Treating green waste as rubbish by sending it to landfill wastes reusable materials. Green waste is plant material and can be processed as a renewable resource, often creating high-grade compost to improve soil quality.
Where does green waste come from?
You might only think of garden waste as green waste and wonder why it needs processing at all. The answer is that not all green waste is from homes with gardens. Where decommissioning of an old hospital building, police station or industrial site is needed, there could be green waste to remove. Overgrown sites full of weeds and trees may need removing before the site is reused. When including parks and open spaces, blocks of flats with small garden spaces and gardens in urban areas where bonfires are not allowed, the green waste soon builds up.
Green waste best practice
WRAP UK, the Waste and Resources Action Programme, offers guidance on how to manage green waste. The WRAP guidance points out that when left to decompose without oxygen in a landfill site, green waste produces methane. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, which warms the atmosphere 25 times faster than carbon dioxide. Methane is extremely flammable and causes explosions on contact with air, so burying green waste in landfill is not the best of plans. There are targets in law for the reduction of green waste in landfill, with green waste recycling sites around the UK. Many councils now have green waste doorstep collections.
Industrial green waste
If you have a big decommissioning project, you will be managing green waste on a different scale to throwing a few weeds in your green waste bin once a fortnight. You may wish to get a professional company to manage this for you; alternatively, you can contact your local council for guidance.
Other types of industrial waste
During decommissioning, many types of waste may need removing and recycling. Some may be hazardous and require special handling. It is always advisable to seek professional help in this case to prevent injury or legal action.
Green waste recycling sites
Green waste recycling centres process green waste from trees and plants, shredding it and then composting it in large mounds. These are regularly turned to allow oxygen in, which prevents the generation of methane and creates high-grade compost free of living seeds and disease.