Veolia’s Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF) has been formally opened by HRH the Duke of Kent at a ceremony this morning (15 November).
The site has been developed on behalf of Leeds city council to handle an estimate 214,000 tonnes of household waste from the city each year – part of a £460 million, 25-year PFI deal between the council and Veolia signed in 2012.
As well as housing energy recovery technology – the site also features sorting equipment to extract recyclable materials that have been discarded alongside residual waste.
The site generates 11MW of energy enough electricity to power 22,000 homes via the National Grid.
The RERF is also unusual for its design, as it is built with a wooden frame using spruce from Germany with a larch cladding.
It was built by a CNIM/Clugston joint venture and the incinerator features a reverse acting moving grate.
Leeds has a recycling rate of close to 40%. Around 10% of the waste that is brought into the RERF site is recovered for recycling, which it is estimated boosts the city’s recycling rate from 35% to 40%.
- Parts of the plant have been constructed using spruce wood from Germany - a unique feature for a waste plant
- The facility will handle more than 200,000 tonnes of waste from Leeds every year
Opening the plant this morning, HRH the Duke of Kent, said: “It is a real pleasure to see this excellent plant, I have never seen recycling and energy on the same site before.”
The Duke then praised the partnership involved in the project and he said he was sure it could be ‘the pattern for the future’.
Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice President Veolia UK and Ireland said: “Leeds is a shining example of a circular economy hub transforming unwanted materials into an important resource. The partnership will continue to drive recycling rates and look for more solutions to material streams. Together we have created an iconic facility which is an attractive landmark for Leeds and more importantly a sustainable solution for the city’s waste for generations to come.”
“The partnership will continue to drive recycling rates and look for more solutions to material streams.”Estelle Brachlianoff
Senior Executive Vice President, Veolia UK and Ireland
The plant began construction in 2013 within a former wholesale market on the Cross Green Industrial Estate in East Leeds, and became fully operational in April 2016. The plant employs more than 70 members of staff.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds city council’s executive member for environment and sustainability, said: “This excellent facility is at the heart of our commitment to sustainability and making the best use of our resources. It allows us to divert black bin waste away from landfill and into environmentally-friendly further recycling or energy creation. This in turn means we save a considerable amount of cash for Leeds by not having to pay landfill fees.”
In the future, the facility will use a combined heat and power system to generate hot water and heating to local homes, buildings and potentially schools and hospitals in Leeds.