What is Incinerator Bottom Ash (IBA)?
Incinerator Bottom Ash is the residue of the waste-to-energy process whereby the energy content of non-recyclable household waste is recovered, through incineration and forms about 15-20% in mass of the incinerated waste. Typically IBA is the inert content of the waste comprising ferrous and non-ferrous metals, glass and various aggregates such as sand, concrete and ceramics.
Why is it important to recover aluminium from IBA?
Aluminium is infinitely recyclable, which means the significant volumes recovered from IBA can be recycled and made into new aluminium products.
Is the recovery of aluminium from IBA an alternative to our existing kerbside recycling collections? be neglected?
No. Alupro will always prioritise the collection of valuable aluminium packaging from kerbside and ‘on the go’ collection systems as the material from these streams is cleaner and of a higher quality. The ability to recover further volumes from IBA is in addition to these clean sources. However, a key property of aluminium is that it can be successfully and economically recovered from IBA and recycled into new high quality products.
How much aluminium is in IBA and why is it not recovered through other methods?
A research study by Alupro, independently verified by the Environment Agency (EA) shows that a minimum of 50% of the non-ferrous content of IBA is aluminium packaging (drink cans, aerosols, foil trays, caps and closures etc). Whilst every effort is taken to recover this aluminium from clean sources, some packaging inevitably ends up in residual waste.
Is the UK the only country to recover aluminium from IBA?
No. The recovery of ferrous and non-ferrous metals from IBA is common place throughout most of Europe.