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Max Recycle partners with Advetec to unveil SRF plans

Max Recycle, in contract with biotechnology company Advetec, has become the ‘first waste management service in England’ to convert waste into Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) on-site using Advetec’s XO22 aerobic digester machine.

max recycleThe eight-year contract will see Max Recycle converting contaminated, unrecyclable residual waste into SRF using Advetec’s biotechnology. Lee Knott, Chief Commercial Officer of Advetec, told Resource this contamination comes from recyclable materials being mixed with general waste, and therefore being contaminated by organics and liquid.

The company says this will improve the value of the region's commercial waste, reduce disposal costs and CO2 emissions, and benefit the circular economy by providing an alternative to high carbon-emitting fossil fuels.

Lee Knott explained to Resource that disposal costs and CO2 emissions will be reduced as waste handlers will be faced with a smaller weight of rubbish and therefore do not need to run collection vehicles as frequently. Similarly, at the waste endpoint the overall cost for handlers will be reduced.

Advetec’s technology reduces the mass and volume of waste by 50 per cent and 70 per cent respectively.

Because the digester reduces or liberates most of moisture and organics, factors that initially make the residual waste contaminated, it has a high calorific value. This means that the machine’s output can be used for ‘high performance fuel’. Max Recycling will palletize the fuel, using it as a replacement product.

Advetec’s X022 aerobic digester machine

Advetec says that, for every two tonnes of residual waste that go through its machine, 1.2 tonnes of CO2 will be saved. This is because the technology digests the organic fraction of the waste using unique blends of bacteria.

Any floc that is left will be used as a coal replacement product by N+P – specialists in the production of waste derived alternative materials. Every tonne of floc that is used as SRF, will replace 0.5 tonnes of carbon-emitting coal.

Max Recycle aims to aerobically treat residual waste from more than 3,000 of its commercial customers using the technology, which can provide an alternative to landfill or Energy from Waste (EfW).

Advetec’s X022 aerobic digester machine is also able to process up to 10 tonnes of commercial residual waste each day. It will be installed at Max Recycle’s Houghton-Le-Spring plant this summer.

Lee Knott told Resource, that the digester machine will be rolling out at Stoke Mandeville hospital as well as Cribbs causeway. The company also has a number of units on order from customers across the country, such as in the Southwest and Yorkshire.

‘A huge leap in our journey to a more sustainable future’

Scott Hawthorne, Managing Director of Max Recycle said: “The ability to turn waste into SRF on-site is a huge leap in our journey to a more sustainable future for both us and our customers – and there’s never been a better time to make such an innovative move. Increased fuel costs, companies striving to improve their green credentials and Government targets are all putting huge pressure on the waste sector’s infrastructure, and this demands a different approach.

“Our contract with Advetec affords businesses within the North East an opportunity to accelerate their journey to Net Zero and contribute towards the circular economy. We’re extremely proud that the region is blazing a trail by seeking alternatives to traditional waste treatment options and have no doubt that it will be extremely well received by customers.”

Lee Knott added: “While the current climate is challenging for the waste sector, it provides a catalyst for wider adoption of technology and it’s fantastic to see Max Recycle taking a forward-thinking approach.

“With the Government’s plan to halve the amount of residual waste sent to landfill or incineration by 2042, waste companies must be open-minded towards all the solutions available to them. Of course, there is no way of avoiding the fluctuations in the economy altogether, but waste contractors and their customers can regain a sense of control in terms of cost and carbon emissions if they, like Max Recycle, take a confident step towards greater waste innovation.”

Tom Seymour, Commercial Director at Durham County Cricket Club which uses Max Recycle for waste management services also said: “We’ve been working hard to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill for many years, but until now thought the only alternative was incineration – which has its own set of environmental challenges. Max Recycle’s ability to offer a more sustainable treatment option will have a hugely positive impact on our internal ESG goals and we welcome it with open arms.”