Over our many years in the waste industry, there have been many significant changes. The most recent is the way in which persistent organic pollutants are processed, as it really shows us how quickly everyone has to be able to adapt and grow with the change, or in our case, lead the change. We understand there will always be waste, but it is up to us to process it in the most efficient and sustainable way.
That’s why we’re delighted to be able to share some of our recent endeavours and efforts, which have essentially led us one step closer, and hopefully inspired others to follow, on our mission to being completely carbon neutral.
The first step, Solar
The initial discussion between the company directors involving greener energy came about from one simple question, how can we continue to grow our recycling and waste management plant without increasing carbon emissions?
That’s why when it came to putting our new plan into motion, for us there really was no other way to go than to install solar panels. Well, 798 solar panels installed later, and every area of our plant’s roof was covered. This makes us able to increase the surface area for solar absorption and gives us the greatest chance of taking in all of that natural solar energy, which, we can now say after just over a month of them being fully functional, is reaching around 1000 Kilowatts per day!
Self-sufficient through solar energy
As the solar panels are now installed and fully functional, we are now able to really utilise the rewards. The almost 800 solar panels, with a bit of help from the summer sunshine, are now providing us with enough Kilowatts of energy to power all of our fixed plants on site, including our busy recycling and waste management workshop, office space and newfound shredder (more on this later), with still enough energy spare to export back to the main power grid.
In just over a month of fully functioning solar energy collection, we have generated over 30,000 Kilowatts of energy. This means that our entire site is now self-sufficient in solar energy, with our predictions stating we should only be taking any energy off of the grid in the darker, winter months. Which, put into everyday terms, means we have generated enough solar power within one month to power over 100 homes for a whole month.
The environmental benefit of this energy is also astounding. It is equivalent to planting 20 trees and saving over 35 tons of carbon emissions, just within our first full month of operation.
First Untha shredder powered by solar
One of our greatest achievements out of our solar energy feat is that we are the first company in the world to be able to power our Untha Shredder completely with solar energy. To put into perspective just how incredible this achievement is, this fully electric shredder is able to shred over a tonne of the wood that we extract from skips or other waste deliveries, down to a size where it can be sent to biomass in just 3 minutes!
At the time of purchase, it may have seemed a bit farfetched to want to power this piece of powerful machinery by solar alone, but this has proven to be effective for us. We are indeed PSH Environmental, so why not be that, ‘environmental’. It has truly been this outlook that shows our waste recycling in an environmental way, really is the way forward.
Next steps for innovation
One of our most passionate projects where we can give back to the carbon network is our “Clean up to Green up” campaign. This sees £1 of every skip we hire to go to restoring a piece of arable farmland into ancient woodland. We are working in association with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust on this project based at Foxley Wood in Norfolk. This project alone enables our customers to purchase a service from a local company, who in turn re-invest that money back into our county and its wildlife.
As everyone in the waste industry will tell you it is always progressing and evolving, and no one can stand still. This is why we have now been through a lot of commissioning on-site and are keen to maximize the throughput the site can handle. As mentioned, we have truly considered what it means to call ourselves environmental, and are continuously working to create a circular economy where we can.