Nowadays there is broad agreement that landfilling waste is no longer acceptable, and legislation, taxation and new initiatives are driving waste management up the ‘Waste Hierarchy’ with more emphasis on reduction, re-use, recycling and the fourth ‘R’, recovery.
In Worcestershire and Herefordshire tremendous progress has been made with the first three R’s and to date all the Waste Disposal Authorities’ targets have been met. But there is still a long way to go. This includes dealing more effectively with the waste left over after recycling, referred to as ‘residual waste,’ In the review of the Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy undertaken by the Joint Members Waste Forum, a number of scenarios for managing residual waste were examined using a computer model called WRATE. As a result of this assessment, the option of a single site Energy-from-Waste plant with combined heat and power (CHP) capabilities was identified as the optimum solution.’ We have carried out our own WRATE assessment, and arrived at the same conclusions.
Nationally the generation of energy from waste is supported by UK energy policy which seeks to develop new, secure electricity generation capacity, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and encourage renewable energy production (for which there are statutory targets). The Mercia EnviRecover would be classified as a renewable / low carbon energy supply facility and directly contribute towards the achievement of these targets at a county, regional and national level.
Refer to Planning and Climate Change. Supplement to Planning Policy Statement 1. Click here to view
Click here to go to the Review of the Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy.
We have consistently held the view that energy from waste has a significant role to play in the mix of waste management solutions. We have evaluated many different technologies over the years, including gasification/pyrolysis, treatment by autoclave, anaerobic digestion, mechanical/biological treatment– singly or in combination. Whilst all of these technologies have been considered, they have been discounted largely due to uncertainties over whether they can consistently deliver the recycling or energy outputs claimed, and concerns over ultimate cost and the ability to finance them. Conventional EfW has the double advantages, in that:
- It is a proven technology with very predictable outputs and financial profile; and
- Renewable energy is an increasingly important recyclable product with a reliable and constant market for the output.
As a Permitted and fully compliant plant there will be no dangerous emissions nor adverse health risks consistent with a modern Energy-from-Waste facility.
Consideration of these issues and issues such as traffic and highways impacts will be considered in detail in the Environmental Impact Assessment.
Mercia EnviRecover will be a significant feature in the economic landscape of Worcestershire. It will provide some 30 permanent jobs across a wide skills range, and up to 200 people will be employed in construction and through to commissioning in 2014/15. In addition, the location at Hartlebury offers the potential for new businesses to set up or relocate to the Hartlebury Trading Estate to take advantage of the prospect of direct heat, hot water and even space cooling (refrigerated storage) – all from a renewable energy source.