The current waste supply chain is very carbon intensive. If waste is taken from the household to be dealt with there are huge transportation costs, both financially and for the carbon generated by Heavy Goods Vehicles collecting waste. Once material is collected it would be deposited at a transfer station prior to onward transportation to either a landfill or a large-scale incinerator to generate electricity.
Once electricity is generated it is distributed through the electricity network where is will lose approximately 75% through the distribution process.
Low grade recyclable materials are sent abroad to be processed into new products. This is a carbon intensive practice, as every tonne of material would be shipped to a foreign country, transported to a carbon heavy processing plant before completing the cycle. With the HERU it is demonstrated that the carbon reduction by processing material locally can reduce the carbon generated by up to 75%.