East London Waste Authority
East London Waste Authority

East London Waste Authority

ELWA’s Strategy

ELWA’s strategy was originally drafted in 1996. It was reviewed in 2006 and is currently under further review. A Joint Waste Development Plan for the ELWA Boroughs was adopted in February 2012.

ELWA’s Process
Click here to see what happens to waste delivered to ELWA.


Key Facilities

The Frog Island waste management facility
The plant at Frog Island in Rainham handles household waste and recyclable materials mainly from Barking & Dagenham and Havering. Here, residual waste undergoes Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) which helps further separate materials for recycling and produces both Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) and Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) that can be used to replace fossil fuels in the generation of energy.

MBT mechanical grab

A mechanical grab at the Bio MRF

The Jenkins Lane waste management facility
This site houses an identical MBT facility to the one at Frog Island but processes residual household waste from Newham and Redbridge. A public Reuse and Recycling Centre is attached.



Mechanical Biological Treatment
Frog Island was the first Mechanical Biological Treatment (or Bio-MRF) facility in England. It treats residual waste, i.e. waste remaining after most recyclable material has been separated. The facility, in conjunction with other Materials Recycling Facilities (MRFs), provides the infrastructure to significantly increase recycling and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.

How does the Bio-MRF process work?

General waste collected by household refuse collection vehicles is taken to the Bio-MRF where it is shredded and placed under temperature controlled conditions. This waste is reduced in volume and becomes dried and stabilised, thus minimising the production of methane, a greenhouse gas typically arising from conventional landfill. From this dried and stabilised product further recyclates can be extracted (e.g. metals and glass). An organic component (potentially suitable for composting) is also produced as is a material which can be used for energy generation. This material is a ‘cleaner’ power source than coal and has almost the same calorific value.

Materials Recycling Facilities (MRFs)
The recyclable material collected in bags, boxes and bins is taken to a MRF where it can be sorted into each individual type and sent on to be recycled.

Bale produced

A bale of paper being produced at a MRF


Public Facilities

Reuse & Recycling Centres (RRCs)
Reuse and Recycling Centres are provided in each of the four boroughs and are available for local people to dispose of or, preferably, recycle their own waste. During 2003 Shanks implemented a wide range of improvements to the four sites, including better site layout, improved access, increased staffing and new recycling facilities. The sites are managed by Shanks on behalf of ELWA.

Bring Sites

A network of public ‘bring sites’ has been provided at locations across the four boroughs where residents can recycle various items including glass, paper, plastic bottles, cans and textiles.

Bring site in use

A bring site in use

Click on your Borough to discover your nearest Recycling Centre



Barking & Dagenham