By Tom Goulding
SITA UK has begun treating residual waste at its 256,000 tonne-per-year capacity energy-from-waste plant at its North East Energy Recovery Centre on Teesside.
The 160 million treatment facility will process 190,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste each year from 284,000 households on behalf of the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership, which comprises Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland city councils.
It is also a mirror image of SITA UKs original three-line Teesside plant, which sits adjacent to the new facility which now means the site has a combined processing capacity of 390,000 tonnes of municipal waste a year. It is a joint venture between SITA UK and Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Hartlepool councils.
The new facility, which incorporates two processing lines, is part of a 25-year, 727 million contract between SITA UK and the waste partnership signed in 2011 to manage household waste for the councils, with the aim of increasing the regions combined recycling rate from 34.4% to 50% by 2020.
In addition, three waste transfer stations have also started operations, which are situated at Middlefields in South Tyneside, Hendon in Sunderland and Wrekenton in Gateshead, worth 8 million (see letsrecycle.com story).
The new arrangements will save 64,000 tonnes of carbon per year compared to sending waste to landfill, and create 66 new operational jobs at the site.
Project director of the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership, Tony Alder, said: These new developments are the realisation of our very ambitious plans to significantly reduce our reliance on landfill and provide our residents with a greener waste management service.
Thanks to these new facilities, we are proud to be able to say that we now divert 95% of our waste away from landfill and, instead, put it to good use either by recycling it into new products or treating it to produce electricity.
Tim Otley, general manager for SITA UK, added: The South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnerships investment in new infrastructure and modern technology is an effective illustration of how local authorities can begin to meet their commitments on diverting waste from landfill by delivering more energy from renewable sources. SITA UK is delighted to be a part of this more sustainable future.
Meanwhile, SITA UK is in the process of submitting a planning application to Stockton borough council to develop a third facility on Teesside to house a sixth processing line.
The plant, which would be used to treat commercial and industrial waste in the area, would allow for the diversion of up to an additional 200,000 tonnes of waste from landfill every year, as well as potentially generating up to 35 MW of combined heat and power. SITA UK intends to send its plans for public consultation shortly.