Ash Management

Wheelabrator has developed best practices for the handling of 10 percent of residual waste that remains after the waste-to-energy process and in-plant metals recovery.

In the UK, inert bottom ash is a useful by-product of the waste-to-energy process and can be recovered and reused.

At the Ferrybridge Multifuel 1 facility, we collect the bottom ash onsite and then process it with an offsite specialist nearby to recover ferrous and non-ferrous metals for recycling. The remaining inert ash can then be used as an aggregate by the construction industry. This reduces the demand for our finite resources of virgin, quarried aggregate.

In the US, Wheelabrator operates four ash monofills that accept ash from our waste-to-energy facilities and other private sector companies or municipalities. Ash is transported to the sites in covered, watertight trucks and unloaded at the landfill working face, spread with a bulldozer, and compacted with a vibratory roller. To prevent dirt and residue from leaving the landfill, every truck exiting the facility is thoroughly rinsed at an on-site truck wash station and access roadways are swept daily.

From the ash, further ferrous and non-ferrous metals not removed via in plant systems are recovered and sent to advanced metal recovery upgrade facilities to be recycled.

Years of testing ash from waste-to-energy facilities have shown that residual ash is safe for disposal and even reuse. In the US, the industry is currently engaged in new research to identify environmentally safe and sustainable beneficial ash use opportunities that will divert ash from landfills and lower ash disposal costs.

If you'd like to learn more about Wheelabrator services in the UK, please contact a member of our team at