8 June 2021 by Robyn White

Biowise applies to expand Willerby capacity  

Yorkshire based organics recycler Biowise is applying to increase the capacity of its Willerby in-vessel composting (IVC) facility because of an “influx of material” coming into the plant.

The organics recycler has applied to the Environment Agency to increase the site’s capacity  from 75,000 tonnes per annum to 90,000 tonnes because of an “unprecedented” increase in volumes. It is thought the increase in capacity will allow “full utilisation” of the installed equipment at the site.

According to a non-technical summary of the application, published on 3 June,  this increase is in line with a site capacity assessment which finds that current operations can support a capacity of 90,000 tonnes through the IVC.

It comes as the company also plans to expand its IVC facility in Crewe.

Biowise, which is the organics arm of Wastewise, operates two IVC facilities: one in Willerby and one in Crewe

Covid-19

The summary states that Covid-19 has resulted in “unexpected higher feedstock volumes” being received at the Willerby site throughout 2020.

Biowise anticipates increased volumes may be an issue that presents itself again in 2021 “and beyond”.

It added that as a result, Biowise has “an opportunity” to bring additional biowaste tonnage into the site during winter months.

The summary also notes that Biowise is not looking to process additional tonnage during the peak summer months, and that there is no other proposed change to the permit by way of treated material or operational technique.

Volumes

It follows reports from organics recyclers across the country that household food and green waste volumes have risen over the pandemic, due to more people being at home.

It is thought that this comes from more people working from home and doing DIY activities in gardens.

There has also been an increase in demand for the finished compost, which has been put down to a “grow your own” boom during the pandemic (see letsrecycle.com story).

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