VIDEO REPORT: The chief executive of Cory Riverside Energy has said he hopes the company’s recently approved energy from waste (EfW) plant in Belvedere, South East London, will help to alleviate waste infrastructure issues in the surrounding area.
In the video below, Douglas Sutherland was speaking with letsrecycle.com about the plant —approved by the secretary of state in April (see letsreycle.com story) — alongside Cory’s other facilities and its river network.
Mr Sutherland said Cory will be pushing for financial close on the facility this year, adding that the plant is “well developed” in terms of technical design and they hope to be on site in Q1 2022.
He added that the company is now engaging with the market to source waste, with the focus on the surrounding areas of London and the south east.
Commenting on issues in the waste processing market, Mr Sutherland said: “It is clear is there is an infrastructure problem for waste in London and the south east including Essex. There just isn’t the infrastructure to deal with the amount of waste being created. Landfill is going to be closing in the next five years and exporting is becoming problematic both because of Covid and politically too.
“So that whole area of London and the South East has an issue. I think Wheelabrator not getting permission for its Kemsley North plant as actually been really unhelpful for authorities. They’re all thinking ‘what is our long-term view of the world’ and the fact we are starting to develop our site is good news for them.
“So Essex is on our list, and we’re interested in that. And for us, because we’re river-based, we’re developing a transfer station at Tilbury which is very convenient for Essex in terms of where they can move their waste. We can move the waste along the river to our facility, and then take the ash back to be recycled”.
Cory also operates a MRF in Wandsworth, south west London, as part of its contract with the Western Riverside Waste Authority, the statutory waste disposal authority for Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington& Chelsea, Lambeth and Wandsworth
While some facilities have seen a large increase in the amount of recyclables being processed, Mr Sutherland says this has only been around 4% at its Wandsworth facility because of a fall in commercial and industrial (C&I) waste, which often forms part of the municipal waste in London.
“For us, we haven’t seen much difference. Last year we processed about 72,000 tonnes of mixed recycling. While there has been a change in mix because of home deliveries, in total it was only 4% up.
“There was a change of mix, more cardboard, more glass as people drunk a bit more, and more plastic as people did look for single use stuff for hygiene, but not a huge change in tonnage.
“I think this is because other authorities will see a rise in municipal waste with more people at home, but in London lots of municipalities have C&I waste within what they collect, which has plummeted.
“So this is matched by people spending time at home, so largely we stayed the same. “