Shaping A Greener Future: A Visit To IBA Recycling Facility in Nothants

Embarking on a journey into the heart of waste transformation, a recent visit to Day Aggregates' cutting-edge IBA recycling facility in Wellingborough left us awe-inspired and enlightened. Ever wondered what becomes of your bin waste once it leaves your house? Brace yourself; it's a captivating journey beyond mere waste collection.

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Unveiling the IBA Alchemy: Transforming Waste into Value

At Day Aggregates, the team doesn't just recycle; they perform alchemy on Incinerator Bottom Ash (IBA), turning the waste into secondary aggregate. With metals, including aluminium, steel, copper, silver, gold, and brass being recovered as part of the process, as well as unburnt plastic and wood.

Once these items are salvaged, the IBA is seamlessly blended with a type one aggregate to create EcoBend®. This recycled aggregate blend serves as a load bearing sub-base and back fill for roads, paths, driveways, car parks and structural bases etc, reinforcing the commitment to sustainable construction. In fact, all new roads constructed must incorporate up to 30% of recycled aggregate base, underscoring the facility's dedication to eco-friendly practices.

Preserving Every Drop 

Water plays a starring role in IBA recycling, meticulously managed by Nigel Palmer and his team of water technicians from W R Systems. As we delved into the depths of the water management system, it became clear that every drop is not only valued but ingeniously recycled to minimise environmental impact.

IBA input shed

Caption: The IBA intake shed that is capable of holding up to 20,000T of IBA

- 16 lorries / day

- 6 days / week

- 28T /lorry

The colossal shed that stores IBA material also captures the rain which is collected and channelled along internal guttering and stored in a series of three interconnected 30,000L Enduramaxx tanks.

Nigel Palmer with Enduramaxx rainwater harvesting and borehole storage tank

Caption: Nigel Palmer with Enduramaxx rainwater harvesting and borehole storage tank.

Navigating the site, it is easy to miss the subtle sloping yard, guiding water toward a wedge pit. From this unassuming pit, water flows over a weir, embarking on a journey through a series of settlement pits.  These pits are essential in separating out surface debris so the run-off is ready for reuse.  The recycled water is piped into a network of six more interconnected 30,000L Enduramaxx tanks.


Wedge and settlement pits with 30,000L Enduramaxx water storage tanks.

Caption: Wedge and settlement pits with 30,000L Enduramaxx water storage tanks

The Enduramaxx tanks feed all harvested water into the high-pressure ring main system. The network of pipes ensures a seamless flow of water throughout the facility, catering to the diverse needs of the IBA recycling process.

Each of the 30,000L tanks incorporates a 5-degree cone. This slight inclination facilitates the capture and drainage of any lingering sediment. As water moves through the system, sediment naturally settles at the bottom and can be drained, preventing build up that could compromise efficiency. Each tank is cradled by a painted steel frame to protect its cone bottom and to allow access to drain any sediment.

Bore Holes And Beyond 

To supplement the rainwater and surface water harvest, Day Aggregates has also drilled a borehole. However, mindful of responsible water usage, the extraction from the borehole is capped at 20,000L per day. This carefully calibrated approach ensures a delicate balance between meeting operational needs and preserving water resources. The Enduramaxx 20,000L bore hole tank has a 30-degree cone, anticipating the likelihood of more sediment, given the heavy clay substrate from which the bore hole is drilled.

The strategy to combine all harvested and recycled rainwater, surface water and borehole water, showcases the facility's dedication to diverse and sustainable water management practices.

In the event of low levels in rain, surface, or bore hole water, it can be replenished with treated mains water. Additionally, to uphold health and safety standards, mains water is used for the overhead atomisers to reduce the potential risk of inhaling tiny water droplets.

In the pursuit of efficiency and environmental stewardship, each water source is equipped with a separate flow metre. These not only provide essential performance data but serve as a feedback mechanism, enabling constant refinement of the water management system. The emphasis on data- driven insights reinforces the commitment to continuous improvement and sustainability.

Maintaining Air Quality

As the IBA undergoes its transformative journey – from being tipped, crushed, processed, sorted, and turned into recycled aggregate – the facility employs a sophisticated water management system to control dust and any potential airborne emissions.

To counteract the airborne particles and ensure a clean and safe working environment, a network of rain guns, overhead sprinklers, and targeted sprays, fed from the main ring system, orchestrates a synchronised dance across the facility. The abundance of water crisscrossing the site isn't just a spectacle; it's a strategic defence against potential air emissions.

Conveyor belts, pivotal in the movement of materials, don't escape meticulous care. Even here, sprays come into play, creating a fine mist that settles any dust particles and maintains air quality standards. Even the weighbridge has a wheel bath that recycles water after wheel washdown.

fitting pipework fixtures for overhead conveyor-mincontrol panel with remote control unit-min

Caption: Pic.1 - Fitting pipework fixtures for the overhead conveyor / Pic,2 - Control panel with manual override remote control

This complex labyrinth of spraying systems operates automatically, yet each individual spray can be manually overridden when necessary.

As we wrapped up our exploration of Day Aggregates' IBA recycling facility, it was evident that the plant doesn't only recycle waste; it recycles water with equal dedication. Cutting-edge technology ensures that every drop of water counts. The versatility of the water supply sources not only adds resilience to the system but aligns with Day Aggregates' commitment to responsible resource management.

Colin Grewcock's Vision: State-Of-The-Art Environmental Excellence

Colin Grewcock, Site Manager, Day Aggregates passionately described the Wellingborough facility as a state-of-the-art environmental site. The facility boasts innovative electromagnetic technology, robust dust suppression mechanisms, and water recycling systems to meet Environment Agency requirements.

Colin Grewcock and Nigel Palmer-min

Caption: Colin Grewcock, Site Manager, Day Aggregates and Nigel Palmer, W R Systems Ltd.

Pride radiates from every corner of this operation; substantial investments have been made in creating an aesthetically pleasing environment, evident from the wood panel fencing bordering the rail tracks, to strategically planted trees softening the site boundary – irrigated of course!

Colin went on to explain Day Aggregates' commitment to the local area, with plans to employ up to 20 people from the local area. Being a considerate neighbour to other businesses situated on the Finedon Industrial estate is also important.

Pioneering Sustainable Solutions: Day Aggregates' IBA Recycling Facility Set for Spring 2024 Launch

The IBA recycling facility is poised to become operational in Spring 2024 and signifies a significant step in the Day Group’s dedication to sustainable waste management. The facility is geared towards transforming energy-from-waste by-products into valuable resources, processing 200,000 tonnes of IBA annually. This initiative will also divert over 900,000 tonnes of non-recycled waste from landfills.

The journey through Day Aggregates' IBA recycling facility in Wellingborough is not just a glimpse into waste management; it's a testament to innovation, sustainability, and a commitment to shaping a greener future. As the facility nears completion, the anticipation for the positive impact it will have on waste management and community development is palpable. Day Aggregates is not just processing waste; they're crafting a sustainable legacy for generations to come.

Contact Us To Find Out More

Integrating rainwater harvesting into the water management of this recycling facility emerges as not just an innovative solution, but a necessary step towards a greener future. Please get in touch today to find out more about our rainwater harvesting systems and retention systems as well as our industrial closed top cone tanks, as used by Day Aggregates.  Join us in making a significant impact on our planet's future — one raindrop at a time.

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