They sort the waste by type of materials, including up to ten kinds of plastic. When a sufficient quantity of any kind has been gathered, it is scooped up or lifted in bales and transported away to become a raw material for some other industry. This was an ‘eye opener’ in terms of the company’s dedication to doing the right thing environmentally, within the economic limits of running a business sustainably. They brought to the talk many exhibits of things they had retrieved for us to take home and use if we wished.
More surprises awaited us on the Saturday afternoon when we took a minibus trip to see their premises. The site is about 4 miles from Letchworth, at Newnham near to Baldock and the Baldock Motorway Services. It is an industrial operation in a rural setting. On a Saturday afternoon, when they are not operating, visitors are welcome to be shown around and to help themselves to various recovered items and materials (see web site for list). For instance you could gather saleable stuff for a club, neighbourhood or car boot sale. Their web site gives an idea of the quantity and variety of things that they divert from waste.
Thanks to Eco Waste & Recycling Ltd for giving the talk and hosting our visit; Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation for the minibus and driver, with a community rate for out of town use; North Hertfordshire College for a community rate for printing our pubicity materials; and to the shops and venues that displayed our posters for both events. Our trip was over-subscribed though with help we managed to take everyone to and from Letchworth to the site.
When we advertised this trip we had a number of people also express an interest in seeing a different local waste recycling operation, Biogen’s Anaerobic Digester on the A507. This is a facility that generates energy from foodstuffs. We had a tour of this site shortly after it opened and now intend to arrange another visit so please contact us if you are interested in seeing this site (firstname.lastname@example.org).