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Recycling Lives’ innovative Energy From Waste work awarded

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Recycling Lives’ “game-changing” solution to creating Energy from Waste has been handed a top award.

The recycling business has been working in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to develop a solution to avoid sending waste residue from the recycling process to landfill, instead turning it into electrical energy.

The study won the Most Innovative Contribution to Business-University Collaboration award at The Times Higher Education Awards on November 29. The awards, nicknamed the ‘Oscars of the Higher Education’, recognise outstanding contributions in higher education.

Chemical engineer Dr Ala Khodier has been working for Recycling Lives for two years on the project to reduce waste to landfill and increase recycle rates. He said:

“I am incredibly honoured that our work has been recognised at such a high level. These findings are the result of a perfect partnership between Recycling Lives and UCLan, exploring how we can achieve best in class recycling processes.”

Recycling Lives recycles around 100,000 scrap cars annually through its industry-leading machinery at its Preston-based Recycling Park.

Its processes allow for millions of tonnes of recycled metals and plastics to be returned to the market but also creates up to 1.2million tonnes of auto-shredder residue which could not previously be recycled or reused.

Now the study has developed a method of transforming the residue into a saleable product and electrical energy, to create a closed-loop recycling solution at the Recycling Park. Dr Khodier has also found metals retained in the residue that can be extracted and returned to the market, boosting recycling rates.

Once fully developed it is anticipated the solution will save money from waste diversion and increased recovery whilst generating around 1,000 MW of energy.