Yorkshire Water and Biffa are working together recycle and reuse grit produced at the water company's treatment works.

The grit, which is screened out as water and wastewater is processed at treatment works, is being reused and recycled instead of going to landfill. Since April 2019, 6,300 tonnes have been processed into reusable material.

Previously, the by-product of the treatment process was sent to landfill, but Yorkshire Water has worked closely with Biffa Water to develop a more sustainable alternative which turns the waste into a usable resource.

Biffa collects the grit from more than 600 treatment works and transports it for processing into a blended aggregate* which is ready for the construction sector to use in materials such as concrete blocks.

It means, nothing is wasted from the water treatment process, including the by-product from washing the grit which is used in tree planting projects across Yorkshire.

Dave Turner, contracts manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “Yorkshire Water is working hard to achieve its aim of reaching carbon net zero by 2030. We have already made significant headway on our journey with an 80% reduction in operational carbon emissions. New ways of working such as this partnership with Biffa, which reuses a by-product of the sewage and clean water treatment process, is vital in helping us achieve our goal.”

Tim Pamely, corporate account manager at Biffa, said: “Biffa is delighted to be supporting Yorkshire Water’s Carbon Route Map, which includes sustainability targets to reach carbon net zero by 2030 as well as to reduce, reuse and recycle more. We’ve worked together using innovative process design to create a sustainable alternative use for water treatment by-products like grit which is now being turned back into a usable product for the building sector. This scheme has also helped make our journeys more efficient decreasing emissions as there are fewer trucks on the road.”

Supporting customers to manage waste sustainably is a key part of Biffa’s sustainability strategy, "Resourceful, Responsible" launched in March 2020. By changing the way customers think about waste, Biffa is helping to solve the UK’s waste challenge and contributing to a more sustainable future.