Waste Transfer Stations
Waste transfer stations
Containers ready to take waste from Cringle Dock Transfer Station down the Thames to the Belvedere Energy from Waste Facility.
After your refuse is collected, it is taken to one of two waste transfer stations:
Western Riverside Transfer Station
Situated near Wandsworth Bridge, it was built in 1985 to handle up to 5,600 tonnes of solid domestic and civic amenity waste per week. The station containerises the waste and operates efficiently and to the highest environmental standards.
Cringle Dock Transfer Station
The Authority's second transfer station, Cringle Dock is situated next to Battersea Power Station and is capable of containerising over 5,000 tonnes of refuse every week.
At both stations vehicles are weighed in as they arrive and the details are taken of where they and the waste came from. This information is recorded on a computerised weighbridge and the vehicles then pass into the tipping hall, where they are directed to a tipping bay by a remote control indicator light operated from a centrally positioned control room. The safety barrier is raised, allowing the vehicles to reverse safely and discharge their loads into a hopper. They then return via the 'out' weighbridge to complete the cycle.
Hoppers and compactors
Once the hoppers are full and the barrier is lowered, an hydraulically powered ram pushes the waste on to the next stage of its cycle. At Western Riverside, waste is fed directly into one of ten compactors which compress the waste into individual containers. At Cringle Dock, the waste is pushed by the ram into one of two huge storage bunkers, prior to final processing. It is then loaded by grabbing cranes into the hoppers which supply the station's two compactors.
In each case, once filled, the containers are moved along on a 'dolly' into a position where one of two container handling cranes can pick them up and load them onto barges.
Historically, the barges travelled down the Thames to a landfill site located on the Thames Estuary at Mucking, Essex. The waste was used as a means of transforming quarried areas of countryside into landscaped areas of natural beauty. This site closed in December 2010 and an extensive restoration programme is being carried out to transform it into a wildlife park under the management of the Essex Wildlife Trust.
Energy from Waste
Landfill has now been replaced by Energy from Waste (EfW) combustion as the prime treatment method for the waste which cannot be recycled. Since February 2011, the waste – which is still being transported by river – is being received at a recently constructed EfW Facility at Belvedere in the London Borough of Bexley.
Here, the waste is incinerated and the heat from the process is used to generate electricity through steam generation in boilers. This process is called ‘recovery’ (as opposed to ‘disposal’) and it is a preferable method of waste treatment as it sits higher up the waste management hierarchy of options.
Belvedere is the largest EfW Facility in the UK and one of the largest in Europe, which will eventually generate up to 72MW of power.