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Recycling Centre – The Ball Mill

The Ball Mill is responsible for diverting approximately 70% of wheelie bin waste from landfill and is the only one of its kind in the UK at present.

The Ball Mill is a huge drum similar to a washing machine that contains 42 tonnes of steel balls.

Leicester city’s waste is fed into the drum, which rotates causing the balls to pummel and grind the waste into much smaller pieces. The waste then drops through small grates on the inside of the drum and is sent off on conveyor belts, to go through a series of extraction processes.

Below shows the items that are mechanically removed from your wheelie bin waste – and what happens to them.


Are extracted by magnets and eddy- currents and will be sent away to be turned into new metals products.


Are extracted by air streams, which blow the light materials into a container. This material is called FLOC and is used as a fuel to create energy from waste.


Is extracted via a flip flow system by a large sieve and is collected and sent to our Anaerobic Digester and turned into a soil conditioner.

So, all PLASTICS, CARDBOARD, LIGHT MATERIALS, METALS and FOOD WASTE can be extracted out of wheelie bins and diverted from landfill.

For a more details explanation of the extraction processes, click here.


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Christmas and New Year refuse and recycling changes

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