London-based recycling and waste management company Paper Round has announced the commissioning of a new “compostables specific” sorting line at its materials recycling facility (MRF) in Purfleet, Essex.
The line will be specially installed to sort compostable waste, such as containers, cutlery and cups, produced by sustainable packaging company, Vegware.
Paper Round collects the compostable packaging as a separate as a separate waste stream in London and Brighton, in partnership with organic waste recycler, Envar.
The company added that the new line will enable it to increase both the tonnage of compostable waste it can process, and the output material quality.
During trials for the service, Paper Round had identified that having a process for checking the quality of collected compostable materials is “essential” for long-term success of the service, given the strict contamination criteria at composting sites.
The sorting line includes belt configuration, bin lifts, and a compactor with sorting stations for pickers to identify non-target items, such as conventional plastics or cans in material presented.
The contaminants will then be removed from the compostable stream and recovered for recycling using existing MRF processes.
The sorting line has been funded with support from Vegware and WRAP’s small scale non-household municipal business waste grant programme. This fund is administered by WRAP on behalf of Defra.
Bill Swan, managing director at Paper Round, said that the funding was significant and would help improve the quality of compostable packaging for the composting process.
Mr Swan added: “Compostables must meet strict quality specifications and it was important to us to achieve this.
“This investment reaffirms our company commitment to providing the industry with better quality recyclables and can give our customers confidence that material presented to us for composting will be acceptable to our composting partner.”
Paper Round’s Vegware compostables recycling scheme launched in May 2020. Collected as a separate stream, Vegware compostables are delivered to in-vessel composting (IVC) run by facility Envar.
They are then processed over a seven week period into compost compliant with the PAS 100 quality specification. The resulting compost is used to enrich local farmland.
Eilidh Brunton, senior waste management consultant at Vegware commented: “Investing in Paper Round’s new sorting line is a belt and braces approach. Our partnership is a uniquely practical waste solution for all foodservice businesses in London, Brighton and Sussex who require disposables.”