The lines, the result of a £ 1 million investment, were installed at two Veolia Hampshire sites at Little Bushy Warren and Chilbolton Down; Padworth in West Berkshire; and Woodlands in East Sussex.

According to the waste and recycling company, the effectiveness of the cleaning lines makes the composting plants more efficient and the disposal costs “significantly reduced”.


Compost oversize is the larger, woody portion of material that remains after the composting process after the valuable compost product has been sieved out.

This happens when the organic material collected contains contaminants such as plastic and metal and, according to Veolia, often ends up in landfills.

Currently, around 25% (30,000 tons) of the green waste collected by Veolia ends up as oversized grain after composting in the four plants.

Oversized compost can contain contaminants such as plastics and metal


By using the fixed cleaning lines to remove contaminants, Veolia said the oversized compost that accumulates in these four facilities can be converted into a clean wood product like PAS100 horticultural and landscaping mulch.

It could also be used as a renewable biomass fuel for electricity and heat, replacing new alternatives like wood chips and bark.

To date, more than 55,000 tons of contaminated oversized compost have been processed through the cleaning lines.

“Perfect Example”

Donald Macphail, Veolia’s Chief Operating Officer for Treatment, said, “Composting plants are the perfect example of a circular economy, and the need to process this material efficiently is likely to increase regularly with the prospect that green waste can be collected for free, like pledged in the government’s resource and waste strategy

“By supporting this new innovation, we have increased the effectiveness of the operation and will offer additional high quality sustainable wood mulch and renewable fuels. This will help horticulture and renewable energy generation and is another important step we are taking to reduce our environmental footprint and drive a lower carbon economy. “

Veolia currently processes over 500,000 tonnes of green and food waste per year at its 11 composting sites in the UK.

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