Home The Big Story Max Recycle becomes England’s first waste handler to use biotechnology to create SRF on-site

Max Recycle becomes England’s first waste handler to use biotechnology to create SRF on-site

Max Recycle becomes England’s first waste handler to use biotechnology to create SRF on-site

MAX RECYCLE has become the first waste management company in England to convert waste into Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) on-site using biotechnology – thanks to a new contract with environmental company, Advetec. 

The eight-year contract will allow Max Recycle to convert unrecyclable residual waste into SRF using Advetec’s XO22 digester – giving the region’s commercial waste greater value, reducing disposal costs and CO2 emissions, and benefitting the circular economy by providing an alternative to high carbon-emitting fossil fuels.

For every two tonnes of residual waste that go through the machine, 1.2 tonnes of CO2 will be saved as the Advetec technology digests the organic fraction of the waste using unique blends of bacteria.  The floc that is left will be used as a coal replacement product by N+P. Every tonne of floc that is used as SRF, will replace 0.5 tonnes of carbon-emitting coal.

Dedicated residual waste from more than 3,000 of Max Recycle’s commercial customers will be treated aerobically using Advetec’s one-of-a-kind solution, which offers a sustainable and highly cost-effective alternative to landfill or Energy from Waste (EfW). Advetec’s technology also reduces the mass and volume of waste by 50% and 70% respectively. 

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

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, Chief Commercial Officer of Advetec, which has scaled-up its technology to support Max Recycle and other industrial customers’ needs, said: “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 openminded 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.”

Max Recycle’s customer base is made up of a range of businesses from the high street and regional industrial estates, including offices, retail, and hospitality. 

Tom Seymour, Commercial Director at Durham County Cricket Club which uses Max Recycle for waste management services commented: “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.”

Several of Advetec’s smaller aerobic digester machines – the X06 and X03 – are already in operation across the UK.

Photo caption: Scott Hawthorne (middle) of Max Recycle with the Advetec team and the XO22.

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