What we do with your green garden waste

We are a collection only authority; we do not own or manage any of the disposal sites, including recycling and reprocessing.  We deliver the green garden waste that we collect to our waste disposal authority (East London Waste Authority – ELWA) which in turns maintain a waste management and disposal contract with Renewi Waste Management Limited.  We must follow the rules and guidelines that ELWA have in place regarding acceptable green garden waste items.

The composting facility that Renewi use is windrow composting for green garden waste.  This is a process where green waste is placed in long narrow piles (windrows) that are agitated or turned on a regular basis.  The only items that can be composted using this process are cut flowers, weeds and leaves, grass cuttings and twigs and hedge trimmings.  If food waste, including fruit fall, is mixed in with these items the whole waste will need to be treated with a different composting process which is called in vessel composting (IVC).  This is a more specialist and costly treatment, which would result in a higher charge for customers.  We are trying to run the green garden waste subscription service as affordably as possible, so therefore this is not an ideal option.

We have a mechanical biological treatment (MBT) facility at Frog Island, where we send all our household waste for treatment. MBT process manages food waste to a degree. Much of the organic content of the general refuse is lost in the drying out process, and we are left with an organic ‘fines’ fraction that is used on closed landfill sites.