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Beyond the Bin: Inside Enva’s Waste Management Site

5 March 2024

3 mins

This is a guest blog, written by Sai Kulkarni, who is one of Loughborough University’s Sustainability Ambassadors, and is also a Doctoral Researcher in the Department of Geography & Environment, Loughborough University.

Along with a team of Sustainability Ambassadors and the Sustainability Assistant from the University’s Sustainability Team, I recently had the opportunity to visit the Enva Waste Disposal Site in Nottingham to observe waste management practices first-hand. Welcomed by Louis Guest, we were briefed on the operations, detailing the process from waste collection to recycling.

Our tour began with donning safety gear and stepping onto the site, where we witnessed the bustling activity of waste management in action. One particularly impactful moment was observing the enormity of the waste collected at the site. We were amazed by the scale of operations and the meticulous segregation techniques employed to divert materials from landfills. From cardboard to metals, every type of waste was sorted with precision, ensuring maximum recycling efficiency. The segregation process, which involved a ballistic separator to separate 2D and 3D materials, further demonstrated Enva’s commitment to complete segregation. It showed us just how big of an impact waste management has on our world, and it’s something we won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

Louis also mentioned Enva’s innovative use of Refuse Derived Fuel from biodegradable materials for energy production, exported to Sweden and Denmark, showcasing their sustainability efforts.

This visit provided valuable insights into the waste management process, including the role of Enva in managing Loughborough University’s waste output. Learning about the destination of our waste and the recycling process further emphasized the importance of responsible waste management.

Overall, this visit to the Enva Waste Disposal Site was eye-opening, to say the least. We often chuck things away without a second thought, but seeing the mountains of waste in one place was a real wake-up call. It got me thinking about how we could make a big difference by just sorting our waste at home.

Nik, one of our Sustainability Ambassadors, shared his reflections: “Seeing the whole waste disposal process gave me a better appreciation for how much work goes into making sure as much waste as possible is recycled, from complex sorting machines to manual sorting. One thing I learnt was the importance of reducing how much waste we produce; whilst it is important to recycle as much as possible, it is even better to reduce our waste by reusing, repairing, and trying to purchase items with less packaging. Louis Guest from Enva was extremely informative, taking us through each step of the recycling process and explaining how each machine works”.

This article is in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 ‘Responsible consumption and production’.  To find out more, click here.

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