Staffordshire county council confirmed it is still targeting a 70% recycling rate after its new energy from waste plant was opened by the Duke of Gloucester last week. And, the authoritydoes not have ade minimis level of waste it has to supply to the Veolia-run facility at Four Ashes north of Wolverhampton.
The plant is a partnership project for Staffordshire county council and its partnersh, Sandwell metropolitan borough council, Walsall metropolitan borough council and Warwickshire county council.
Speaking at the official opening on May 21,Councillor Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire county council,advised other councils planning permission for waste infrastructure themselves to speed up the progress of new projects.
The 300,000 tonnes waste incinerator with energy recovery is the latest in a series of large waste management contracts won by Veolia, with the companys Shropshire energy from waste plant likely to start testing by the end of the year. And, an announcement about planning permission for a proposed plant in Hertfordshire is due soon.
Unveiling a plaque to mark the opening, theDuke of Gloucester declared: It is a great pleasure to have the task of officially declaring your waste management scheme open, presumably it is the largest chemistry set in Staffordshire.
Securing planning permission before going out to tender, is recommended by Councillor Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire county council
And, he went on to praise high technology incineration which is used to deal with our rubbish which we are shuffling into landfill in rather a guilty manner, adding, I hope it provides cheaper electricity than might be coming via Ukraine and other rather dubious sources.
Estelle Brachlianoff, Veolia executive vice president UK and Ireland said: The development of the new plant is all part of the ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ strategy, which is tackling head on the growing problem of domestic waste. We are dedicated to maximising recycling first, and then recovering energy from the leftover residual waste.
New infrastructure like this, which utilises the latest technologies, is vital if the UK is to meet landfill diversion targets and reduce carbon emissions. It can also bring significant economic benefits and by working closely with Staffordshire county council we are helping stimulate economic growth and improve environmental performance.
Speaking to letsrecycle.com, Cllr Philip Atkins acknowledged the difficulties faced by some authorities such as Norfolk who have failed to get energy from waste projects off the ground.
He commented: The key behind the success of the this project and the concept was buying the site. Then we got planning permission ourselves before we went to market with the planning permission. I would recommend everybody entering these projects to get a site and then go through planning permission.
Cllr Atkins emphasised that the county was aiming for 70% recycling with the balance of the waste going for energy recovery and that the project also brought financial benefits to Staffordshire.
It is very financially viable. It saves us 250 million over 25 years, in terms of waste disposal and landfill tax. The other side is that this is an education facility so children and students can learn. There also jobs created in the plant and power for 30,000 homes.
Staffordshire county council will be supplying about half the waste to the facility but does not have a de minimis threshold. Veolia has to seek the other input material which will come from municipal and commercial and industrial sources. At present additional municipal waste is coming from otherauthorities including, Warwickshire, Stafford borough, Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhamptonand Shropshire.
The plant was built by a CNIM Clugston joint venture with a Martin moving grate.