DS Smith wins zero waste award for difficult to recycle materials

DS Smith has won the CIWM Achieving Zero Waste award for its Reject Processing Centre (RPC) at the Kemsley Paper Mill.

A Reject Processing Centre was established at the mill to find a better way to deal with the amount of waste that arose from the processing and production of paper and cardboard. The waste generated and subsequently used in the RPC amounted to 12,000 tonnes per annum of ragger, a by-product of the paper pulping process containing baling wire, plastics and fibre, and 29,000 tonnes per annum of light rejects.

In a six-month period 12,400 tonnes were diverted from landfill.

DS Smith Head of Recycling Jim Malone, said:

“This is great news. A zero waste philosophy is central to the work at DS Smith and as a company 100% of collected resources are turned back into something useful once more.

"The Reject Processing Centre demonstrates that we are delivering on our aims and closing the loop on as many materials as possible.”

Machinery and equipment were tested with Countrystyle Recycling and a single shaft heavy-duty shredder was fitted to separate out the wire, plastic and fibre from the ragger. The equipment needed to produce fractions that were of high enough quality for further recycling or reprocessing and as much of the extracted fibre reused in the process.

The ragger line produces metals, plastics and wet fibrous material (WFM). The separated metal wire is sent for recycling, moving from a cost to the business to a revenue earner. In one month alone this has generated £20,000. The plastics that have little value in this condition are mixed with sludge from the mill effluent process and sent to the on-site EON Waste to Energy plant to produce process steam. 

The remaining fibres, WFM, go back into the paper process to be reused as good fibre. Quality is monitored against agreed standards.

Jim Malone added: “Following and applying the principles of the waste hierarchy from the top down is integral to our zero waste philosophy, identifying how to achieve the best environmental and economic solution. We have found ways to divert materials previously deemed too difficult to recycle and found new uses for them.”

The award, part of CIWM’s 2015 Sustainability and Resource Awards, was presented on 5 November at a ceremony in London hosted by presenter of TV’s Countdown and former adviser to Lord Sugar Nick Hewar.

The DS Smith Kemsley Paper Mill is the second biggest recovered fibre based paper operation in Europe with a production capacity of 800,000 tonnes per year. Light Medium Plus (K-Light), the first recycled lightweight paper manufactured in the UK is produced at the Kemsley Mill, alongside with White Liners, Brown Liners and Dual-Use grades for both liner & fluting applications, including lightweight and Plasterboard liners.

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