Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) comprises mostly household waste and it may include some commercial and industrial wastes. There are a wide variety of alternative waste management options and strategies available for dealing with MSW to limit the residual amount left for disposal to landfill. Waste sorting solution is pretreatment technology which contributes to the diversion of MSW from landfill when operated as part of a wider integrated approach involving additional treatment stages.

Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) is a generic term for an integration of several processes commonly found in other waste management technologies such as Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs), sorting and composting or anaerobic digestion plant.

MBT plant can incorporate a number of different processes in a variety of combinations. MBT therefore compliments, but does not replace, other waste management technologies such as recycling and composting as part of an integrated waste management system. 

In line with the Waste Management Directive and national recycling targets, some typical aims of MBT plants include the:

• Pre-treatment of waste going to landfill;

• Diversion of non-biodegradable and biodegradable MSW going to landfill through the mechanical sorting of MSW into materials for recycling and/or energy recovery as refuse derived fuel (RDF);

• Diversion of biodegradable MSW going to landfill by: 

- Reducing the dry mass of BMW prior to landfill;

- Reducing the biodegradability of BMW prior to landfill;

• Stabilization into a compost-like output for use on land;

• Conversion into a combustible biogas for energy recovery; and/or

• Drying materials to produce a high calorific organic rich fraction for use as RDF.

MBT plants may be configured in a variety of ways to achieve the required recycling, recovery, and biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) diversion performance.

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