Frequently Asked Questions
In over 60 years of providing recycling services to London and the UK, we’ve helped provide answers to a lot of queries. Find the answers to to some of the most commonly asked right here.
Click any of the questions below to reveal a quick and straightforward answer, so you can get the information you need as fast as possible.
A waste stream is the name of a group of waste that has been specially separated, e.g. dry mixed recycling (DMR), glass, or paper. Once segregated, streams can go through the rest of the necessary processes for them to be recycled or reusd in some way.
Without segregating waste streams from each other, it is impossible to recycle the materials. Our materials recovery facility (MRF) in Bow sorts waste into over 10 different streams and we then send bulked waste for recycling to partners across the UK.
Segregating waste just means separating it into groups that can be easily recycled. It’s what client’s do onsite and we all do at home: if you put some things in a recycling bin and some things in a food waste bin, then you’re segregating your waste.
Contamination is when the incorrect materials interact in a way that alters one enough that the recycling process won’t work or one ends up at the wrong facility, where there is no available means of recycling it.
If possible the ideal option is for clients to segregate their waste on site if they have the means and infrastructure in place. Some waste streams, such as construction waste and dry mixed recycling, are composed of multiple materials and require our specialised facilities to separate the streams from each other for recycling.
It is important that waste is correctly segregated to assist the recycling process, for example by ensuring hazardous waste such as batteries is disposed of together rather than ending up in a general recycling bin.
Upon partnering with Bywaters, learning materials will become available to clients to train and inform the relevant staff. This will typically be those who will have any need to handle or manage the waste onsite. There are also aids provided for all staff for use when disposing of waste, as this is the point of initial segregation.
Bywaters provide a tailor-made and bespoke training service by our Green Gurus, sustainability advisers who are a central part of services. Whether you’re a café owner or a Fortune 500 powerhouse, our Green Gurus will provide onsite training and waste material for your employees.
Monitoring gives clients access to information such as the variation of waste produced over time, emissions associated with waste disposal, how much material is being recycled – enabling our customers to assess trends over time. This makes improvement and potential improvement both environmentally and financially easier to spot, maintain, replicate, and develop.
We take a serious approach to cutting CO2, looking at every part of our service to see where reductions can be made. Bywaters’ initiatives include our Solar Powered Materials Recovery Facility, Low Emissions and Electric Vehicles and Transporting Waste via Waterways.
For more information, have a look at our page dedicated to our carbon reduction efforts.
Incineration or sending waste material to Energy from Waste Facilities is an option that we only use when necessary in order to divert non-recyclable waste form landfill. Energy from waste destroys much of the material that goes through the process but not all materials entirely destroyed and what is still produces a further waste material in the form of tonnes of ash. This ash is used by construction companies and the like for use as aggregate for use in projects such as road building.
Bywaters have set principles focused on waste prevention and the waste hierarchy for the disposal of our customers’ waste. We find alternative solutions in order to reuse, recycle, or recover energy from waste, diverting waste from going to landfill. By diverting waste from landfill and recovering some sort of value from the resource, Bywaters guarantee a ‘Zero Waste Direct to Landfill’ policy.
A MRF is a Materials Recovery Facility. This is where all segregated waste goes to be further sorted and baled for recycling. Our MRF is composed of a series of roll screens, infrared optical sorting equipment, magnets, and eddy currents that sort waste through different air tunnels. This allows waste to be detected and effectively segregated into the more specific streams of: paper, card, metals, glass and plastics.
Some of these materials go on to be further refined such as metals being streamed into ferrous and non-ferrous, or plastics being separated into HDPE (High-density polyethylene) and PET (Polyethylene terephthalate). Following this, the waste is baled before being transported to specialist facilities in order to be processed and recycled.
To recycle something means to recover the material the product is made from so as to be able to make new items from it and thus prevent the unnecessary production of more of that material. Reusing waste is the process of salvaging items which can be used again without having to break products down into their component materials.
Reusing items is preferable wherever possible, because any recycling process will still use energy and cause emissions which could be eliminated completely if products are reused.
As a business, Bywaters carries out the first stage of the recycling process: sorting different waste streams from each other so that these materials can be recycled. At our facilities, materials are segregated via our specialised equipment, bailed and sent off to repressors for further recovery.
This means that Bywaters doesn’t recycle any of these materials into new products at our facilities, but instead partners with businesses across the UK to ensure all materials go to a facility where they can be recycled most efficiently.
The waste hierarchy is a guideline used for the management of waste in terms of what is best for the environment. The waste hirerarchy has 5 steps, with the aim being to handle waste by using as early a step as possible and thus reduce its environmental impact.
Bywaters is a waste management company and so our work primarily deals interacts with the hierarchy from recycling onwards, and we have a commitment to send zero waste direct to landfill, with all non-recyclable waste being sent for recovery at energy from waste facilities.
It’s cheaper. Not only is recycling waste better for the environment, but it will also save your business money as legislation such as the Landfill Tax has been specifically brought in to encourage businesses in the UK to dispose of their waste more sustainably.
Typically, every step your business takes up the waste hierarchy will result in financial savings, and Bywaters’ team of Green Gurus will work with you to ensure your waste management services take up as little of your budget as possible.
Yes, we have a dedicated team of in-house engineers who can attend clients’ sites if anything goes wrong with a piece of equipment, usually with a maximum wait time of 4 hours. Unlike most other waste management providers, we do not have to rely on third party services for any of this, so can react to problems faster and more effectively.
If you have a question that you can’t find above, then please get in touch with us today and we’ll be glad to provide the answer. With our expertise in recycling and waste management, there’s no problem we can’t help solve.