Recycling and renewable energy company Eco Sustainable Solutions has announced plans to build a 60,000 tonnes per year capacity energy from waste (EfW) plant in Parley, Dorset.
Eco Sustainable Solutions says the proposed facility would play a key role in tackling the region’s waste in the years to come.
Up to a fifth of the 60,000 tonnes processed at the proposed facility will be recycled after being sorted mechanically from the residual waste, Eco Sustainable Solutions says, while the rest would then be used to generate low-carbon energy.
The company’s chief operating officer Justin Dampney said: “Reducing waste is also tackling climate change. There is still a huge amount of waste going to landfill, which is having to be transported out of the county because all of Dorset’s landfills have shut.
“This increases emissions and ‘waste miles’ and goes against the ‘proximity principle’ that local communities should manage their own waste not only to reduce the burden on neighbouring authorities, but also to create local economic growth and employment.
“Our plans are at an early stage, and we are keen to hear the views of local residents, community organisations and businesses as we prepare to submit a planning application.
“We will consult on a draft application in the autumn and aim to submit a full planning application before the end of the year.”
While the precise figure of the investment in the facility is undisclosed, Eco Sustainable Solutions describes it as ‘multi-million-pound’.
Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) councils adopted a joint waste plan on 31 December 2019 that estimates the local area needs to process an extra 232,000 tonnes per year of waste left over after recycling. Eco Sustainable Solutions says the councils’ preference is to recover energy from this waste ‘wherever practicable’, to minimise the use of landfill and to treat waste locally.
The EfW facility is to be built at Eco Sustainable Solutions’ Eco Park site in Parley, Dorset.
The facility is to join the company’s existing energy portfolio, which includes a combined heat and power plant and 77MW of solar panels in Parley and a 1.6MW anaerobic digestion facility at Piddlehinton, near Dorchester.
Eco Sustainable Solutions says the capacity to process an extra 60,000 tonnes would add to the 250,000 tonnes of waste the company already processes.
At 60,000 tonnes, Eco Sustainable Solutions’ proposed facility will provide less than half the capacity the councils’ joint waste plan says it could build at the Parley site, the company says. Eco Sustainable Solutions says this is because the company believes more can be done to reduce waste and increase recycling rates. To encourage this, Eco plans to create a visitor centre and education programme at the site.
Managing director Trelawney Dampney said: “Over the last 25 years, our business has prevented 1.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions by diverting organic waste from landfill – our main site is powered by renewable energy and our developments generate enough renewable energy to power 22,000 homes.
“In the last decade alone, we have invested over £10 million in local sustainable solutions. The proposed ERF demonstrates our commitment to continuing to invest in local sustainable solutions.”
Eco Sustainable Solutions was awarded a £14 million recycling contract for an initial seven years by Dorset council in March.
The company is to process Dorset’s annual 15,000 tonnes of food waste, 35,000 tonnes of green waste and 8,000 tonnes of wood waste, plus 3,500 tonnes of the council’s street sweepings.
The company has held a contract with Dorset Waste Partnership to handle the county’s food, wood and green waste since 2008 (see letsrecycle.com story).