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Resources & Waste

During the first part of 2009 a Translink Waste Management Contract Group was established to facilitate a tender process for the provision of a non-hazardous waste management contract.  Non-hazardous waste relates to general waste or household type waste including such items as drinks cans and bottles, cardboard, paper, glass etc.

Following a successful tender process Translink awarded the contract to Wastebeater, a leader in Northern Ireland’s waste management industry.  As part of this contract Waste beater will collect waste from over 80 of Translink’s sites.

The Recycling Process

In the first 18 months of the new contract Translink’s recycling rate has increased by a further 11% from 58 to 69% - prior to this contract Translinks recycling rate was only 10%.  This highlights the significant impact and benefit Wastebeater has had on our recycling scheme.


Recent figures (July 2013) reveal that we are now recycling/recovering 90% of all our general waste collected, an average across all our stations and facilities.  This increase of 19% from July 2011 has been from the continuous effort of Wastebeater, our general waste management contractor, who have developed and improved their facilities and sorting technology, and also their collection activities.
The following bar chart illustrates our recycling/recovery figures for the last 4 years and the significant improvement in our general waste management activities;

Technology used

Prior to this contract, Wastebeater witnessed a significant change in the composition of C&I waste. The waste entering the plant had become much lighter, with the in feed containing greater quantities of plastic film, paper, and card and rigid plastics.  This had serious implications in terms of material sorting, as the original technology was not extracting all the potential value from the waste.

Research revealed the companies commitment to research and development with the introduction of their partnership with TITECH.

Materials Recovery Facility 






Wastebeater’s partnership with TITECH proved a solution to this dilemma, allowing the company to separate this lighter waste automatically through Near Infra Red technology.  This technology has allowed Wastebeater to be at the forefront of waste recycling and waste management with the development of their Materials Recovery Facility, proving to be an asset to Translink. 

There were two phases involved within this process; phase 1 and phase 2.  Phase 1 involved the installation of four TITECH systems, used to sort the 2D fraction of the plant’s waste stream and aimed to target the separation of film and paper.

Separating the waste Separating the waste


Phase 2 involved the recovery of materials from the 3D fraction, for example heavy paper, wood, and rigid material in which a further three sorting systems were installed.

In Wastebeater installing TITECH’s latest technology, they are able to use two Near Infra Red sensors that produce an accurate assessment of the materials passing through. 

Separation of materials





This has allowed the separation of similar materials such as wood and paper that previously proved great difficulty, but are now easily separated and recycled. The quality control team at Wastebeater have found that the TITECH dual sensor system is so accurate that it provides at least 98% purity of recovered wood.

The waste is processed

Wastebeater is the first company within the UK to target wood from the 3D fraction, overall allowing them to recycle a greater percentage of our waste.  This has established a break through in recycling, with their landfill diversion rates being over 90% within the commercial and industrial waste stream, and rates at which this waste can be processed at 25 tonnes per hour.



Environmental Benefits


Translink’s contract with Wastebeater has produced a number of environmental benefits with the main factor being the obvious increase in the companies recycling rate.  The contract has also meant that no further separation in materials throughout Translink facilities is needed; therefore separation bins are not required, saving materials and costs that would have been previously needed.

This new contract with Wastebeater should not be seen as a step back but rather a significant step forward in our recycling scheme with a 80% increase in the amount of materials being recycled/recovered within Translink since the contract has began.  These figures clearly highlight the significant impact and benefit Wastebeater has had on the management of our general waste.

Future Goals


Paul Byrne, Director of Wastebeater states that one of their future goals is to see ‘zero waste going to landfill…we believe this can be achieved over a relatively short period of time.’ 

Andy Bate, Translinks Group Environmental Manager revealed that ‘this new recycling scheme will improve sustainability and environmental management within Translink…and we are delighted to be working with Wastebeater who are helping us play our part in providing a better environment for all.’