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A vast quantity of waste is generated in England and Wales – around 400 million tonnes every year. 27 million tonnes of this waste comes from households, with a further 48 million tonnes generated by manufacturers and 30 million tonnes by other businesses1.

 

In 2003, approximately half a tonne [550kg] of household waste was generated per person per annum2. Typically, 20% of the household waste gets recycled every year.

 

Waste reduction and increased recycling could lead to a reduction in the environmental impact of waste disposal. Minimising waste will also reduce consumption of resources.

 

The UK government aims to achieve a target of 45%  recovery value for municipal waste and to recycle 30% of household waste by 2010.

 

REFURBISHMENT OPTIONS

 Basic

Develop sustainable waste strategy

Good

Facilitate composting on site

 Exemplary

Multi-waste separator system

 Materials collected from household sources for recycling by scheme type: 2000-01

Develop a sustainable waste management strategy

 

A sustainable waste management strategy for tower blocks should consider the following issues and opportunities:

  • increasing residents awareness of waste as an environmental issue

  • reducing volume of waste through refuse chute

  • sorting of waste for recycling

  • composting of organic household waste

  • provision of storage area in each flat to store recyclable waste

  • Ensuring a clean and tidy environment particularly around storage areas

The main challenge whilst dealing with multi-storey housing such as, tower blocks, is the ability to collect recyclable waste. The existing refuse chute limits the opportunity to collect and sort waste for recycling easily. In general, recycling is optimised where the waste is composed mainly of one material, although alternative technologies are being proposed which deal with more mixed waste streams.

 

Wastes that can be recycled include:

  • paper and cardboard

  • dense plastics

  • textiles

  • glass

  • metals [ferrous and non-ferrous]

  • food [kitchen] waste

 

Benefits

  • Waste recycling and recovery means better use is made of the resources we use.
  • High environmental standards for waste management facilities will ensure greater protection of human health and the environment.
Typical Cost

□  n/a

Funding opportunities:

□  Community Recycling and Economic Development (CRED) Programme

□  London Remade

Also see:

  Multi-waste separator system

□  Facilitate composting on site

More information:

□  1DEFRA: Waste Strategy 2000

□  2DEFRA: Waste Targets 2003

Suppliers:

□  n/a

To register as a supplier click here...

 

Multi-waste separator system

 

Most tower blocks provide refuse chutes for residents to dispose solid waste. These are generally accessed through a hatch door located on each floor.

 

Recycling decreases the resource consumption and mineral extraction such as timber and metal ores. It therefore, reduces the damage to ecology, energy consumption and pollution associated by extraction, transport and processing of raw materials. 

 

Typically, existing chutes do not have the facility for waste segregation for future recycling. This can be overcome by retrofitting a multi-waste separator system.

 

There are three key types of waste separator systems available in the market, including:

 

Sorting arm/basket: In this system, the resident selects the type of waste and disposes it in the appropriate waste bag. A sorting 'arm' or 'basket' at the end of the chute directs the bag to the chosen container.

 

Shaft separator: This system, has separating 'walls' inside the chute, which divides the chute in various compartments. The dividing 'walls' are typically made of a flexible fabric material.

 

Rotating  containers: This is similar to the sorting arm system. The main difference being that the containers under the chute revolve to take the appropriate waste.

 

 

Other considerations

 

High Rise Compacting System

The High Rise Compacting System may also be considered. Here the waste is a stainless steel rear chute compactor.

 

Sound insulation

The use of waste chutes, especially steel chutes, can produce certain amount of noise discomfort to the adjacent residents. A suitable acoustical coating on the external surface of the chute could be considered to deaden the noise.

 

Storage of segregated waste inside flats

Provide waste bins with separators such that recyclable waste can be stored separately.

 

 

 

 

Benefits

  • Greater ability to sort wastes for recycling.
  • Greater protection of human health and the environment.
schematic diagram

Source: www.smedlund.se

Typical Cost

□  Multiple refuse chutes: £150,000

Assuming 3 nr. 600mm diameter, 1.5mm thick stainless steel refuse chutes + demolition

Funding opportunities:
□  Community Recycling and Economic Development (CRED) Programme

Also see:

□  Sustainable waste strategy

More information:

□  1DEFRA: Waste

□   www.wastecare.com

Suppliers:

□  www.hardall.co.uk

□  www.smedlund.se

To register as a supplier click here...

 

Facilitate composting on site

 

Organic [food/cardboard] waste could be collected from the flats in the tower blocks to create compost. 

 

Composting reduces the volume of waste by 40% and creates a compost which can be used for gardening and agriculture.

 

A suitable collection strategy needs to be developed and space needs to be allocated either on the roof or on the adjacent ground.

 

The organic waste could be collected using one of the following methods:

  • Door to door collection

  • Kerbside/near-entrance collection

  • Chute with a waste separator for organic waste

Multi-waste separators with an option to segregate organic waste is the most convenient and low maintenance option however its installation can be expensive. The door to door collection service is ideal  in tower blocks with elderly tenants.

 

The residents will need to be provided with a dedicated sealable storage bin. A food waste recycling project for tower blocks in Hackney, provides residents with biodegradable bin liners and decomposing agents that help start the composting process and prevent foul odour.

 

The composting system [composter]  generally requires approximately 2-4m2 space for a tower block [one car park space] and the composting process typically takes 15-20days.

 

Case Study: Rockingham Estate, Southwark, London

Residents expressed an interest in starting gardening, composting and recycling schemes. The estate is a mix of high and low rise flats. Six large collection bins have been placed around the estate. This was promoted through the local free paper, posters and leaflets through people’s doors.
Residents  cultivate using the compost on allotment plots at the base of the tower block.

 

Other considerations

 

Other waste

The collection system adopted for organic waste can also be considered for recycling other waste i.e., doorstep collection, here each type of waste could be collected on a set collection day.

 

Connecting to neighbourhood

Composting activities could be tied into similar programmes at nearby schools and facilities. 

 

Waste disposal unit

Waste disposal units for kitchens could be considered in tower blocks where organic waste through the refuse chute is leading to pest nuisance or where load [waste volume] on the chutes is too high and where composting is not feasible.

 

Benefits

  • Reduce waste on landfill
  • Improve ecology
  • Reduce pest nuisance around refuse chute
  • Improve community participation 
schematic diagram
Typical Cost

□  n/a

Funding opportunities:

□  Community Recycling and Economic Development (CRED) Programme

□  London Remade

Also see:

□  Sustainable waste strategy

More information:

□  Let's Recycle

□  Composting Association UK

Suppliers:

□  www.eco-composting.co.uk/

□  www.compost-uk.org.uk/

To register as a supplier click here...

 

Project partners:           | Price Myers: Sustainability |Battle McCarthy | Architype | STBI | Franklin Andrews |            

           

Copyright 2004  Price & Myers Sustainability                                 last updated: 11/25/11

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