Wiltshire's festive waste to fuel energy

Wiltshire Times: Anthony Smith, shift supervisor at the Northacre Resource Recovery Centre, keeps an eye on the process in the biohall Anthony Smith, shift supervisor at the Northacre Resource Recovery Centre, keeps an eye on the process in the biohall

While presents, food and decorations are all part of the Christmas experience, the festive season also means a lot of rubbish is generated.

However, thanks to the county’s first mechanical biological treatment plant in Westbury, Wiltshire’s non- recyclable household waste will now be used to generate energy, rather than going to landfill sites.

The Northacre Resource Recovery Centre, at the Northacre trading estate, is now fully operational after undergoing a commissioning phase since the start of the year.

The £24 million facility, which is operated by Hills Waste Solutions, is able to process the county’s household waste and turn it into a solid recovered fuel.

The fuel being produced is currently being exported to Europe, under a five year contract, where it is used to generate energy, while Hills looks for a more local solution for the fuel in the future.

Mike Webster, group director for Hills Waste Solutions, said: “We would still ask people to recycle their rubbish as best they can, but anything that goes in the black bags comes to the Northacre site.

“There’s a big increase in recycling over the Christmas period, with cardboard going up by 35 per cent, paper 25 per cent, glass 13 per cent and cans 55 per cent, but there are still those that don’t recycle.

“The plant’s processing limit is around 240-250 tonnes of waste a day.”

The end of the commissioning phase signalled the official start of the 25-year contract between Hills and Wiltshire Council for 60,000 tonnes of the county’s waste to be processed at the site.

The waste throughout the year will create 28,200 tonnes of SRF, with the equivalent of 20,000 tonnes lost through the drying process.

The plant will also recover 1,800 tonnes of recyclable materials, while 10,000 tonnes of bio-stabilised residue goes to landfill.

Mr Webster said: “Hardly any Wiltshire waste goes to landfill any more. We have reached a significant milestone in Wiltshire’s overall waste management strategy.”

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1:00am Sat 28 Dec 13

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