyrene Recycling Efficiency With Greenbank

With increased emphasis on the effects of climate change and the health of our planet, organisations around the UK are looking for new opportunities to recycle their waste whenever possible. Although many are unaware, polystyrene is actually a recyclable material, however, it’s believed that around 10,000 tonnes of it get thrown away each year.

The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) wanted to raise awareness about the benefits of recycling polystyrene and also increase the amount of polystyrene they recycle in their local area. That’s why they decided to come to Greenbank Waste Management. Together, we devised an initiative to make it happen.

What Challenges Were NLWA Facing With Polystyrene?

It’s estimated that the average household produces around 40kg of polystyrene waste a year. That’s a pretty staggering amount when you consider a large quantity of this simply gets sent to landfill each year.

Like many others, NLWA faced challenges with large amounts of waste being dropped off at their sites with no solution to recycle it all.

As they’re a forward-thinking organisation, the organisation was highly aware of its impact on the environment and their local councils. They also understood that recycling polystyrene could open up new opportunities to support other organisations in their local area.

Polystyrene is a complex material to process at the end of its life due to its light weight and bulky nature, making it unsustainable to transport in large quantities. This meant the NLWA were experiencing high volumes of polystyrene reaching their sites with few options to remove it quickly.

The organisation also wanted to clear misconceptions around recycling polystyrene. They were passionate about raising awareness about the benefits of recycling polystyrene and reducing waste volume in their local area. That’s when they turned to Greenbank.

How Did Greenbank Help Them Overcome These Challenges?

After taking the time to understand NLWA’s current situation and what they wanted to achieve, together, we created a new initiative that would allow them to collect and recycle polystyrene at eight of their reuse and recycling centres (RRCs) across North London.

By doing so, they quickly started urging north London residents to help reduce this unnecessary waste by bringing their unwanted waste to one of the participating RRCs.

As well as being a great way to raise awareness about recycling polystyrene, our initiative ensured NLWA had a solution in place that would allow them to start recycling the build-up of waste and reduce the amount piling up at their different sites.

Once the polystyrene has been recycled, it would then turn into insulation panels for the housing and construction industries. This reduces running costs and carbon emissions from buildings and saves on virgin materials.

To make this happen, our team of engineers implemented a Cobalt SC1100 Compactor. This machine is highly versatile, meaning it recycles all types of waste dropped off the site — regardless of its format or condition.

Since the initiative began, NLWA has felt many benefits from introducing our compactors to their sites. It has been an overall success for everybody involved. 

Here’s what Chair of the organisation, Councillor Clyde Loakes, had to say about the project:

“We are delighted to be able to add expanded polystyrene to the extensive range of recycling services in north London. While it’s essential that more is done to prevent waste in the first place, there remains an important role for recycling. NLWA and its partners continue to seek opportunities to manage resources in a more circular way and extract maximum value out of all the materials we receive.

“In our fight to tackle the Climate Emergency, we all have a part to play. We call on residents to make full use of the recycling services available to them, both at home and through local collection points.”

Are You Interested in Seeing How We Can Help Your Council Too?

We offer a range of polystyrene solutions for councils here at Greenbank. We’re experts at dealing with waste and would love to help you make a difference.

To give you a little more insight into what we offer, our range of polystyrene waste machinery and what our expertise can bring to your council, we’ve put together a brochure that covers everything you need to know.

You can download your copy of the brochure via the link below.

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