Recovering waste - video transcript

The presenter of the video Dan is walking down a suburban street past household waste wheelie bins.

Roughly half of all of Kent’s waste is recycled these days. Pretty good! But what happens to the other half? Well, it gets turned into electricity. With just over 1% of waste having to go to landfill last year.

Dan is now wearing a hard hat, a high visibility coat and standing on the location of Allington Waste site. In the background a large amount of lorries are travelling past to queue up to enter the site.

Every council in Kent sends their domestic waste here (excluding Medway). Now, that's 6,000 tonnes of waste every single week!

Let’s go and see how it works.

Now inside the Allington Waste control room, the film shows 2 operatives using a large crane to move waste around the site.

The video cuts to lorries reversing in the loading bay, then to Dan.

This massive crane feeds the waste into the shredders, and can lift up to 6 tonnes in one load.

A large crane lifts rubbish in the air and dumps it into a storage centre. The imagery then moves to show the outside of the building.

The waste-to-energy plant uses an environmentally friendly system.

Dan is now located in the control room, where 3 members of staff are surrounded by surveillance computers and cameras.

And that’s constantly monitored by the team behind me but also the Environment Agency to make sure that it’s run safely and efficiently.

So, if you see clouds coming out of the chimneys, you can be sure that it’s steam and not smoke.

Dan is being shown around the factory by a member of staff, pointing out the incinerators.

But how does waste become electricity?

Well, the waste which is now essentially a fuel, feeds the 3 incinerators that are here.

Now they get up to 650 degrees centigrade, believe me you can really feel the heat coming off of them now.

Image of a hot boiler is shown on screen.

Now, this in turn heats the boilers which produces steam, and the steam turns the turbines which produce up to 45 megawatts of electricity per hour.

[Title card] Electricity is fed back to the National Grid.

That’s enough electricity to supply homes in towns the size of Maidstone, Sevenoaks and Tonbridge (combined).

Dan has now left the plant and is walking back up the suburban street.

Once you’ve separated out all of your recyclable things and your compostable things from all the rest, you now know that what’s left in your general waste is being used make electricity instead of going to landfill.

[Title card] For more information visit