• Heavies

    We specialise in recovering heavy metals from incinerator bottom ash, transforming them into valuable resources.

Recycling Efficiency: The Heavies

The main product of WTE plants, next to electricity and heat, is bottom ash (IBA). The IBA produced contains metals, particularly Ferrous and Non-Ferrous metals. QR Metals specialises in the separation of Non-Ferrous metals that include heavy metals of various sizes and qualities.

Coarse Heavies

Through a combination of Dense Media Separation and Screening, a +12mm Mixed Heavies fraction is produced. As part of the screening process, the majority of -12mm materials are removed and the remaining grade is made up primarily of 12-40mm material. Depending on the requirements of our customers, using specialist technologies, the makeup and level of separation of the Mixed Heavies can be tailored.


The application for +12mm Incinerator Heavies varies depending on the qualities produced. The majority of the Heavies are made up of Copper/Brass and when separating into base metals, these fractions can be sold directly to smelters. The other main Non-Ferrous metals that are recovered by QR Metals in the +12mm Heavies include: Stainless Steel, Zinc, Gold and Silver. Depending on the level of post-processing carried out by QR Metals, all recovered metals are suitable for direct smelting. As with the -12mm Heavies, the +12mm Heavies can be used in a variety of applications.

Size: The materials are marketed as a +12mm fraction but due to the process, they may contain a small percentage of -12mm. The majority of the material will be 12-40mm with a small amount of 40-80mm present.


Useful information

The recovery of +12mm Incinerator Heavies play a huge role in contributing to the circular economy ensuring that materials that may have previously ended up in landfill can be reused in a sustainable manner.

Fine Heavies

The produced fine heavies have a quality of over 90% and can be sold to copper smelters. 
The fine heavy non ferrous mix contains different elements such as: Copper, Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium and Zinc, which are being valorized in our processes and supply chain.


The copper extracted from IBA can be reused in all kinds of applications. Most copper is used in electrical equipment such as wiring and motors. It also has uses in construction (for example roofing and plumbing), and industrial machinery (such as heat exchangers). The recycling of copper contributes to the goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 in Europe.
Gold, Platinum and Palladium are used in many different electronic components and an important component in the energy transition.
Zinc is used in different alloys or for protecting ferrous metals from corrosion.

Size: 0-12 mm


Useful information

Reducing the necessity to mine these metals by recycling significantly enhances sustainability efforts.

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