Giving refuse derived fuel a proper Finnish

The operations director of North-East-based JBT Waste Services talks RWW through the family-owned company’s multiple-waste-stream operations and skip-hire service, and its relationship with Cross Wrap for the refuse-derived fuel side of things.

JBT Waste Services is a family-owned company that over the past four decades has moved with the times and adapted its business to changing trends. “We understand the complexities of multiple waste streams,” states Binks. “We carry out waste audits to assess the waste a site produces, and we advise on the most appropriate collection and disposal methods.” 

According to the operations director, JBT was one of the first waste management companies in the North of England to have its own waste transfer station and the focus of the company is very much on the sectors it serves.“Sixty per cent of our customer base is in the construction sector and the other 40% comes from industrial and commercial,” continues Binks. “We have always tried to be at the forefront of the recycling side by extracting as much as possible from the waste streams we deal with; whether it’s aggregates or PVC frames. Everything is taken out and recycled,” says Binks, who is the second generation in the family business.

One waste stream that JBT doesn’t deal with is food waste.“We have always tried to stay away from smelly waste,” admits Binks. “A lot of people who visit our site ask us ‘why doesn’t it smell?’ It’s because in the main we only deal with construction, industrial and commercial waste.”

Another string to JBT’s bow is its skip hire division. “We stock over 2,000 skips and waste bins across a range of sizes from two cubic yards to 40,” says Binks. “We provide containers suitable for heavy construction materials as well as large capacity containers ideal for industrial, manufacturing or construction operations, which may produce bulky, non-compactable waste in high volumes.”

Aggregate processing

And it doesn’t end there. The North-East-based company also operates an aggregate processing division which sorts, segregates, washes and recovers aggregates for crushing. “We process these materials into industry-standard secondary aggregate grades, including 6F5 and Type 1,” states Binks. “Our secondary aggregates are used as bulk fill, sub base or capping material. We provide recycled aggregate from both our Northumberland site and our County Durham site and we are able to fulfil bulk orders of any quantity to projects all over the North-East.”

Five years ago JBT entered the refuse-derived fuel (RDF) sector

“The intention was to try and limit our reliance on landfill and we’ve grown this side of the business as we’ve learnt more and more about the waste stream and its high calorific value. We make every effort to stay up to date with what is happening in the industry and try to stay forward-looking,” With the company’s entry into the RDF sector, it meant finding the right wrapping solution. “When we started processing a better fuel product, we quickly realised we needed a good turnkey plant that would sit on the back of the recycling plants”, recalls Binks. “This time last year we looked at the marketplace and considered the different options. Having designed the front end of the system, I started looking at the wrapping portion and made a few calls, came across Cross Wrap and looked at some of their installations and was impressed with the quality of the equipment and the actual process they carry out. Basically, it’s clean, tidy and doesn’t make a lot of mess.” The RDF production at JBT went live in February this year and currently averages 130-150 tonnes a day. “It’s not at full capacity at the moment,” explains the operations director, “but depending on shift patterns, we are looking at producing 200 tonnes a day.”

Looking ahead

As to the future, the operations director says firmly: “We have never jumped into things. Growth of the company has been organic so far and our philosophy is that it is better to do something right than to do it wrong. Our aim is to push forward within our market and to focus on producing a good product.” Binks adds: “Our key focus is to recover as many materials as possible before turning it into RDF and solid recovered fuel, and this is where specialists like Cross Wrap come into the equation. The system they offer does exactly what it says on the tin, and in our industry reliability is the name of the game.”